ABLE

Alternative Basic Library EducationWelcome to Alternative Basic Library Education (ABLE) ~ a free, online learning platform that provides basic library knowledge and skills for library workers who have no formal education in library science. The ABLE program is not designed to replace university level training in library science and no college credit is offered.  Anyone interested in improving their knowledge of library basics is welcome to take these courses.   At the end of each course, once you successfully pass the final test, you will be prompted to print a Certificate of Completion.

ABLE's History

ABLE has been providing library basics for library staff world-wide since 1998. Over 5,000 ABLE Course Completion Certificates have been printed and distributed to individuals in 32 countries.A recent user commented:
Thank you for such generosity in sharing your knowledge.....I work as a library aide in two schools in Brisbane, Australia. Your courses will be invaluable to me and many others....A big thank you to all the people at the Idaho Commission for Libraries whose thoughtfulness, knowledge and hard work has contributed to this venture.
All the best, Helen Abbott, Teacher Aide, Brisbane, Australia
Tips for Maximizing Your ABLE Learning Experience

ABLE Courses

Collection Development Sequence

  1. Writing a Collection Development Policy (1 contact hour)
  2. Collection Assessment (1.5 contact hours)
  3. Materials Selection (1.5 contact hours)
  4. Collection Maintenance (2 contact hours)
  5. Bonus Course:  Merchandising (1.5 contact hours)

Technical Services Sequence

  1. Introduction to Technical Services and Catalog Records (1.5 contact hours)
  2. Introduction to Subject Headings (3 contact hours)
  3. Introduction to Dewey Classification (2 contact hours)
  4. Introduction to MARC Cataloging (1 contact hour)

Public Services Sequence

  1. The Reference Interview (2.0 contact hours)
  2. Evaluating Reference Sources (2.0 contact hours)
  3. Basic Reference Sources (3.0 contact hours)
  4. Ethics and Public Service (2.0 contact hours)

More Information:

  • Upon completing all three sequences of the ABLE program, any learner may request a program completion certificate from the Idaho Commission for Libraries via this survey.
  • Click here for a list of states which accept these courses for their continuing education programs. 
  • For vision impaired learners, you can access the ABLE scripts at http://libraries.idaho.gov/ablescripts
  • Questions or comments may be directed to the Idaho Commission for Libraries' Continuing Education Consultant at (208) 334-2150 or e-mail Shirley Biladeau.
  • SABLE Courses Youth Services Sequence

This project is funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.