How to Build (and Re-build) Effective Work Relationships

Create a safer, warmer, and more inclusive library by learning techniques to build and nurture authentic relationships.



Course Description 

Guest speaker sessions via Zoom:
Wednesday, Jan. 31 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm ET (recordings available)

Relationships are at the center of library outreach, but they also extend into DEI initiatives, safety, and workplace culture. This interactive half-day course will give you the initial tools to better understand how to build and maintain professional relationships internally and externally in your library. You will learn the necessary customer service skills to initiate connections and serve your community. You will leave with tangible ideas for how to build new relationships, strengthen existing ones, and repair relationship ruptures with colleagues, staff, and patrons.

The live sessions run on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 from 12:00-4:00 pm ET (recorded for on-demand viewing). Don’t miss this opportunity!


When you sign up early, you’ll have immediate access to our Early Access On Demand Resources—a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors along with rich, supporting materials in the form of readings, activities, and videos—to explore at your own pace.

Learning Outcomes

After you leave this course, you should have the ability to:
  • Initiate connections with patrons with confidence

  • Understand library customer service best practices

  • Reflect on and build your capacity for relationship building

  • Strengthen your community outreach practices

  • Increase your emotional intelligence 

  • Understand the skills needed to repair relationships


Who should take this course 

This course is geared toward public-facing librarians and frontline staff.

Expected time commitment: 

If you attend or watch the recordings of all live sessions, you'll spend approximately 4 hours on this course. You'll earn 4 hours of PD credit and a Library Journal certificate of completion. 

Live sessions are also available on demand for six months

Can’t make a live session? All guest speaker sessions are recorded and available on demand for six months following the initial broadcast.

Certificate of completion provided 

4 professional development credit hours

For support with online courses, please contact


All guest speaker sessions feature live captioning and are made available on demand after the initial broadcast. Please email upon registration if you require any special accommodations and we will make our best efforts to facilitate them.


Group Rates

Have a team attend and increase your impact!

Discounted registration fees are available for groups of 3 or more. 

Send us a request for a quote.




By registering for this event you confirm that you have read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

For support with online courses, please contact




Half-Day Online Course: Wednesday, January 31, 2024


Session 1 | 12:00-12:45 pm ET

Building Relationships 101: The Why and How of Customer Service 

How do you initiate a connection or conversation with someone? Why is customer service pivotal for library workers, and what does it have to do with relationship building? This introductory session will highlight small, tangible ways you can enhance your customer service skills to start building relationships.


Laurie Brown, Communication Skills Expert, Author of The Greet your Customer Manual and The Teleprompter Manual


Session 2 | 12:45-1:15 pm ET

Preparing for Relationships: How to Build Capacity and Engage Authentically

How do you intentionally make space to prioritize relationships alongside your other work? How do you engage authentically, especially if you're shy or introverted? This session will discuss ways you can set yourself up for success when building relationships.


Mychal Threets, Librarian 


Break | 1:15-1:30 pm ET


Session 3 | 1:30-2:15 pm ET

Building External Relationships: How to Strengthen Community Outreach 

You've initiated a connection, but what's next? How do you strengthen and deepen community relationships so that they become long-standing within your outreach practices? This session will discuss ways to invest in relationships so that they grow and are sustainable over time.


Nicole Bryan, (she, her) Neighborhood Library Supervisor at Brooklyn Public Library


Session 4 | 2:15-3:00 pm ET

Building Relationships 201: The Why and How of Communication and Emotional Intelligence

What is the role of communication in relationship building, and what kind of communication is best to facilitate connection? How do you work toward growing emotional intelligence when it's such an amorphous concept? This session will explore practical ways to grow your communication skills and help to create and build trust with colleagues and patrons.


Brianna Campbell, Strengths Coach, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator


Break | 3:00-3:15 pm ET


Session 5 | 3:15-4:00 pm ET

Rebuilding Relationships: How to Repair Ruptures

Every relationship will have ruptures and setbacks - it's normal. But how do you respond, repair, and move forward? This closing session will discuss tactics for rebuilding relationships and how to create a culture of feedback.


Stephen Jackson, (he, him) Director of Equity and Antiracism, Oak Park Public Library



Half-Day Online Course Format

Inspiring Live Guest Speakers 



Live session with Andrea Blackman and Tasneem Ansariyah Grace

Live Guest Speakers 

  • Live, expert speaker sessions with audience Q&A (session recordings available on demand if you can’t join live)
  • Option to join on camera to participate in interactive discussions and activities with course presenters and peers


Online Course Preview

A preview of how we build your library skills and bring inspiration to your projects with our online learning experience.


Online Course Features


Recordings of guest speakers

Recordings Available After The Live Session

  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live video stream (with recordings available afterward)



Early Access On Demand Resources

Early Access and Ongoing Resources To Support Learning

  • Supporting resources (articles, videos, worksheets) in the online classroom to provide a foundation for your work
  • Access all course content for six months after the course ends
  • Bonus: Register early and get immediate access to archival video recordings from related courses and other bonus content




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