Training for library staff

Through CLEO’s work with libraries, we’ve learned that many library patrons ask for help with legal questions. They may come to their library to ask where to get information about their rights at work, problems with their landlord, or other common legal problems.

Are you a library staff person in Ontario who wants to learn more about helping library users find accurate legal information? We’ve developed several resources, including workshops, a webinar, and an online course.

CLEO workshops and webinar for library staff

CLEO provides training workshops in person and through webinars for library staff and other community workers to give them the skills and confidence to help people with legal problems.

Another resource for library staff who want to learn more about this is our webinar “Helping people find good legal information”. We hosted this webinar in partnership with the Southern Ontario Library Service.

For more information, you can also have a look at CLEO's presentation slides for library staff created in April 2017.

CLEO’s online course for library staff: Building Skills in Legal Information and Referral

Our most recent initiative for training library staff is a free online legal information training course. Our next 8-week course will start on April 9, 2018. See more information about the course just below, and register soon as we have limited space!

The online course, developed by CLEO and the Ontario Library Association, will give library staff skills and confidence to help their patrons find legal and referral information.

This is a screenshot from an online course for library staff in Ontario called "Building Skills in Legal Information and Referral". The online course has been developed by Community Legal Education Ontario or CLEO, and the Ontario Library Association or OLA.

We first offered this course in the fall of 2017, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the library staff who participated:

  • 100% of participants gave the course a 4 or 5 star rating.
  • 100% of participants would recommend it to their peers.
  • 100% of participants felt more confident in helping people with legal problems after taking the course.

So, we’ve decided to run the course again from April 9, 2018 through June 3, 2018. We’ve designed the course so that people can complete it at the times most convenient for them. Most participants will spend 1-2 hours per week on the course.

View a 3-minute video about the course.

Participants in the course will watch a series of short, engaging video clips that explore the role of library staff in helping people with legal problems and offer tools for providing reliable legal information and legal referrals. Legal experts in housing, employment, family, and consumer law will then discuss some of the most common problems library staff might hear about, and give suggestions on helpful information and referrals participants can provide in response.

Participants will complete quizzes and short written responses throughout the course and receive personalized feedback from instructors. When they complete the course, participants will receive a certificate as a Legal Information and Referral Specialist.

Registration is now open and will be capped at 30 participants. First come, first enrolled!

For more information about CLEO's work with libraries, or to find out more about how you can book a training session for your library, contact Michelle Cader, CLEO's Community Outreach Manager. Michelle can be reached at (416) 408-4420, ext. 826, or at