Increase eResource circulation using online training

Many customers see increases of 70% or more in just 1 year

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Trusted by 1000+ Library Systems

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By the Numbers

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The Process That Makes the Difference

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Many patrons prefer self help, or need help when staff are not available

Old Way

  • eResource training is usually live, either in person or over the phone.
  • Only patrons who call the library or show up in person during library hours are served.
  • Some help seekers don't connect with a staff member who knows the resources.

New Way

  • eResource training is always available online, for patrons and for staff.
  • Prospective users can explore eResource offerings at any time.
  • Live sessions are more effective because learners have already seen the online training or have the option to refer back to it.
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Extra navigation steps & distractions block patrons with limited tech skills.

Old Way

  • Patrons using video tutorials on YouTube get distracted by other suggested videos.
  • Patrons who navigate to tutorials on a vendor's website get lost and never make it back to the eResources on the library website.

New Way

  • Patrons use video tutorials that don't offer distracting suggestions.
  • Tutorials are easy to find because they're embedded seamlessly & prominently into the library website
  • Tutorials include links directly to library resources.
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Essential resource knowledge can be distributed to all staff, not just specialists.

Old Way

  • Questions about eResources always get routed to just a few staff.
  • Help with eResources is often delayed or unavailable.
  • Patrons are less likely to connect library resources with their own real needs.

New Way

  • All public-facing staff know how to recommend eResources appropriately and help patrons get started with using them.
  • The number of high-impact patron-staff interactions increases significantly.
  • Staff include eResources as a natural part of library programming.
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Up-to-date training creates a good experience for patrons and for staff.

Old Way

  • Training is created in a big one-time effort.
  • Training becomes outdated as intended updates don't happen.
  • Patrons get frustrated and staff are wary of introducing the resources.

New Way

  • Training is continually updated.
  • Patrons use the training successfully.
  • Staff feel confident presenting resources to patrons.
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Case Studies

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Niche Academy Helps You...

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Dramatically increase circulation of your electronic resources without major new staff/time investments.

 

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Offload the burden and the cost of keeping your eResource training up-to-date.

 

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Avoid the cost of continual website updates to keep your eResources current and relevant.

 

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Feel confident introducing any patron to any eResource without major new training overhead.

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How It Works

Always Available Online Training

Most library training is done live and in-person, meaning not all who are interested are able to attend. By offering library instruction online, you are able to reach a wider audience and help more members of your community.

Embed Tutorials Into Your Website

Niche Academy provides 7 different kinds of tutorial widgets that can be seamlessly integrated into your website in 10 minutes or less, completely covered by Niche Academy Support.

Maintain Instruction Over Time

Online library instruction can be difficult to maintain over time, especially as resources change and evolve. Niche Academy regularly updates online resource tutorials, so that your training is always up to date.

Train All Public-Facing Staff

Ensure all public-facing staff are equipped to answer questions from patrons regarding online resources. Niche Academy includes staff-focused versions of all our eResource tutorials which include professional development elements like hands-on exercises, talking points, & quizzes.

Get a Price

Our Guarantee: If you implement Niche Academy widgets in your website and train your public-facing staff,

we guarantee an increase in usage of your eResources or we will credit you a full year for free.

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Questions?

Q: Are we limited to a certain number of training and support hours?

A: No. A Niche Academy subscription includes unlimited professional support. See the answer above on what’s included in the price.


Q: What’s the process for reaching Niche Academy support?

A: Niche Academy support specialists can be reached by phone, by email, or through questions submitted within the platform itself. In addition to the live support, Niche Academy provides a searchable knowledge base and a collection of self-paced help tutorials covering basic administrative tasks and the process for tutorial creation.


Q: What maintenance and support is included with a Niche Academy subscription?

A: Niche Academy provides live technical support during business hours. There is no additional charge levied for Niche Academy support and there are no support tiers. Small customers get the same thoughtful attention as everyone else.  

All aspects of initial onboarding are included in the Niche Academy support offering including:

  • The creation of customer academies and initial population of appropriate tutorials from the Niche Academy marketplace.
  • Basic configuration of tutorials within each customer academy including invitation of learners, the addition of custom links, and showing or hiding available tutorial elements appropriately for the intended audience.
  • The creation of website widgets and their integration into a customer’s website. When a customer doesn’t have administrative access to their website, we work directly with the third party who does to ensure efficient communication. In many cases, our customers provide temporary administrative access to Niche Academy support staff in order to maximize the efficiency of widget implementation.
  • Live training calls with all customer staff that need to learn how to use Niche Academy.


Q: How long does it take for Niche Academy to update tutorials when resources change?

A: Depending on the scope of the change, Niche Academy can turn around an update within a few days to a few weeks. Because we actively watch for new and upcoming changes, we’re often able to make the updates before most of our customers are even aware of the change. In some notable cases, we’ve made updates even before the vendor sales staff knew the changes were coming.


Q: Are accessibility features available?

A: Yes. Niche Academy is compliant with the WCAG 2.1 standard at the AA level. This is something we work hard to maintain as we continuously update the platform. If you spot anything that’s slipped through our testing, please let us know. A thorough enumeration of our compliance level is available in the Niche Academy Accessibility Conformance Report.

Q: What if I can’t afford this?

A: Each library needs to determine for itself the value of increasing circulation numbers and program participation rates relative to other priorities for limited library funds. We do make an effort to keep the cost of Niche Academy very low relative to the value we provide. Over the last 6 years, we have increased pricing for new customers commensurate with the increasing value of the service we provide. It is our policy, however, not to raise prices for our existing customers. Libraries are renewed at their original subscription price. Libraries who subscribe at our current pricing will pay less than libraries who start later on. This policy is one factor contributing to a renewal rate of over 95%.


Q: Will this work for a library like mine?

A: We serve libraries of every known shape, size, location, and budget. We serve small libraries with just a few staff as well as the largest systems with many hundreds of employees. We serve libraries that are almost entirely staffed by part timers and volunteers as well as libraries with highly specialized professionals. We serve libraries located on inner city streets as well as on rural routes. We serve libraries with thriving and secure budgets as well as those facing serious cuts. We have built the platform to add value for libraries that can create unique and extensive in-house training, but also get results as a plug-in solution that can work with near zero administrative overhead.


Q: If my state library or consortium subscribes to Niche Academy, why does my local library need it?

A: If your state library’s or your consortium's subscription includes a subscription for each local library, you won’t need a separate subscription. If your state library’s subscription does not include a subscription for each local library, you’ll be able to access training that the state library provides, but you won’t have the ability to do any of following:

  • Add widgets to your own website.
  • Create your own local academies.
  • Assign and track training at the local level.
  • Create your own tutorials.

The most significant gains in program participation and eResource usage come when widgets are available within your local library’s website and patrons are connecting to programs created by local librarians.

 

 

 

More questions? Check out our FAQ page.

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