Don’t Miss Out

Have you taken an on demand learning module in CALL Academy lately? If you haven’t, you’re missing out!

CALL Academy is a great way to learn at your own pace. Learning modules can be accessed any time of day, any day of the week. Most take about an hour to complete, but if you can’t finish in one session you can come back anytime to pick up where you left off!

CALL Academy has over 800 learning modules to choose from on various topics such as communication, crisis situations (like de-escalation), leadership, trauma-informed practices and more!

But, like any collection, sometimes the CALL team has to do some weeding. Check out these learning modules before they’re gone!

Trying out CALL Academy for the first time? Create an account using your library email address for instant access. If you don’t have a library email address that’s OK! Sign up using your personal email address and you’ll receive a short email from CALL to verify your library affiliation.

CALL Academy is a resource available to all library staff in California, library volunteers, and individuals associated with various library projects.



Helping California Ensure Their Libraries’ Direction Is Consistent with Community Needs

Guest Post by PolicyMap and Meg DePriest, Library Programs Consultant, California State Library

The California State Library, in collaboration with Pacific Library Partnership, is now offering free access to PolicyMap as a resource for data and mapping for public library administrators and workers. California’s public libraries are essential institutions for fostering community progress and well-being. Trustworthy information from diverse yet reliable sources is crucial for making strategic decisions. Here’s a snapshot of how PolicyMap can elevate the offerings of public libraries in California for the betterment of communities:

  • Informing Strategic Planning: Libraries must understand communities/ evolving needs. PolicyMap’s geographic information offers insights into local demographics, assets, and needs, enabling libraries to align services and resources effectively with their communities. An easily accessible Community Profile Report can be produced for any area you draw on the map, a radius around your central library or branch, or by clicking the library district name, as in this example where we chose Solano County Library. Download a sample report.
PolicyMap portal map with an outline of the Solano County Library service area. (Data available for download in PolicyMap)
  • Simplifying Data Collection: Administrative reports, strategic plans, demographic reports, and grant reports, to name a few, may require extensive data collection from multiple sites. PolicyMap simplifies this work by providing the information you need one place, making data collection efficient and thorough. You can collect and download data from 150 disparate sources.
  • Enhancing Collection Management: Library administrators generate reports for their Boards, local and state governments, grantors and donors, the public and their staff, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides federal support for libraries. Awareness of your community ensures that your library collection resonates with the diverse needs and interests of the community.
  • Designing Targeted Community Programs: Libraries can harness local data from PolicyMap to curate collections and design programs that directly address and engage a community’s unique needs. In this example, we have clicked on the boundary for the Monterey Library District to download information about educational attainment with a list of public schools, including enrollment information, into a CSV spreadsheet, or you can view the data in the sidebar.
PolicyMap portal map with an outline of Monterey County Free Library service area and educational attainment. (Data available for download in PolicyMap)
  • Supporting Grant Applications: Using PolicyMap, librarians, grant writers, and board members can provide compelling evidence and impact statistics that grantors often seek, bolstering the quality of grant proposals. Information that identifies a gap or need in the community that the grant will address—such as demographic information about the community including age groups, access to fresh, healthy foods, educational attainment, languages spoken, and access to the internet or computers–is readily available and easily understandable with maps to support current information.
PolicyMap portal map with an outline of Ventura County Library service area showing low income tracts that are not close to grocery stores. (Data available for download in PolicyMap)
  • Facilitating Patron Research: Whether you’re supporting students working on projects, local entrepreneurs seeking market insights, or community activists wanting neighborhood information, having reference staff equipped with PolicyMap means patrons get in-depth maps, trend charts, and community profile reports.
  • Promoting Digital Equity and Ebook Projects: PolicyMap can be valuable in understanding digital divides, helping libraries design projects that address inequities, and ensuring all patrons have equal access to ebooks and other digital resources.
  • Accessing Information for Needs Assessments: Beyond just offering books and digital resources, libraries can use PolicyMap to conduct comprehensive needs assessments, providing in-depth information and helping position the library as a community anchor.
  • Inclusive Design with Communities: Designing programs with communities, rather than just for them, promote inclusion, equity, and belonging. Libraries can use PolicyMap to deeply understand community assets and needs and then begin to design in tandem with local aspirations.
  • Narrating the Library’s Story: A story well told can be transformative. Library directors can harness maps and information from PolicyMap to convey the library’s narrative, impact, and vision to boards and governing bodies, leading to stronger support and understanding.
  • Championing Inclusivity: Using PolicyMap, libraries can identify areas of marginalization or underrepresentation, ensuring library services and resources are crafted to be inclusive.

