Dramatically improve staff confidence with comprehensive training

Staff members can complete training online and on their own schedule

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Trusted by 1000+ Public Library Systems

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Core Concept

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It’s possible to deliver comprehensive staff training without major administrative overhead, but many libraries can’t do that yet because they don’t use online training effectively.

Traditional training methods rely on live (usually in-person) training delivery and limit themselves to in-house expertise. The time required for in-house experts to create and deliver training (in addition to their regular duties) severely limits what training is available and how many people get trained.

More effective, always available, online training is the key to increasing the kinds of training available, the impact of that training, and the number of people getting trained.

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The Process That Makes the Difference

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Old Way

Training is mostly in-person. Requires schedule coordination and time away from other duties. Everyone has to move at the same pace, too slow for some, too fast for others. Options for measuring learning are limited.

New Approach

Learners can fit training into their own schedule. Learners move at their own pace, reviewing or moving faster according to their own needs.

Online training is easier to schedule.

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Old Way

Training mostly relies on in-house expertise. It's limited to the skills of current staff and their availability to create and deliver instruction.

New Way

Training draws from the skillsets of a global body of experts. Training can be top quality in terms of the expertise it reflects and the effectiveness of the instructional design. Because more training is available, it can be matched to the unique needs and interests of individual learners.

Tapping into a global pool of training material increases learner engagement by increasing the availability of high quality and individually relevant training.

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Old Way

Tracking what training has been assigned and what has been completed involves significant administrative overhead. Spreadsheets and other documents are used for approving specific trainings, collecting and recording certificates, coordinating inputs from multiple managers, etc.

New Way

Training assignment and tracking is managed in a single unified system. Quizzes, response prompts, and activities measure learning outcomes. Training assignments are based on staff roles as well as individual needs. Learner reports are automatically updated.

An effective learning management system makes it much easier to invite learners and track their learning progress over time.

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Case Studies

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Niche Academy Helps You

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Dramatically improve staff performance without major new administrative overhead

 

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Reduce the scheduling headaches associated with live training sessions

 

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Avoid the cost of creating training that other experts have already made

 

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Make staff feel more confident in all aspects of their work and expand their individual power to make a difference

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How It Works

Use a Learning Management System

By implementing Niche Academy in place of other learning management systems, you will save up to $3000/yr. Create, edit, and upload tutorials and pathways quickly & easily, right from the platform.

Use Ready-Made Training

Most library training is limited by the expertise of current staff, as well as their availability. With Niche Academy, you'll have access to a large selection of ready-to-use instructional videos from experts all over the world. You'll also have access to tutorials created by other libraries and library experts.

 

Always Available Online Training

Save time and maximize efficiency by allowing staff to complete training on their own time. The Niche Academy platforms allows you to set training requirements and track progress in real time.

 

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

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

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 subscribes to Niche Academy, why does my local library need it?

A: If your state library’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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