Learning about learning circles

By participating in a learning circle

From the folks who brought you learning circles

How to Use This Course

This course provides an opportunity to explore the concepts, skills, and resources needed to get started facilitating peer learning in a library.


This training is designed to be run by either a library staff person or a facilitator who is already familiar with the library. You should allow 90-120 minutes for each section, either all at once or in three weekly meetings.

Course Overview

This course is designed to follow a progression:

  • The beginning focuses on experiences, which will provide a context. The goal is for facilitators’ own experiences to influence their approach to leading other learners.
  • After we discuss experiences, we will discuss values as they relate to adult learning – the values of the creators of this course and the values of the people in the room taking the course. The goal here is to generalize our own experiences into a set of shared values that we can bring into learning experiences that we lead.
  • Finally, the course focuses on ways to enact those values – specifically, by facilitating learning at the library. Ideally, the group will be excited about the shared values you discuss and will feel motivated to act on them.

As facilitator of this course, make a point to check in on how your group is progressing through the material. Has everyone shared experiences? Have the discussions been sufficient to establish values? Are those values clearly connected to the learning experiences that you are preparing the group to lead?

Keep in mind that this course is not about checking boxes – the discussion is the most important part. Check in with your group regularly to see how they are progressing, and feel empowered to change the agenda if the conversation feels productive.

Facilitator Resources

Each section includes a downloadable facilitator’s agenda with notes and timings. The training works best with 4-10 people.

This course can be used in one of two different ways. Choose one based on the room set-up you intend to use:

If the training will be in a room with people at a table or in rows of chairs with a projector or large screen (Conference Room Style), use this slide presentation.

If the training will be at a table or in a lab with everyone using their computer, use the web-based course, which includes embedded slides and other content broken up by sections.