PolicyMap Empowers Libraries to Develop Offerings That Meet the Evolving Demands of the Neighborhoods They Serve

PolicyMap isn’t just a data tool. For libraries, it’s a means to deepen community connections, inform strategic decisions, and ensure every patron feels seen and served. By leveraging this information, libraries can be more adaptive, inclusive, and practical, cementing their role as indispensable community pillars.

Interested in using PolicyMap? Request an account here. Guidance for use is available on the platform. Training sessions are available twice a week; register here

PolicyMap is now available to all California public library staff as part of a statewide initiative by the California State Library and the Pacific Library Partnership to support libraries in making equity-based, data-driven decisions for community impact.

This project is supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.


Get Fired Up About CATALYST

We are excited to invite all library workers in California to learn about Catalysta new leadership development program (formerly Developing Leaders in California Libraries). 

Catalyst is designed to equip and support California library workers with development opportunities that support leading from everywhere. The Catalyst program will last for a total of 18 months. During the first 12 months, participants will be part of a cohort that meets both online and in-person to learn, reflect, and work on projects that apply their new skills and ideas. After the first year and the completion of a final project, the cohort will continue to meet on a monthly basis for an additional six months to deepen their learning, network, and reflect on their experiences. (Please note that activities beyond the first project year are contingent on funding being available for the second year.) 

Catalyst will be led by two new incredible CALL Team members–Maddy Walton-Hadlock and Joseph Sanchez.

Maddy Walton-Hadlock holding golden retriever dog
Maddy Walton-Hadlock
Joseph Sanchez skateboarding
Joseph Sanchez

Maddy Walton-Hadlock‘s inspiration to lead was sparked when she heard her kindergarten teacher replace the term “bossy” with “future leader”. Over the last 15 years, she has had the opportunity to develop leadership skills as a librarian, supervisor, and administrator in California libraries. She has also contributed to libraries as a trainer, facilitator, project advisor, and consultant. Maddy’s belief in the inherent strengths and expertise of individuals drives her passion for supporting library workers to feel confident in their abilities. Outside of work, Maddy enjoys singing in a choir, walking for miles with her family, and watching videos of dogs making friends with cheetahs and finding their forever homes. She’s excited to connect with this year’s Catalyst cohort and embark on a journey of growth and development together.

Joseph Sanchez grew up visiting his local public library every week, and even got kicked out for skateboarding as a teenager, which did nothing to curb his enthusiasm and love for libraries (or skateboarding). He has academic and public library experience in California, Colorado, and Hawai’i. He has spent much of his career solving personnel, budget, and communication challenges and enjoys supporting and mentoring library workers in their professional growth. He is looking forward to the communication and mentoring opportunities with the Catalyst cohort, and growing new relationships.

Interested in learning more about Catalyst? Be sure to join Maddy and Joseph for one of the upcoming information sessions below. Also be sure to check out the application which is now open!

This no-cost program is brought to you by California Libraries Learn (CALL), which is a joint project of the California Library Association and California State Library.


A brief reflection on DLCL: Heroic Leadership

A guest post by Ivan Aguirre

“There are no heroes, only heroic decisions.” In upholding the freedoms to exist in public space some library leaders have been called heroes and lately some villains. In light of that, we must ask ourselves one important question. Who do we become when we move into positions of leadership? What do our decisions as leaders say about us?

