Double your library usage in one year with self-service  programs and library instruction

What kind of library usage would you most like to grow?

In-person visits? Online visits? Electronic resources?

Niche Academy helps with all of this.

Our professional development packages help your staff create inclusive and tell-my-friends-worthy in-person experiences.

Our self-service eResource tutorials help people have great first experiences with eBooks, databases, and more.

Our program portal helps you reach more people with online versions of your most popular programs.

Get a Price
 

Trusted by 1000+ Library Systems

14-1
spl-logotsp
opl-logotsp (1)
15-1
slcpls-logotsp
sdcl-logotsp
13-1
logos (1)
5YearPlatinumLogo-1
Interested in staff training?
Interested in offering storytime online?

Real examples of eResource circulation growth

 learning management platform
 learning management platform
 learning management platform
 learning management platform
 learning management platform
 learning management platform
 learning management platform
 learning management platform
 learning management platform
See for Yourself with a Free Trial

The Process That Makes the Difference

1-Sep-02-2021-01-53-01-88-PM

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

Old Way

eResource training requires an appointment or the availability of specific staff people. People who are looking outside of regular hours or who are reluctant to ask don't get served

New Way

Self-service eResource tutorials are prominent on the library website and give enough instruction for a satisfying first experience.
2-Sep-02-2021-01-53-01-88-PM

All public-facing staff can become eResource ambassadors.

Old Way

Many (sometimes most) staff members are not confident introducing people to the eResources. Many people never discover things they would love—audiobooks for commuters, language tools for English learners, research databases for entrepreneurs...

New Way

All public-facing staff know how to introduce each resource and can confidently direct people to up-to-date online instructions.
3-Sep-02-2021-01-53-01-91-PM

Many more people benefit from library experiences when you remove barriers to participation.

Old Way

Storytimes and other programs are only available at specific times, and often only in a specific place. Lots of people who would be interested miss out.

New Way

Interactive online versions of programs run by a familiar local librarian are always available with a single click, gated, perhaps with a library card prompt to make sure you're on the right side of copyright law. Everyone who is interested can participate.
4-Sep-02-2021-01-53-01-92-PM

Fully tapping the potential of your staff creates great library experiences that people want to tell their friends about.

Old Way

Staff training (particularly for part-timers, paraprofessionals, and volunteers) is limited to the basic functions of the job. They don't get trained on things like how to deliver next-level customer service, de-escalate tense situations, or create inclusive spaces. Patron experiences are less than what they could be. 

New Way

All staff have access to self-paced online professional development appropriate for their job. They create consistently memorable and positive customer experiences.
Set Up a Free Trial

Case Studies

Download Case Study
Download Case Study
Download Case Study
Download Case Study

Niche Academy Helps You...

check

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

 

check

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

 

check

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

 

check

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

Free Trial Image (1)

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.

educational content management system

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.

bgcta-1

Want to know more?

Get a Price