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LET'S TALK LIBRARIES

A blog from the Southern Ontario Library Service

Why EXCEL?

Registration for the EXCEL distance education program is open in LearnHQ. Act quickly if you’d like to register – the deadline is Friday, January 8thEXCEL is perfect for those working or volunteering in Ontario public libraries with little to no formal library training. Telephone and e-mail interaction with an assigned instructor makes the program unique. CEO Jane Wouda recognized the value of such instruction when she wrote us to say that “The mentoring of the great EXCEL advisors and the EXCEL courses themselves have made a huge difference in the running and governance of the Admaston/Bromley Public Library.”

Since 1988, more than 857 individuals have completed the requirements for a certificate. Of these graduates, 160 are (or were before they retired) CEOs of public libraries in Ontario. This represents 19% of EXCEL graduates. Of the 331 library systems in Ontario, 208 can claim graduates of the EXCEL program, representing a remarkable 63% participation rate among Ontario public libraries. Many other library staff have taken individual courses of interest. 

Students find courses practical; student Lillian Jones wrote “the Excel courses have been invaluable to me in my work at the Hornepayne Public Library. Our library programming has improved since I have taken the EXCEL courses as it has helped me come up with more ideas, and given me the tools to know where to look for ideas.”

The program is offered in three 14-week semesters, with 18 different courses tied to the five basic elements within the SOLS Competencies Index. In the upcoming semester within the Public Service competency, we offer Information Services, Library Marketing and Programming. Within the Collection Management competency, we offer Basic Collection Development, Collection Development for Young Adults and Collection Organization.