In leaders we ask them, why? Why is this the way? Why do libraries suffer the brunt of ignorance? Why are we as library staff, and institutions, at the mercy of a so-called neutrality? Why do we sit by as more privileged yet less qualified counterparts advance past us? Why do our patrons have to go home hungry? Why do our patrons seek shelter with us only to leave shelterless at closing hours? Why does the subjectivity of an odor dictate a person’s access to our services? Why do we think we are so imperative to the communities we serve but always seem to be on someone’s budget cut list? Why do we do what we do? Why? These questions stem from an instinctive reaction to understand the world in front of us. However, too many of us only ever ask why and never move into the what of an issue or land on the opposite end jumping to a what before ever knowing the true why.

As a former cohort member turned coach mentor for the Developing Leaders in California Libraries (DLCL) program I have been privileged to understand leadership in ways that would never have been afforded to me otherwise. I am a Chicano library manager having worked in 3 different libraries on various grants that hold equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) core standards to implement equitable changes to library service. In my managerial and EDI work experience I have seen the worst and best of what lies in holding a position of leadership. From being bodily threatened for my race to falsely accused in attempts to fire me on more than one occasion, through it all though I am still here. Just the same, some have called me a hero but more often than not a villain. Through it all I’ve been asked why. Why put myself in a leadership role if the toll is beyond pay or benefit? It’s because if I can make the difficult decision to stay and endure then maybe I can help find the answers to my own whys. Why is there a toll to begin with? Why am I taking on a higher rate of risk due to my culture and race? In the silence of lacking a satisfactory answer, I must ask why. As a leader it is my chosen duty to then understand the why at its root, before I can ever hope to understand the ripeness of any one of that why’s whats. What can I do to make this better not only for myself but for those around me and those who will succeed me? What can we do as members of evolving institutions? What can my sphere of influence do? What can I do to be an ally? What can I do as a leader? The answer is simple. Ask yourself why? In our current reality, with the best or worst of intentions some of us are at the mercy of someone else’s “What we are going to do is…” The consequence of never asking “why” in building an equitable “What we are going to do is..” as a leader? It is a consequence of ignorance in which its cruelty is felt upon the backs of those in silence who carry the weight of your institution and influence.

What struck me in my time working alongside the DLCL team is the tumultuous yet transformative power of what lies in taking a why and using it to build an equitable what. This year a great deal of time was taken to conduct root cause analysis for each team’s brief papers, in other words asking for the true why or whys of an issue. Every single cohort team came to similar themed conclusions of inequity being at the core of many issues affecting the public. The two teams I was fortunate to work with focused on the inequity of the housing voucher process (Cloud Whorl, Alma Madrigal-Ward, Cherie Buenaflor, Meghan Croll, with mentor coach Robert Karatsu) and inequitable food access (Tamiko Boyd, Susie Quinn, Katrena Woodson, with mentor coach Mandy Nasr). Any member from those teams respectively can attest to the sheer volume of understanding required to tackle either topic let alone provide readers of their brief papers a solution. Yet, like those who came before them they rose to the challenge and stood on the shoulders of giants  to not only deliver amazing work but more importantly grow into leaders in their own respect by applying an equitable lens to the work so many of us encounter on a daily basis. These cohort members made the heroic decision to step into a light to decry inequity. Each of those members day in and day out make the heroic decision to point to flaws in our systems, especially the systems designed to address inequity and choose not to stop at the “why” or jump up to accept just any “what”. DLCL gave them the opportunity to step up as leaders and to go beyond the toll of daily library work that burns so many of us out to share in the burden of betterment as a community of leaders. On a final more personal note I, like Fin another coach mentor from this year’s cohort, am sitting with gratitude. Gratitude for the teams I worked with. Gratitude to Linda Braun, Nicole Rawlinson, Christine Bolivar, LaKesha Kimbrough, Caitlin Martin and Danis Kreimeier for allowing me the space to learn and grow as a mentor coach. For all that I’ve seen and experienced in terms of cruelty, just the same there has been mercy and love. Mercy in DLCL’s mission to give leaders the opportunity to acknowledge their own flaws with tools developed through trial and error. Love in meeting and working with allies like Fin Minjee Lee, Akiliah Manuel Mills, Robert Karatsu, Mandy Nasr, Alysa Cua, Patty Alvarado, Leslie Masland, Elan Delgadillo, and many others through DLCL. I hold hope for a new generation. You ask me why? It’s because I’m not alone.

