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


Join a Focus Group

It’s that time of year again. We are starting our annual Needs Assessment and we want to hear from you! What would you like to see in the next year from CALL? Do you have topics or areas of interest that you would like to share? What format is your favorite? How can CALL better meet your needs? If you are interested in helping us determine the answers to these questions – and more – please volunteer for a virtual focus group.

  • Focus Group 1:  April 4 at 2pm 
  • Focus Group 2:  April 21 at 10am 
  • Focus Group 3:  April 25 at noon

Anyone is welcome to volunteer for any of the available dates – regardless of your staff role or library size. Choose your date and sign up with this focus group form.

Note: All focus groups will be virtual and facilitated by our needs assessment consultant – Audrey Barbakoff. If you are unable to participate in a focus group, look for the CALL Needs Assessment survey announcement coming soon!


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.


Homelessness, Libraries, and Human Rights

Are you concerned about homelessness, housing, food insecurity, and other challenges facing your community and library? Join the ALA Social Responsibilities Roundtable on Monday, November 14, for all or part of a day-long summit on “Homelessness and Libraries: A Social Justice Summit.” (Please note the event starts early because it originates in Central time and runs from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific time.)

This one-day virtual conference is free and does not require ALA membership.

A dynamic slate of speakers will share the innovative partnerships, programming, and in-reach initiatives they are implementing to address the needs and uplift the experiences of vulnerable populations in their respective communities. The speakers represent diverse backgrounds, geographies, areas of expertise, and angles of inquiry.

Panels include sessions on libraries and social workers, public health partnerships, rural homelessness, and education and sensitivity. Speakers include community advocates, scholars, public library staff and administrators, representatives of community-based organizations, and social workers. Keynotes will address homelessness as a social justice issue.

The ALA Social Responsibilities Roundtable believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy.

The full schedule and registration links are available on the CALL calendar.


Building Maintenance, Building Projects, and Building Forward

California’s public library buildings need help. Thanks to the California legislature (and Senator Toni G. Atkins, a champion for libraries), the 2021-2022 state budget allocated $439 million in one-time funds to the California State Library to address life-safety and critical maintenance needs of public library facilities throughout California, prioritized for high poverty areas of the state.

The Building Forward Grant Program is the single largest investment in California’s public libraries in over 20 years. The State Library recently awarded over $313 million in grants to 246 local libraries to address pressing life-safety and critical maintenance needs in high poverty areas of 182 cities across 34 counties. Round One funding prioritized projects in high-poverty areas and addressing life-safety and critical maintenance and infrastructure needs. Additional funding and application opportunities will be announced in the near future.

What can you do to prepare?

CALL is offering four webinars on Building Basics on Tuesdays at noon, starting November 1. This webinar series is intended for library workers to better understand their physical workspace and to provide foundational knowledge for intelligent decision-making. Directors, managers, supervisors, and all interested library staff are encouraged to register. You’ll develop an understanding of building concepts, master the terminology, and learn to navigate through complex building management issues.

The first webinar, Know Your Library—An Introduction to Library Buildings from the Facilities Management Perspective, will discuss library building conditions and perception and reality in facilities maintenance. Session two on November 15 is Inner Workings – A Close Look at Library Building Design and Key Systems, followed on November 29 by Wear and Tear – Signs of Disrepair, Causes, and Ways to Avoid Building Issues and December 13 on Building Relationships – Knowing Your Partners within Library Facility Management. You can sign up for one or all. Although registration is unlimited, only the first 100 attendees will be admitted to each live session. These webinars will be recorded, and the recordings, slides, and any other resources will be available in CALL Academy after each webinar occurs.

The Building Basics instructor, Carlos Baffigo, is Deputy Director of the Pasadena Public Library in charge of library operations, facility management, IT systems, and security. His 30-year facility management experience includes major relocations, remodels, historic building renovations, build-outs, retrofits, building safety management, technology implementations, EOC management, disaster mitigation, and security response. Previously, Carlos worked in the residential construction industry and enjoys renovating houses. He got his start in libraries as a Page and performing “PJ Storytime” at the Glendora Public Library in Glendora, CA.

One more thing: if you’re interested in general project management skills, you might want to check out the Project Management Fundamentals, a short course from Library Journal.


