University of Wisconsin–Madison

Public and Community Library Services

Service is the heart of libraries. This class will help you create the best possible array of services for your particular community.

You will learn how to assess your users’ needs, evaluate outreach opportunities, and leverage resources to provide superior service at your library. Explore, customer service, programming, reference fundamentals, and using technology to enhance services.

At a glance

When: Sept 21 – Dec 13, 2020

Where: Online

Cost: $425 (10% off if you register 2 weeks before the start date)

CE Credit: 3.5 CEUs/35 LEUs

Program: 305621

Questions? Contact Meredith Lowe or Anna Palmer

Due to the high enrollment numbers for this course, at this time registration is only open to Wisconsin public library directors who need this class for certification. If you are a WI director who needs to register, please email Anna Palmer, or Meredith Lowe,


Payment and Cancellation Policy

Login information will be emailed to you a few days before the course begins

Course description

This course is part of the Wisconsin Public Library Director Certification program.

This course is eligible for the Wisconsin Public Library Director Certification Course Scholarship.


  • Community and user needs assessment
  • Outreach to the community and community building
  • Customer service
  • Programming
  • Readers’ advisory
  • Reference interview
  • Searching and research strategies
  • Evaluating resources
  • Legal/ethical issues in reference
  • Training for staff and patrons to use resources
  • Technology and physical space in service
  • Networking with other institutions and professional allies


Each week, you will be required to listen/read lectures, read/review resources, and participate actively in online discussions. There will be regularly scheduled assignments. The course is designed with working people in mind and assignments will be relevant and practical.


Meredith Lowe and Anna Palmer are graduates of and now work at the UW-Madison Information School. They have worked in public services at public and academic libraries and taught a variety of online courses for librarians.