As 2023’s DLCL cohort comes to a close. To you, current and future leaders, in the face of being called a villain or even hero, know that it was never your duty to be either. I ask of you, when the time comes that you make the same heroic decision that every DLCL cohort has taken on not only for yourself but for those of us who continue to endure. Be equitable, be inclusive, and be love.  

With determination, 

Ivan Aguirre el luchador.


Trauma-Informed Practice In-Person Sessions

Trauma-informed practices are vital in today’s libraries. Understanding what trauma is and how it affects individuals and communities, including your very own co-workers, is important for ensuring more empathetic patron interactions and a positive workplace. That’s why we’re committed to providing training that will help you address patron needs and staff challenges through a trauma-informed lens. This month CALL is offering our first on-ground training in 4 locations that will allow you to practice the skills you learn with your colleagues and others from around the state. 

Here is what you will learn:

  • General information about trauma and how it impacts both patrons and staff in a library setting.
  • The six guiding principles of trauma-informed care and examples of how they can be applied in a library setting for the benefit of both patrons and staff.
  • Examples of library services and programming offered through a trauma-informed lens.
  • Support with skill development and application of those skills to common library scenarios. Five specific skills will be discussed that can be helpful for difficult patron situations (i.e. Reflect, Protect, Connect, Respect, and Redirect). These skills emphasize setting boundaries while using a trauma-informed lens and approach. The group will have the opportunity to practice applying the skills directly to common patron situations.
  • Content will also be provided about creating behavioral policies that are trauma-informed, yet enforce clear behavioral guidelines for patrons.

ALL library workers are welcome to join us at one of these locations for training. Register using the links below:

Travel reimbursement and backfill will be provided. Please see calendar listings above for details. Question? Contact


Actively Anti-Racist Services to Readers

Ibram X Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, writes that “Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups.” As a profession, we must ask ourselves how our libraries are or should be producing or sustaining racial equity. This iterative process requires that librarians and library staff take a thoughtful look at Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion principles in every aspect of our work. It requires that we move from being neutral and well meaning to actively anti-racist in our work.

In the upcoming CALL event ‘Actively Anti-Racist Services to Readers’, participants will craft an actionable plan and come away with tangible skills that will guide every interaction with readers, including direct service, collection development, and displayed materials.

This course consists of three lessons: Two self-paced lessons (two hours each) must be completed before the third live session. You will have 24/7 access to the first two lessons in this course, and they can be completed at your own pace. This foundational work will inform the interactive, hands-on workshop on April 17th, 2-4pm.

Learn more about ‘Actively Anti-Racist Services to Readers’ from the two instructors, Robin Bradford and Becky Spratford.

Register today for this event taking place on Monday, April 17th!


Reflections on Leadership from a DLCL Coach

A guest post by Fin Minjee Lee

I’ve been reflecting a lot about the types of leaders I have encountered for the past 5 years in libraries and in my studies. How am I upholding some of those skills and experiences I’ve seen and felt in the way I show up as a librarian? How can I implement leadership skills in the micro (from “Emergent Strategies” by Adrienne Maree Brown) and continue to show up by active listening, using an equity-based lens, and leading with empathy?

I’m working through those skills, every single day. I think it can be reflected on all levels of the library. I am not in management or administration, yet I know I am making a difference through leadership qualities. Leaders are not necessarily managers/admin – and managers/admin are not necessarily leaders. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to really explore leadership and how it pertains to myself and in libraries through The California Library Association Developing Leaders in California Libraries (DLCL) program. Last year I was a cohort member and this year I was asked to join the mentor/coach team (with other AMAZING coaches/mentors) for the 2022-2023 cohort.

Last week, the coaches and the cohort members all met to really work through their position paper projects that will be presented at this year’s CLA conference. There was so much depth, openness, and what Ivan Aguirre mentioned as a share out near the end of our time together – growth. Growth was evident in the position papers, team presentations, and the values of the project the cohort members are focused on. AND, in many ways, I sincerely felt growth in myself. I am filled with so much gratitude for all the types of connections I have made throughout my career and the folks I met through CLA have been the most giving, supportive, and inspiring. I never met a network of folks who truly want to make a difference and, simply, want to root for you.

