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Library Staff training: High Tech & High Touch

2008 April 7
by Lichen Rancourt

In this session I’m hoping to get ideas for how to interest the uninterested on my staff. Or even how to empower the interested but reluctant or shy or, at the very least, convince those who think what I do is needless play, that it is actually an important and relevant initiative.

Him and me.

First: Donovan Deakin (WebJunction)
Market Research Trends.

  • An increase in interest and adoption of online tools. Shoot, is this about HOW to get online staff training and not HOW to train staff to even get online? Darnit anyway.
  • F2F is most popular, conferences, online training
  • Blended learning.
  • Wimba classroom; livemeeting.
  • Formal training plans.
  • Patron Services Content

I am not following this very well. It’s too much theory and not enough of what to do actually do.

  • Information technology, computer applications and tools, web 2.0
  • Impact and ROI of training: morale/job satisfaction, attendance and evaluation of trainings, job performance ratings, improved library services. What if the staff doesn’t want to come or if they do, they don’t show an interest in implementing it on behalf of the library?
  • fit training design into current schedules
  • Budgets static, projected to increase

More now by Rebecca Ranallo Kahl
Maybe this will be more what I was hoping for.

  • Contracted to get training from community college for staff and then implemented it in house.
  • New public website with increased staff responsibility. All staff responsible for web content. This is what I would like to do.
  • Dedicated staff for training helped to comfort staff who were reluctant to adopt.
  • Intranet which runs on same system as their cms so those may be comfortable contributing to intranet can then bring it to the cms.
  • Committed funds for training and external trainers.
  • Let staff PLAY with tools before they have to do it in public. How to get them to try and give it time to learn?
  • Test case: Employee time and payroll software. System upgrade. All employees training by online tutorial. Sustainable. Designed for current staff. Useable as an orientation tool for new staff.
  • Strategic Planning interactively! Included collaborative planning… video. ***
  • Second Life. No staff computers can handle Second Life – create content. Not so sure about this.
  • Cuyahoga Conversations: Community issues and interests, library hosts the site, library manages the conversation. Staff are excited, but also scared.
  • Orientation Center includes online modules for Intellectual Freedom, Corporate Culture, Customer Service, Marketing, and Diversity. ***
    Barriers: Buy-in from Staff and from Managers, Bandwidth, Updated technology, union, fear of technology, complacency.
  • Outcomes: Deliberate training plans, competency based evaluations, more working sessions (everyone brings in a project to work on and apply it), responsibility for learning, more on-demand opportunities.

Q&A Biggest challenges are fear and that they’re not required to immediately use what they learned.

Not so bad afterall. The question at the end really resonated. I have some ideas about effective staff training, but need a plan to present to the managers.

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