I know it seems a little overboard to say that, but teachers are going to LOVE us after we release our handouts for our new Gale database of online courses. The courses are real, approximately 6-week courses made through ed2go. These courses are usually offered through community colleges for around $100-500, so we’re already saving patrons this much every time they sign up for a course! Each participant gets a certificate of completion after they finish the course, which is great for resumes and showing your boss that you actually took the course instead of just saying you did.

But my favorite part is that there is a Teaching & Education section. This is all continuing education for teachers. I was curious about the CE certificate for this. I thought it would be awesome if teachers could get real credit that they could send into the state to re-up their teacher license. Teachers need a ridiculous number of credits, around 240 hours a year. This is hard to collect when you are a super busy teacher! Bam, each course is about 24 hours of credit. Say what?! The teachers are going to flip when they hear about this. So we called the vendor rep for Gale, and she said that if the superintendent okays it, he can write the evaluation/credit forms as a “host” for the course.

So, I got all excited and set up an appointment with the superintendent. I showed him how to use the database/course, I showed him where the teaching section was, then I showed him the large selection of courses in things that teachers would love and where the syllabus for each course was so he could audit the content and pre-approve courses. He loved it. I was so excited.

Here’s what we get to do for our teachers now, the teacher will get a database card through us that they can use to access the course if they don’t live in the district. They will ask the superintendent, “hey can I take this class on differentiation for credit?” He’ll say, “go for it,” and will prepare the official forms. Then, the teacher will take the course, print the CE certificate and send it to the superintendent where they will then get CPDU credits that they can turn into the state!

Double plus: originally, we didn’t have database cards for the teachers because our library thought there would be too much red tape. I had been pushing for this since I started, so I was really glad to see that it’s easier than you may think so set this up (and do it legally). I like that the superintendent said, well why can’t all the teachers take this and get cards? And I was finally able to respond, okay sure!

We made a handout on how to use Gale and how to get to the education courses. We’re going to give it to the superintendent, who will give it to the principals, who will give it to all their staff. Even though it kind of gets out of our hands after that and we have to cross our fingers, I think top down marketing is awesome because they WILL do it if the superintendent backs it audibly. Yes!

Both sides are happy. The teachers have more access to the databases for themselves and to use in the classroom teaching the students. They get tons of credits for renewal. The superintendent doesn’t have to pay for the professional development (the library obviously foots the bill for the database). And we as a public library get crazy good statistics on our latest new database! I’m so happy! Hopefully, this will lead teachers to explore more of our databases as they feel comfortable or they will ask me to come in and show them now that they have access. Let there be access! *happy dances*

Ok. I’ll stop now.