Sitting with so much gratitude and inspiration for what comes next.


CAreer Pathways: Resources for Climate, Agriculture, and Infrastructure Jobs

This series of CAreer Pathways webinars looks at the CA Dept of Labor’s 5 focus areas: Healthcare, Care Economy, Climate, Agriculture, and Infrastructure.

Join us to learn more about Stanislaus County Library and their key partnerships with Stanislaus County Workforce Development and LearningQuest (literacy), both of which were instrumental in driving traffic to their CAreer Pathways resources page. They will share promotional materials, including a commercial that ran on social media. Panelists will include Vicki Salinas, Reference Librarian, Stanislaus County Library and Ramina Carlton, Stanislaus County Department of Workforce Development. The webinar will also feature resources across all platforms that focus on the high-need, high-growth industries of Agriculture, Climate and Infrastructure. Workforce development and related community partners and library staff of all levels are invited to attend.

Register for this webinar, taking place on March 22, 2023 at 11:00 am PDT.

These resources are supported by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.


New CALL Calendar

The New CALL Calendar is launching January 16, 2023. Similar in look and feel to the old calendar, but with new features and improvements such as:

  • More accurate keyword searching
  • Color coding by Program Type (i.e. Conference, In-Person, Online Course, Webinar, etc.)
  • Hover for event description

To register for an event, click into the event and scroll to the bottom to input your information. After you click ‘Register’ you will receive a confirmation email from You will also receive a reminder email 24 hours before your event.

We hope you enjoy the new calendar! If you have questions or need technical assistance please email


DLCL Meets In-Person

A guest post by Danis Kreimeier

Developing Leaders in California Libraries (DLCL) met in-person Wednesday, November 30 and Thursday, December 1 in Oakland. After meeting remotely since September, it was obvious that cohort members were excited to be together for the first time in person, as the volume in the meeting room rose quickly in an enthusiastic rumbling.

Engagement was high and rose even more with the first activity focused on getting to know the coaches. (As a part of the DLCL program coaches are available to cohort members.) Coaches and cohort members talked together in a modified speed dating format, with the coaches rotating from table to table, sharing their philosophy and getting to know one another.

“Connecting with this year’s new cohort of Developing Leaders was invigorating. It was an honor to witness these leaders collaborate on how we can better serve our communities and become strong allies. The future of libraries is bright!” Coach Mandy Nasr, Director, Camarillo Public Library

Following coach speed dating we participated in a world café exercise exploring what elements and qualities are inherent in equitable leadership. The focus was on answering the question, What are the qualities, values, and skills that a leader should embrace in order to increase equitable outcomes within the library community? (Learn more about the World Cafe.)

Authenticity, accountability, respect, embracing differences, mindfulness, tenacity, I’m sure all these words make sense to you as you consider the qualities of leadership. The challenge is how do we take these qualities into our workplace and communities? That’s something else that DLCL cohort members discussed. Conversation included recognition that authentic leadership requires self-knowledge, the willingness to be vulnerable, and to see setbacks or failures as an opportunity to grow and learn. It doesn’t matter where you are in your organization, anyone can be a leader and an ally. “Leading from behind” can be one of the most transformative ways to evolve an organization. And it’s not just for extroverts, it comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

As we learned during the session on Allyship, we may get it wrong sometimes, but that’s no reason not to try. Learning to work through the uncomfortableness and have authentic encounters is a key skill set in developing all the other tools. But with vision, courage and strength we can grow.

What’s next for the DLCL cohort members? They will participate in teams over the next several months on a leadership challenge project. These projects will focus on community assets and challenges and designing community-based services that reflect those.

“The library, via its incredible and inspirational staff, is at the forefront of many for the conversations that shape our future. The library is a source for connection to people, community, culture, and ubiquitous learning.” Coach Marissa Murphy-Becerra

Learn more about Developing Leaders in California Libraries and find out how you can be a part of this forward-looking initiative.