Tools and Strategies for Managing Frontline Challenges

Learn vital skills for dealing with some of today’s most pressing issues, including book banning, disinformation, patron and staff safety, and more, all from an equity and trauma-informed lens. 




Extend your learning and save more by pairing this course with its companion course, How to Build LGBTQIA+ Centered Spaces, Programs, and Services—starting Nov. 10. View bundle discounts at registration.


Course Description 

Guest speaker sessions via Zoom:
Thursdays,  October 20, 27, and November 3, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm ET (recordings available)

Asynchronous, facilitator-led workshop over 3 weeks

More than ever, librarians and teachers are expected to be on the front lines of challenging issues while serving their communities with empathy and compassion. In this course, you will learn tangible strategies for managing the toughest situations that arise in your libraries and classrooms. This hands-on, project-based course will give you the opportunity to engage in practice scenarios with peer and expert feedback to ensure you are prepared to tackle challenges with confidence. Along with learning to manage difficult situations, you will learn tips to maintain wellness and self-care, because working to increase the safety and comfort of any library or classroom must include staff, too. 

You’ll complete workshop assignments over 3+ weeks in an interactive online classroom environment with personal coaching from an expert in the field. In addition, you’ll have access to our foundational bonus content—rich supporting materials you can explore at your own pace, including a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors, readings, activities, and videos.

Our transformational online courses have given thousands of librarians the tools and vision for meaningful change. The live sessions run on Thursdays, October 20, 27, and November 3, 2022 from approximately 2:00-4:00 pm ET (recorded for on-demand viewing) with an ongoing facilitator-led workshop over 3 weeks. 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.

Who should take this course 

Any educator or librarian who needs support managing challenging or confrontational conversations, engaging in empathetic and trauma-informed conflict resolution, or advocating for critical information literacy and diverse materials amid censorship challenges.

Live sessions are also available on demand 

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

Certificate of completion provided 

15 professional development credits are available

For support with online courses, please contact





Group Rates

Have a team attend and increase your impact!

Discounted registration fees are available for groups of 3 or more. When you register your team for our online courses, they will be placed in the same small workshop group, where discussions and project-based assignments receive feedback from an experienced librarian.

Send us a request for a quote.

If your group prefers to work separately, just let us know.


Curriculum Advisor


Martha Hickson

Martha Hickson has been a high school librarian since 2005. Her work has been featured in School Library Journal, Booklist, KnowledgeQuest, the ALA Intellectual Freedom blog, and School Librarian’s Workshop. She has been a presenter at conferences and webinars, including the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), Future Ready Schools, and the Freedom to Read Foundation. She has coordinated successful defenses to six book challenges since 2019. In recognition of her work defending students’ right to read, Martha has received intellectual freedom honors from AASL, NJLA, NJASL, and the National Council of Teachers of English. In 2022, the American Library Association presented Martha with the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity. 



Rob Simmons 

Rob Simmons started his role as Director of Social Services and Public Safety at Oak Park Public Library (IL) in March of 2016. Rob is one of the first social workers hired to integrate a social services model into a public library system in the United States. His innovative work has resulted in programs that provide resources such as: free mental health assessments and counseling, educational support for low-income students, supportive housing advocacy, and employment assistance. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University, and a Master’s degree in Social-Service Administration from The University of Chicago.


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



Course Format

One-Week Timeline (Course Runs 3+ Weeks)

DAYS 1-2

On Demand


2.5 hours

DAYS 4-7

1-2 hours (optional)



- Resources

- Discussions

- Bonus Content


- Guest speakers via webcast

- Q&A via chat

- Recordings available on demand


- Project-based homework, applied to your job

- Personalized feedback from a facilitator

- Group discussion in a workshop setting


- Facilitator-led feedback


Gather data and set goals


Identify gaps and priorities


Synthesize your action plan




Inspiring Live Guest Speakers + Facilitated Group Workshop for Project-Based Learning



Live session with Andrea Blackman and Tasneem Ansariyah Grace

Live Guest Speakers Each Week

  • Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats
  • Map out your own initiatives with guidance from an expert advisor
  • Leave with refined, robust strategies designed to make a lasting impact on your community
  • Workshop tangible antiracist approaches to your work with input from peer groups


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)
  • Instructor-led online course features personalized interaction over 3+ weeks


Facilitator-led workshop

Online Classroom Organizes All Materials

  • Workshop assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment in the workshop to help sort out challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums


Early Access On Demand Resources

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



Full program will be announced soon.


Full program will be announced soon.



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