About This Course

In recent years many have realized the importance of better understanding the effects of trauma. When the library services we provide are informed by a basic knowledge of how traumatic experiences and traumatic stress may impact the people we are serving, things are likely to turn out better. However, while more libraries are adding social workers to their staff, those in small and rural libraries may be wondering how they can adopt a trauma-informed approach without access to the resources that a larger library or a library in an urban community may have. In this course, tailored to the needs and perspective of those in libraries serving small and/or rural communities, you will learn to:

  • Define trauma
  • Describe the long-lasting impact of adverse childhood experiences
  • Identify ways library staff can work together to stay engaged and healthy while frequently working with people who have experienced challenges, suffering, and trauma
  • List symptoms of compassion fatigue
  • Apply a trauma-informed approach to one-to-one interactions
  • Think beyond one-to-one interactions and incorporate knowledge of trauma into library services, policies, and practices
  • Identify potential community partners to support a trauma-informed approach to library services
  • Discover relevant resources in small and rural communities

Tiffany Russell, licensed clinical social worker and the Social Services Manager at Niles District Library, is the instructor for this course, which was offered as a four-week course in November 2020.

How This On Demand Course Works

Infopeople on Demand courses provide an opportunity to take discounted versions of recent Infopeople courses, repackaged as asynchronous courses so that learners can take them any time. While instructors are not available for discussion or feedback, these courses are designed so that learners have unlimited access to materials and can participate at their own pace.

The course fee is $75. To pay by credit card, click on the "enroll in course" button above. 

Questions? Please contact [email protected].


  Introduction and Overview
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  Unit 1: What Is Trauma?
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  Unit 2: Compassion Fatigue
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  Unit 3: Trauma-Informed Interactions and Library Services
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  Unit 4: Partners and Resources
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Infopeople: The Source of Online Learning

for Library People

Infopeople is part of the Califa Group, a nonprofit consortium of more than 230 libraries committed to unleashing the impact of libraries. Infopeople provides library staff quality continuing education opportunities that are tailored to library needs and developed by experienced library professionals. Training formats include 2-6 week online courses that include both synchronous and asynchronous components; on demand, self-paced courses; and free one-hour webinars.