Tutoring for ALL

A guest post by Chris Durr, Library Programs Consultant, California State Library

Tutors can be expensive, and families are often faced with the challenge of trying to secure the services of a tutor.

In his book, Dream Hoarders, Richard Reeves describes how scarce resources – such as the instructional time of qualified tutors – are often hoarded in America by the wealthy. This system, believed by many to be simply ‘good parenting,’ creates a glass floor for the wealthy and a glass ceiling for the other 99%. As Dr. Mark Bray has pointed out in his work, The Shadow education system: private tutoring and its implications for planners, traditional school education is supplemented, to great effect, by the efforts of private tutors. In some countries, this supplement can be an astronomical cost. In 1996, South Korean families spent the equivalent of $25 billion on private tutors, more than the total budget for the entire government.

Enter California State Library’s new online tutoring program, accessible to all California children in grades K-12. Through this resource, anyone with a computer and internet connection can access a live tutor, speaking in English or Spanish, for support with Language Arts or Mathematics, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additional topics and languages are available between 10 am and 10 pm. These tutors, 99% of whom have at least a bachelor’s degree, can help walk students through their classwork with a variety of tools and address a large array of needs. This statewide program is a step forward for all California families.

The online tutoring service is authenticated via “geolocation,” meaning that anyone with an IP address inside of California can access a tutor, with or without a library card. This also means that if a user has a library card and has forgotten it, lost the pin, or is not in good standing with the library, they can still use the tutoring service through the same geolocated link. The program is streamlined for learner access, offering as few barriers as possible for a tutor and a student to be able to connect.

In rolling out this exciting new service, the State Library and partners are providing trainings to educators, library workers, and others on “HelpNow,” the surrounding supports and other touchpoints for the service. The training calendar is below. We hope California library staff will join these training opportunities and learn how to help their communities.

Upcoming Trainings

HelpNow: Online Tutoring and K-12 educators (Audience: K-12 Educators)

Learn how the HelpNow tutoring service can be useful for your students and learners. From test prep, to homework help, to flashcard creation, this training offers expert guidance in how to use the HelpNow tools to increase student achievement, all with little to no prep from the educator.

HelpNow: Nuts, Bolts and Troubleshooting User Issues Part 1 (Audience: Library Workers)

You have HelpNow active on your library website, now what? This training will focus on the nuts and bolts of bringing this service to users and will familiarize frontline staff with how HelpNow can meet community needs. This training will also cover common ways to troubleshoot the service if an end user experiences a problem.

HelpNow: Marketing and Outreach Part 1 (Audience: Library Workers)

Brainfuse offers a variety of resources to help your library raise awareness of the HelpNow service. As your library prepares for students to take midterms, finish college applications, and tackle learning over the holiday breaks, this session will help you position your library as a ‘just in time’ service for patrons seeking help with tests, homework, and essays.

HelpNow: Nuts, Bolts and Troubleshooting User Issues Part 2 (Audience: Library Workers)

A refresher from the October 26th training, this training focuses on the nuts and bolts of bringing this service to users, familiarizing frontline staff with what community needs HelpNow can meet so that workers can point staff to ‘just in time’ resources and focus on troubleshooting issues more advanced users may encounter.

HelpNow: Marketing and Outreach Part 2 (Audience: Library Workers)

Essential to the success of this resource is how well your library can raise awareness of this service. Previous trainings will have touched on the promotion of HelpNow, but this training will be a more focused look at the resources and supports your library has for promoting this service to your community, especially relating to testing season for schools.

HelpNow: Test Prep Resources (Audience: K-12 Educators)

HelpNow offers a variety of tools to assist with test preparation. You know about HelpNow’s live tutoring services, but with finals, the California High School Exit Exam and college entrance exams looming, it’s time to learn more about how HelpNow can support test prep. Product experts will provide an overview of sample test preparation materials offered by HelpNow.

HelpNow: Summer Services Pitch (Audience: Library Workers)

As the school year comes to an end, learn how to turn this resource into a meaningful resource for your community during the summer months. From specific marketing materials for summer, to other forms of engagement like chess tutor, to setting and tracking summer learning goals, HelpNow has resources so your library can make this service useful even when children have no homework to complete.

This program is supported with funds provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Librarian.