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Professional Development Resources for HPL Staff

New Learning Opportunities as of March 20th 2020:

Working-From-Home Essentials

Accessing Office 365 - PDF 

Accessing Office 365 - Microsoft Word

  • Use these instructions to log into your Office 365 HPL account. If you need help logging in, contact the DT Service Desk (905-546-3200 x3242).


Microsoft Teams Essentials Training –LinkedIn Learning

  • For staff that are communicating via Microsoft Teams, check out this 2-hour course on the basics of Microsoft Teams. You will need to access LinkedIn Learning from and sign in with your library card.
  • Stay tuned for more training on Microsoft Teams from the DT Department.


Time Management: Working From Home – LinkedIn Learning

  • You will need to access LinkedIn Learning from and sign in with your library card.

Article: Coronavirus Could Force Teams to Work Remotely (Harvard Business Review)

Article:  Don’t work in your pyjamas and 6 more expert tips for working from home (BC Business)

And some additional working-from-home tips from staff:

1. Get ready for work (clothes + hygiene) as if you’re about to head out to the office.

2. Choose a dedicated workspace that is separate from your living area, and make sure if you live with people that they understand you’re working and they need to respect that.

3. "Commute" to work. Leave the house and go for a walk/run/bike before and after work, which mentally signal work starts and work ends.

4. Ensure you’re interacting with others during the day and if there aren’t any set up, go ahead and initiate a virtual coffee chat with a colleague.

5. Take clear breaks - sometimes it helps to set a timer and force focus during that time

6. Plan out what you’ll be working on ahead of time.

7. Keep healthy snacks in the house as you will definitely eat it during the day.

8. Put on your "work shoes". Wear shoes during the work day and take them off when the day is over.

9. Overcommunicate. When in doubt, repeat yourself and ask the same question again.

10. Understand your boundaries (particularly time) and do what’s right for you.


How to Set Up a Home Workstation to Avoid Muscle Strain, Headaches, and Sore Eyes (Consumer Reports)


  • You’ll need to first create an account with Coursera (you can use your HPL email). It will ask you multiple times to fill in additional information about your job and interests in order to get personalized recommendations, but you can skip this step at the bottom of the screen.
  •  When accessing the courses below, be sure not to choose any of the paid options – all of the courses below have a free option (I.e. no certificate, audit only, etc.).


Indigenous Canada (12 lessons)
Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.


Teamwork Skills: Communicating Effectively in Groups (4 lessons)

Effective teamwork and group communication are essential for your professional and personal success. In this course you will learn to: make better decisions, be more creative and innovative, manage conflict and work with difficult group members, negotiate for preferred outcomes, improve group communication in virtual environments, develop a better overall understanding of human interaction, and work more effectively as a team. Our goal is to help you understand these important dynamics of group communication and learn how to put them into practice to improve your overall teamwork.


The Science of Well-Being (10 lessons)

In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.

Fun Note: March 20th is International Day of Happiness!



Together in Isolation: Engaging Your Users During COVID-19 (The Partnership)

  • Register before spots run out!

How to Combat COVID-19 Related Misinformation (Federation of Ontario Public Libraries)

  • Archive to be posted March 23rd


HPL’s Online Resources - Tutorials

Gale Business: Plan Builder (Small Business Builder)

Health and Medicine (OneFile) (Health Reference Centre Academic)

Health and Wellness (Health and Wellness Resource Centre)

Auto Repair Source

OverDrive On-Demand Webinars

Crash Course Novelist Webinars


Of Interest to Library Pages

Note:  Some of these items included below are pdf format files that require Adobe Acrobat Reader software.  Many of you will have that already installed on your computer. If not, you can use the link that will appear and download for free. Or, if you prefer not to do that you have lots of other items in this section and in the wider list that you may choose to explore.

  • Cedar Rapids Public Library Training Videos


This link is to a web page with links to several training videos used with volunteers that assist with shelving in Cedar Rapids Public Library, a community public library in the United States.  HPL is grateful to have a team of library staff that do this work.  The links are included here because for the most part they are relevant in our environment and because you may enjoy seeing how the work you do is done elsewhere.


The first video might not immediately seem to apply because the speaker is speaking to the Cedar Rapids volunteers.  However, it definitely does apply because it describes the importance of the work you do; how it matters to library customers and how it assists information staff.


The other videos refer at times to procedures unique to the volunteers at Cedar Rapids such as how they deal with items in their shelfreading section that belong elsewhere in the library and how damaged materials are dealt with.  These videos are shared with confidence that you are aware of HPL procedures and that you will discuss questions later with your supervisor. 




This link is a guide to shifting items on library shelves when needed. It is from Rutgers University Library but its content applies to us and is worth reviewing.  The one thing that looks a bit different at HPL is that we use the Dewey Decimal system.  There is an image in the guide that shows a chart with Library of Congress call numbers.  You can ignore that chart.  It is an illustration only and the techniques described should be clear from the written instructions.


Digital Literacy

From Microsoft: 


  • Transcript files are available from each of these pages if you need them.
  • Some of these courses provide the option to print a completion certificate.  Printing is optional but don’t forget to note your work in your Learning Log.


  1.  Participate safely and responsibly online.  (26 minutes)


  1. Collaborate and manage content digitally (1 hour 5 minutes)

In this learning path, you will be introduced to the cloud services like OneDrive and how to apply their basic functions. You will also learn how to collaborate with others on Word documents. In addition, you will learn how to use Microsoft Outlook to manage your tasks, time and contacts.


  1. Create digital content (1 hour 9 minutes)

In this learning path, you will be introduced to Microsoft Office. You will learn how to perform the basic functions in Microsoft Word. You will learn how to interact with text, pictures, lists and other types of objects. You will also deal with PDF files.


Do you know any children that aren’t in school?

Learn at Home:  The Government of Ontario has partnered with TVO and TFO to create a learning site available from  Find supplementary resources for elementary and secondary students to practice math and literacy skills and learn at home.


Need to Smile?

Overdramatic Dog

The Kitten and the Ducklings