Ryan Dowd Trainings About Libraries and Homelessness are Available on Niche Academy

The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness core training purchased by the State Library in 2019 was recently renewed for another year (access through August 2023). The online training, authored by Ryan Dowd, is available for all Ohio public and academic library staff.  The four-part training is an empathy-driven approach that provides best practices for library staff on how to understand the homeless population and serve them better. There are also practical tips on how to deal with and de-escalate common situations and issues, and make staff feel empowered and safe.  A former director of a Chicago homeless shelter, Ryan Dowd is the author of The Librarians Guide to Homelessness: An Empathy-Driven Approach to Solving Problems, Preventing Conflict, and Serving Everyone.  He travels all over the United States speaking to libraries about how to best help homeless patrons using empathy and respect.

To get started, Create a  Niche Academy account.  Once in Niche Academy, you will be prompted to create an account.

A little extra hope

If you or your staff need a little hope in these crazy times, Ryan is trying to post videos from the shelter regularly. They can be found at our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HomelessTrainingbyRyanDowd

Presented by Ryan Dowd:

  • Author of the American Library Association book, The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness.
  • Executive Director of a large homeless shelter outside of Chicago.
  • Global trainer to libraries, police departments, nonprofits and other organizations on how to compassionately manage problematic behavior from troubled individuals.

If you have trouble accessing the content, email Erin Kelsey at the State Library of Ohio at  ekelsey@library.ohio.gov.

Ryan Dowd is hosting his next live training Homeless De-Escalation 201: Nonverbal Tools That Eliminate Conflict. If you can’t attend live the replay will be available on zoom for 4 weeks and in Niche Academy 5 days after the live training.

Title: Homeless De-Escalation 201: Nonverbal Tools That Eliminate Conflict

When: December 15  at 2 p.m. ET

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/4316469293825/WN_cTSCWhiOTFOONs1OUfZpAQ

    • Why it doesn’t matter what you say (especially when working with vulnerable folks).
    • How nonverbal communication drives conflict.
    • The two parts of conflict (spoiler alert – you can only control one of them!). Five tools that eliminate most conflicts.

The January live training will be a workshop where participants can apply what they learned in Homeless De-Escalation 201. The registration information for the workshop will be sent in December.

lyer for Ryand Dowd webinar - Homeless De-Escalation 201: Nonverbal Tools That Eliminate Conflict.

Download the Next Live Training December 15, 2022 flyer (PDF – 8.5″ x 11″).

 If you have trouble accessing the training or upcoming webinars, email Erin Kelsey, Library Consultant at the State Library of Ohio at: ekelsey@library.ohio.gov.


Don’t have an account? If you work in a public or academic library, click here to create a  Niche Academy account.  Once in Niche Academy, you will be prompted to create an account.

Live webinars are added to Niche Academy within 5 days of the live event.

  • Advanced body language skills
  • Backup: How to backup a coworker during a crisis
  • Body Odor: How to talk about odor without awkwardness (Nov 2021)
  • Burnout, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue
  • Burnout and Stress (Updated): Just in case 2021 is as bad as 2020
  • COVID: How to Deal With Problem Behaviors Related to COVID-19
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s: Compassionately and effectively working with people with dementia
  • Domestic violence and sexual assault (in libraries) featuring Miranda Dube
  • Fights: How to prevent and stop them (safely!)
  • Getting Hit on by Customers: Women (and men) share their tools for stopping unwanted attention
  • Hoarding: How to help someone not get evicted
  • Homeless Children and Libraries: Special Presentation with Lydia Sigwarth (author of the new book Dear Librarian)
  • Homelessness 201: Advanced understanding of individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Homelessness Q&A with Ryan (Parts 1,  2, & 3)
  • Jerks with Homes: How to Deal with Members of the Public Who are Being Jerks About Homeless Folks
  • Kicked Out!: How to safely ask someone to leave (without calling the police)
  • Mental Illness (Part 1): How to handle problematic behavior
  • Mental Illness (Part 2): Basic Introduction to Mental Illness
  • Mental Illness (Part 3): Live Q&A with Dr. Eric Ward and Ryan Dowd
  • Ornery Teenagers: How to Compassionately and Effectively Manage Their Problem Behaviors
  • Police: How to reduce police calls and keep everyone safe in your organization
  • Prejudice: Responding to prejudicial comments from customers
  • Resolving Liberal vs. Conservative Conflict in the Workplace: Lessons from the Rwandan Genocide
  • Service Animals: Your Obligations Under the ADASupervisor Training: Tips for Managers
  • Supervisor Training: Tips for Managers
  • Too Many Bags: How to address someone bringing in too much stuff
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Invisible Cause of Homelessness
  • Unattended Children: How to talk to parents about their children’s behavior