Best Practices: Technology Training for Library Staff

Trainers and staff interested in creating a comprehensive technology training program within libraries will find a tremendously useful introduction to the topic in Sarah Houghton-Jan’s “Technlogy Training For Library Staff: Creativity Works!” posting available through her Librarian in Black blog.
Her “A Path to Learning: Technology Training for Library Staff” PowerPoint presentation from a pre-conference session held at “Computers in Libraries 2008” and her accompanying blog piece about that workshop give viewers a 56-slide summary of the essentials, including planning and brainstorming (starting with Slide 9); ways of increasing staff competencies (Slide 22); how to assess staff competencies in the area of technological knowledge (beginning with Slide 23); guidelines for creating an effective training program (beginning with Slide 31); and a concise review of the various ways staff learns—through scheduled learning (Slide 34), unscheduled learning (Slide 35), e-learning options including Infopeople webcasts and webinars (Slide 36), and ongoing learning (Slide 38).
There are training tips for those with little experience in setting up a training program (Slides 45 and 46) and suggestions for ways to celebrate learning successes (Slides 52-54) as a way to increase the stickiness of the lessons being offered and assimilated. A list of resources for those who want to learn more about creating effective technology training sessions for library staff completes the package (Slide 55).
Sarah moves right into her subject by providing trainers and other staff members with the justification they may be asked to create when they propose this level of training: effective staff technology training programs “save money, strengthen staff skills and confidence, improve customer service, show institutional commitment to lifelong learning, increase efficiency and productivity, increase staff retention (and) motivate staff to keep learning,” she notes on her third slide. Placing training in this context, as we have seen in previous Infoblog postings, can lead to the dynamic and effective training programs found at libraries including Newport Beach Public Library and Contra Costa County Library.
If this doesn’t provide you with enough guidance, you’ll find even more through Infopeople archived materials such as those prepared by Infopeople instructor Michelle Boule for her “Using Web 2.0 Tools for Staff Training” workshop.
And for more of what Sarah is doing, don’t miss her “Effective ‘Virtual Visits’ Statistics for the Annual Library Public Library Survey” webinar on Thursday, April 27, 2008 from noon – 1 p.m. The presentation will be archived on the Infopeople website shortly after the broadcast is completed.