Check out these upcoming learning opportunities!
- Reducing Workplace Stress with Mindfulness
A one-hour webinar, May 24th at Pacific – 12 Noon, Mountain – 1 PM, Central – 2 PM, Eastern – 3 PM
Presenter: Katie Scherrer
Do you sometimes feel distracted at work? Do you feel pulled in too many directions simultaneously? Do you feel stress from your work life creeping into your personal time? Mindfulness is a simple practice that can help all of us reduce stress by connecting to the present moment. It requires no special equipment or prior experience and can be practiced anywhere at any time. This webinar will introduce participants to the practice of mindfulness by presenting basic science about the practice and its benefits, connecting the experience of mindfulness to library work, and by guiding participants through several beginning practices in real time.
- Workplace Burnout: Bouncing Back with Resilience
An online course, starts June 5th and ends July 2nd
Instructor: Debra Westwood
Staff who work in public service positions, like libraries, face mental and emotional challenges in their daily work. Budget struggles, trying to make a difference in high need communities, changes in the library’s role, concerns at home, local and national politics – it adds up! When that kind of pressure is coming at you from all directions, it can contribute to a gradual grinding down, loss of joy, a fading enthusiasm that we call burn-out. In this 4-week course, look at the physiology & psychology of burnout, as well as how it manifests itself physically, emotionally and behaviorally. Know the difference between stress and burnout. Learn restorative practices to help restore resiliency and job satisfaction.
- “I could really use a good laugh!” How to Give a Laughter-as-Therapy Program in Your Library
A one-hour webinar, June 14th at Pacific – 12 Noon, Mountain – 1 PM, Central – 2 PM, Eastern – 3 PM
Presenter: William Mongelli
Stress – good AND bad – is a fact of human existence. As it turns out, laughter IS one of the best medicines! The physiological and psychological benefits of laughter and humor continue to be documented in the scientific study of laughter (gelatology). Even the simple act of smiling has been shown to improve mood and nurture a positive mental outlook. This webinar will give you the skill-sets necessary to teach both your library users and library staff a fun & effective way of managing the stresses of their day. Laughter-as-therapy in the library environment can be offered to library users of all ages.
Many in the library world are working to better understand issues related to privacy. In this post, we’ll highlight a few free resources that can help you learn more.
- ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom will be hosting a free webinar on April 16th. Julie Oborny and Erin Berman from San José Public Library will present “A Practical Guide to Privacy Audits.” Attendees will learn why healthy privacy practices are more critical than ever before and get a step-by-step guide for starting an audit at their libraries.
- Alison Macrina, director of the Library Freedom Project, recently delivered a webinar for Infopeople, called “Teaching Privacy in Libraries: Strategies and Tools.” At a time when society is facing a new set of challenges around privacy, surveillance, censorship and free speech, library workers, as stewards of information and providers of internet access, are in a prime position to educate patrons about their digital rights. In this free recording, Marcrina demonstrates tools and best practices that can be taught in any library environment, in one-on-one patron interactions or computer classes.
- Back in November 2017, Laura Solomon presented an Infopeople webinar called, “Protecting Your Online Privacy: Risks and Strategies.” The free recording includes information and examples to help us understand why protecting one’s online privacy is now so critical and what can happen when one doesn’t. The session highlights various concrete methods and tools you can use to help protect online privacy as much as possible.
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.