We’ve added our eighth free online module to the new Infopeople Academy! These are self-paced learning opportunities for library staff. Each is designed to be practical, applicable and relevant. We’ve created these by re-purposing instructional content in collaboration with Niche Academy.
Knowledge and Skills for Staff Providing Reference
Five of the modules are part of a Subject Area Reference Series. They include:
- Government and Law
- Consumer Information
- Poems, Songs and Quotations
- Homework Help
- Business Resources and Job Hunting
- Government and Law is designed to introduce legal information available on the Internet and in a few standard print sources. Federal and state government information is included. This is for non-law library staff . Learn about the structure and sources of law, what types of legal questions you may be asked, and what you can do to answer them.
- Consumer Information includes tips on handling requests for general consumer information. It also concentrates on several areas people often need to research: vehicles, antiques, collectibles, and art.
- Ever help patrons who are looking for Poems, Songs and Quotations? When searching for a poem, song, or quote, an effective search depends upon doing an effective reference interview. Learn about useful web and print resources, too.
- Homework Help focuses on best reference staff practices, great reference resources for homework assistance, and suggested methods for responding to students with homework needs and concerns.
- Business Resources and Job Hunting introduces core business resources. Resources for starting a business, investment and finance, and job hunting are covered, too.
Other Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
The three remaining modules cover a variety of topics, including:
- Tabletop Games and 21st Century Skill Development
- How to Serve Genealogists Now
- Making Employee Training Stick
- In Tabletop Games, Lauren Hays highlights how you can use games in your library to foster skills such as creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration.
- In How to Serve Genealogists Now, Nicole Miller covers genealogy research best practices, sources, and software. She also covers genealogy related library programming.
- In Making Training Stick, Andrew Sanderbeck, Terry McQuown, and Brenda Hough discuss ways that supervisors should be involved with their staff members’ training. The modules include tips regarding how to make training stick and introduces the concept of “transfer of training”.
We hope you find these modules useful. Please share them with other staff who may be interested in the topics. Would you like to be updated when new topics are added to the Infopeople Academy? Sign up for the Infopeople training list. We’ll use the list to announce new content.
Are you a supervisor or manager with a staff member who is taking an Infopeople course? Would you like to help them make the most of the learning experience? We would love to share a few potential ways you can help “make training stick” for them.
- Read through the course description and learning objectives together. Every Infopeople course includes a course description and learning objectives. Reviewing them will help both supervisor and employee have a solid understanding of what is going to be covered in the course.
- Review the estimated amount of time required for the course work and make a plan for scheduling that time. Most Infopeople courses are designed to require 2 1/2 hours of time per week for the duration of the course (2, 4, or 6 weeks).
- Assist staff with finding a place for their learning. Do they have the space needed to accomplish or complete readings, online meetings, and assignments without being interrupted?
- Discuss assignments together. Assignments in an Infopeople course are practical and relevant. Many of them encourage applying course concepts to the learner’s current library setting.
- After completion of the course meet with the staff person as soon as possible to brainstorm where new knowledge and skills can be applied, or if additional continuing education is needed to build on what they have learned.
- Provide a way for the learner to share their acquired knowledge with other staff (e.g. blog post, staff intranet, informal bag lunch, staff bulletin board, etc.).
- Make a calendar note for 2-3 months after the course end date to talk about what has been accomplished.
Want to know more about the research and models behind these ideas?
We were inspired to develop and share these 7 tips while working with Andrew Sanderbeck and Terry McQuown to create an Infopeople Academy tutorial called Making Employee Training Stick.
The free tutorial will introduce you to:
- “Transfer of training”, helping you understand various tools and strategies available to support your staff in using more of their learning on the job.
- The critical role that supervisors play in the success of employee training in any organization.
- Practical tools and strategies that you can start using immediately.
- Strategies for overcoming potential barriers to using transfer of training.
A new session of Anne Cain’s popular 4-week course Introduction to Library Management will be starting on September 12th. Throughout the course, participants assess their strengths as a library manager and identify areas and opportunities for personal growth. The course, which is targeted at first time managers, includes a variety of practical exercises aimed at helping participants better understand the role and responsibilities of a manager.
In one assignment, for example, course participants are asked to think about a great boss or supervisor that they have had and then to identify the behaviors that person exemplified that were particularly effective.
Here are some of the behaviors that were shared in the spring 2017 Introduction to Library Management course.
What do you think? Have you had a great boss (or bosses)? What characteristics made them great?
If you are a first time manager or supervisor (or if you’re considering moving into a management position) and want to learn more about how to be a great boss, consider enrolling in the course. Registration is open now.
Thanks to those who stopped by to say “hi” in Chicago!
One of my favorite events at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference is the Learning Round Table’s training showcase. It’s a small but mighty gathering of people who are interested in continuing education and staff development for library personnel. Infopeople hosted a table at the event this year and used it as an opportunity to showcase the great work that has been happening as part of our Building an Effective Learning Culture (BELC) initiative.
Have you heard about BELC?
Since January 2017, twelve library teams from the US and Canada have been focused on assessing and strengthening the learning culture in their organizations. Each team has been working with a savvy mentor. Here’s a map, which shows where everyone involved is located. BELC is primarily a virtual project, so meeting a number of team members face to face while at the showcase this past weekend was a special opportunity. (Psst… Team Pickering and Team Pima, did you happen to take any other photos you are willing to share?)
It has been an amazing project and as it wraps up in the next few weeks, we will be working to share the stories and the lessons learned. Watch this blog for more!
Talking to the media after Monday’s tragic shooting, San Bernardino Mayor R. Carey Davis said, “Far too often in our country and throughout the world, we gather to report this news of tragic events that take place.” Coping with traumatic events is an all-too-common thing. How can libraries help communities and individuals who are dealing with tragedy and trauma? How can we best respond to community needs in times of crisis?
One place to start is by better understanding trauma and its effects on people and on society. Earlier this year, Elissa Hardy, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Community Resource Specialist at Denver Public Library, delivered an Infopeople webinar titled, Trauma Informed Services in the Library: Understanding and Serving our Community. In the session, Hardy discussed how libraries are directly impacted by the trauma and stress carried by the communities they serve and provides advice for serving with compassion. You can access the recorded webinar at https://infopeople.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=645.
Libraries can be a safe and supportive place and resource for those who have experienced trauma. Are there other resources that you would recommend to those who work in libraries and who are working to compassionately serve their communities? Please share in the comments below.