PL Portal

An online learning platform for NSW public library staff

person typing on a laptop with screen showing login screen for learning portal

PL Portal is an online learning platform for NSW public library staff, developed by the Public Library Services team at the State Library of NSW.   The aim of the portal is to enable public library staff to develop an understanding of the collections and services of the State Library.

Who is the portal for?

Access to the PL Portal is for staff working in NSW public libraries.

The training will suit all levels of staff including new public library staff and those seeking to refresh their knowledge.

What’s on PL Portal? 

The portal provides training for public library staff on a range of topics.  The platform includes interactive exercises such as quizzes, embedded videos and text. This supports a variety of learning styles. 

The training is divided into two different types: short courses and mini modules.

Short courses

These are self-paced courses covering a specific topic or service relating to NSW public libraries. Each course is structured in modules containing a variety of different content types (such as full-text content, videos, presentations, and interactive learning objects) as well as learning activities and assessment. They can vary in duration, with most courses being able to be completed in a few hours. Participants can complete the courses over more than one session. You can save your progress and return to complete the courses at any time.

There are three short training courses on the portal:

Discover SL: an introduction to the State Library of NSW

In this course you will learn about the services that the State Library offers you and your clients – our collections, services, and how we can assist public library staff. 

At the end of the course you will be able to: 

  • understand the role of and brief history of the State Library of NSW  
  • identify and understand the difference between key State Library collections 
  • conduct simple searches for books and pictures in the State Library’s catalogues  
  • understand the role of Public Library Services and the services it provides to public libraries in NSW.
Find Legal Answers

In this course you will learn about the Find Legal Answers service - what it is and how you can provide legal information to your community.  

At the end of the course you will be able to: 

  • understand what the Find Legal Answers service is
  • understand what legal information is 
  • understand the different types of legal information  
  • understand the difference between legal information and legal advice   
  • use the books in the Find Legal Answers Tool Kit collection    
  • use the Find Legal Answers website  
  • know how to promote Find Legal Answers to the community.

In this course you will learn about indyreads - what it is, why you would use it and how you can promote it to your community.

At the end of the course you will be able to:  

  • understand what indyreads is and why it is useful
  • know what is available on indyreads
  • use the indyreads app
  • promote indyreads to your community
  • know where to get help.

Mini modules

This is planned as a collection of single modules on different subjects that can be accessed at any time. The aim of a mini module is to teach a skill or provide an overview about a topic in less than 15 minutes.

There is one mini module on the portal:

Connect with the public library network

This 15-minute module explores five ways that you can connect with the NSW public library network.

How to sign up

Access to the online learning portal is free and available to any NSW public library staff member via a simple sign-up process:

  1. Go to
  2. Select your library service from the list of organisations
  3. Enter the organisational password PLN2021
  4. You will be asked to create your own account with your email address as your username and a personal password
  5. Log in to your account to complete the training

Log in to PL Portal

ALIA CPD scheme

If you are participating in the ALIA CPD scheme, you can claim this training as part of your CPD log.