At Infopeople’s November 1st Building an Effective Learning Culture webinar, two things became very clear:
- Many libraries are already doing successful things to support effective professional learning. Great examples were shared!
- Getting people together to talk about the hows and whys of a learning culture is a valuable experience. We can learn so much from one another!
Missed the webinar? No worries! A recording of the one-hour session is available, as are the PowerPoint slides, chat and handouts. Lisa Barnhart, Crystal Schimpf, Stephanie Gerding, Brenda Hough, Rachel Rubin, and Maurice Coleman all shared during the session.As a preview, here is a taste of the webinar content and discussion.
Building an effective learning culture is a journey not a destination and we’re all at different places. We asked webinar participants six “How does this work at your library?” questions and individuals shared their successes and challenges.
Is there a BUDGET for professional learning?
As you might expect, responses varied greatly, from “Yes, solid funding!” to “Some funding” to “No funding”.
2. Is TIME for training/learning provided?
This sparked one of the most active discussions during the webinar. We mentioned Tooele City Library (UT) director Jami Carter’s experiences with having staff set a weekly goal that can be accomplished in one hour of learning and asked other participants to share their experiences with time and professional learning. Joan Blalock has also adopted the one-hour per week model in Spartanburg (SC). Some states/libraries have required CE hours. Several participants mentioned that finding time for training can be challenging, especially for part-time staff. A number of people mentioned that although there is time provided for formal learning opportunities, there is not a structure in place to support more informal learning.
3. Does the library have an ORGANIZED PROGRAM for staff development?
Not surprisingly, a number of webinar participants are in staff development or training positions in their libraries. Onboarding new staff was mentioned as a training need that sometimes dominates staff development time.
4. Is there LEADERSHIP BUY-IN regarding the importance of a learning culture?
Many webinar participants are in leadership roles in their libraries so when asked about leadership buy-in, they said, “That’s me and I’m actively encouraging it!” Other webinar participants reported varying levels of leadership buy-in.
5. Is there STAFF BUY-IN regarding the importance of a learning culture?
Based upon webinar participant input, this can be a challenge. While some staff enthusiastically embrace professional learning, getting other staff to buy-in can be difficult. Motivating ongoing learning seems to be a priority need.
6. What SUCCESSFUL METHODS has your library implemented for building a learning culture?
A lot of great ideas and examples were shared, including new hire orientation programs, individual learning plans for all staff, and leadership training programs.
Is your organization interested in really focusing attention on building your learning culture? If so, you may be interested in participating in Infopeople’s upcoming pilot project! Up to 10 libraries will be selected. Each library will create a team with 3-5 participants. The team members will complete work individually and as a group. A mentor will be assigned to each group. Team fees are $500/team for CA residents and $600/team for outside CA.
Interested in learning more? Additional details are here. Applications are being accepted until November 23, 2016. Teams will not be selected based upon a first come, first serve basis, but instead will be selected to ensure diverse library sizes and geographic locations.