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.
What will you learn in 2017? Have you set any professional learning goals?
Creating a learning plan is something an individual, a team, or a community of practice can do. It is a way of communicating intentions and identifying action steps to be taken to achieve your learning goals. Achieving learning goals can make your work life more satisfying and it can ultimately lead to improved library services.
There are many different approaches to creating a learning plan, but this article will overview a simple three step process that may work for you.
- Reflect: What did you do in 2016? What did you learn? What changed in your community, organization, and department or with your position? Think more broadly, too, and also consider… How has the field changed? What new technologies, trends, or opportunities have you not yet explored? Consider these questions and critically think about your workplace performance and consider areas for growth. It may be useful to solicit input from peers or supervisors who are familiar with your job performance, too.
- Set Goals: Based upon your reflection, identify things you want or need to learn. Start by creating a long list of possibilities and then establish priorities. Looking at the strategic goals for your library, organization or community can help you determine the learning priorities that are most relevant. Discussions with your supervisor can also be key as you narrow down your list of learning possibilities. From your list, select 3-5 learning goals. Try to set goals that are ambitious, yet realistic.
- Identify Actions: For each goal, create an action plan. How will you achieve each learning goal? Will you take a course? Attend a webinar? If so, we can help!
- Infopeople’s Planned Training Calendar can help you identify learning opportunities.
- If you want to receive email notices as courses and webinars are scheduled, you can sign up for the Infopeople training announcement list.
- Having trouble finding a course or webinar that addresses your learning goals? Please use this form to make a training suggestion.
- It’s critical that learning not stop at the end of the training. Applying what you have learned in your workplace is a vital action step to include in your plan. Infopeople training always emphasizes practical application.
Ready to start learning with us? Here are a few of our upcoming courses and webinars!
Online Courses (4 weeks, unless otherwise noted)
- After School and Out-of-School Programming – Instructor: Lisa Shaia
- Adult Literacy Programs – Instructor: Jane Salisbury
- Technology Planning – Instructor: Diana Silveira
- Widgets and Tweaks: Tools for spicing up old websites and blogs (2 week course) – Instructor: Rita Gavelis
- Introduction to Library Management – Instructor: Anne Cain
- Serving People with Mental Illness at Your Library – Instructor: Josh Berk
- Developing Effective Library Partnerships – Instructor: Catherine Hakala-Ausperk
- Beyond Cataloging: RDA – Instructor: Emily Nimsakont
- Emotional Intelligence (Part 1) – Instructor: Catherine McHugh
- Programs for Emerging Adults – Instructor: Audrey Barbakoff
- All Work is Team Work (LSSC) – Instructor: Cheryl Gould
- Customer Service Challenges- Instructor: Mary Ross
- Supervisory Success – Instructor: Sarah Flowers
- Staying on Top of Technology – Instructor: David Lee King
- Re-Defining Safe at Work – Instructor: Catherine Hakala-Ausperk
Webinars (1 hour)
- Historypin: Connecting Communities with Local History – Presenter(s): Kerry Young
- What’s New in Children’s Literature 2017 – Presenter(s): Penny Peck
- Informational Books for Storytime – Presenter(s): Penny Peck
- What’s New in Young Adult Literature 2017 – Presenter(s): Michael Cart
If you would like to receive email notices as registration for these courses and webinars opens, please sign up for the Infopeople training announcement list.
Most Infopeople online courses are structured so that an individual signs up, completes the course assignments, participates in discussions, and receives a certificate of completion at the end. However, for the upcoming Building an Effective Learning Culture (BELC) initiative, we’re asking people to sign up in teams of 3 – 5 people from a single library or library system. Why are we employing a team approach for this initiative? There are numerous benefits!
And… it will be a whole lot of fun!
Want to learn more about the initiative?
- A 3 minute video introduction to learning cultures
- A one-hour webinar Building an Effective Learning Culture
- The project web page and registration form
- Sign up to be sent email updates about the project