New Learning E-Resources for Staff and the Public | Compendium

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL) is pleased to announce that two new statewide online learning e-resources are now available through Niche Academy, a platform of free tutorials for library staff and the general population.

PA Library Staff Academy logoThe Pennsylvania Library Staff Academy is available to anyone who works or volunteers in a Pennsylvania public, school, or academic library. Tutorials include topics such as: Library Tools for Tense Situations, ABLE: Ethics of Public Service, Elementary Student Training On Digital Citizenship, Free Citation Generators and Reopening Lives  (items related to COVID-19 and related social needs).

Logo for PA Online LearningThe PA Online Learning is open to the public, including students.  It will provide access to tutorials on popular software items, such as Excel and how to use library resources, such as POWER Library.

What You Should Know

1.  All tutorials are offered at no cost to the end user.
2.  Completion of most tutorials in the Staff Academy will generate a CE certificate. A list of completed staff tutorials is maintained by Niche Academy for access by individual learners.
3.  Tutorials have been created by Niche, other states and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.  New tutorials are continually added.
4. Our license with Niche Academy does not permit libraries, other than OCL,  to link directly to either the PA Library Staff Academy or the PA Online Academy or use the Niche logo to do so. You are encouraged to put the information about the PA Online Learning Academy on your website by directing patrons to the POWER Library website. Libraries wishing to create their own tutorials will need to purchase their own instance of Niche.

How to Access

PA Library Staff Academy
This staff academy will be accessed in the For Librarians section of POWER Library as a graphic  on the right side.
Staff without a public library specific domain (most school and academic libraries, Gmail, Hotmail, yahoo etc.), will be asked to email the administrator for access.  Those requests should go to

PA Online Learning
Public access may be obtained at POWER Library on the home page by clicking the PA Online Learning graphic. The academy will also be listed under e-resources.
All tutorials are immediately accessible.  No account or login is required.

What You Can Do
1.  Share the academies with library co-workers.
2.  Promote the PA Online Learning to students and their families.
3.  If you are the director or supervisor, make some time during the workday for library employees/volunteers to take tutorials.  Consider a learning plan for employees and use
these academies, with other learning opportunities, such as WebJunction.
4.  Let us know of any training area you would like to see in either academy.
5.  Volunteer to add a tutorial in an area of your expertise!

Please send questions or suggestions to