Make a Plan for Learning

What will you learn in 2017? Have you set any professional learning goals? Plan On Monitor Shows Expectations

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Twelve Teams to Participate in Learning Culture Initiative

We are so excited to announce the names of the 12 library teams who will be participating in our videoBuilding an Effective Learning Culture (BELC) online learning initiative!

The twelve teams are from:

  • Bucks County Free Library, PA
  • Burbank Public Library, CA
  • Long Beach Public Library, CA
  • Los Angeles Public Library, CA
  • Monrovia Public Library, CA
  • Monterey Public Library, CA
  • Oceanside Public Library, CA
  • Pickering Public Library, Ontario, Canada
  • Pima County Public Library, AZ
  • South Carolina State Library
  • San Jose Public Library, CA
  • Suffolk Public Library, VA

The BELC program will take place from January -June 2017. The 12 participating libraries registered in teams of 3 to 5 people. Each team will work with a virtual mentor and the course content will be broken down into bite-sized chunks.

We’re thrilled to be working with this fantastic group of libraries and will continue to share project updates here in the new year!





Initiative Highlights Bite-sized Learning

Traditional learning is often structured so that it requires participants to spend hours at a time on classes and readings. Finding the time can be a challenge for busy library staff. To address this challenge, the upcoming Infopeople initiative, Building an Effective Learning Culture, will incorporate a “bite-sized learning” (also called microlearning) approach.

Bite-sized content consists of short learning nuggets (maybe 3 to 7 minutes long) designed to meet a specific learning outcome. To better explain the hows and whys of this innovative approach, I talked to Infopeople instructors Stephanie Gerding and Crystal Schimpf and also to Infopeople Training Manager Lisa Barnhart to learn more about their thoughts and feelings about bite-sized learning.

Why is Infopeople using this approach for the new initiative?

“Bite-sized learning has seen a surge of popularity for the modern learner who is many times lisaoverwhelmed, distracted and impatient. Packaging learning in smaller pieces allows us to not only process ideas and concepts quickly, but also create a customized learning experience as we use our own unique perspective to connect these smaller “building blocks” into more foundational concepts,” explains Training Manager/Instructional Designer Lisa Barnhart.

How does bite-sized learning address what we know about how adults learn?

“Educational psychologists have developed learning principles, which support the fact that stephanielearning occurs most effectively when instruction is doled out in small segments. There should be time in between to process and practice, with links made between new ideas and previous learning or experience, and learners should be actively engaged with the material and with each other. BELC combines all of these elements into a fun experience that will change your library culture!” shares Stephanie Gerding, Library Consultant, Infopeople Instructor and author of The Accidental Technology Trainer.

What are the benefits to bite-sized learning?

Crystal Schimpf, Library Consultant and Infopeople Instructor explains, “As a learner, I crystalreally like bite-sized content because I can take in new ideas one piece at a time. Some days I might have a lot of time and can cover several pieces, but other days I might only cover one piece of content.

As an instructor, I like designing bite-sized content because it forces me to really focus on key concepts, one at a time. It helps keep me on track and on point.

Bite-sized content is great for libraries because it can be difficult for library staff to find time to attend longer trainings. Bite-sized content gives staff a chance to learn piece by piece, and to integrate new ideas into daily routine.”

If your team is interested in building a stronger learning culture at your library, but you’re not sure how to find the time to focus on it, consider applying (hurry – deadline approaching soon) to participate in the upcoming initiative. The bite-sized content will make it easy to fit learning in to your busy schedules.

More information and a link to the application can be found at

New learning culture initiative to feature mentors

If you’re familiar with Infopeople’s training, then you know that we use a few different training formats – including one hour webinars, 2, 4, or 6 week courses, and some self-paced courses, too. However, we’re shaking things up and will be doing a number of new things in the upcoming Building an Effective Learning Culture Initiative:whats-diff

  • The time frame is longer than our normal training formats. The initiative will run from January – June 2017.
  • Learners will participate as a team, rather than as individuals.
  • Each team will be assigned a mentor.
  • Content will be delivered in bite-sized pieces.

Last week, we shared our reasons for adopting a team (rather than an individual learner) approach. This week, we’ll discuss the mentor component of the initiative. Next week, we’ll talk more about the “bite-sized” content.

One of the things people like about our typical Infopeople training is the interaction they get to have with an experienced instructor. For the BELC initiative, we’re taking that a step further. Not only will teams be working with an instructor, but each team will also be assigned a mentor, who will meet with them virtually on a regular basis between January and June.

Who are the mentors?

Check out this list! It’s a group of people who are passionate about the importance of staff development and learning in libraries and we’re so excited and thankful that they are part of BELC.

Why work with a mentor? advice-help-support

There are so many reasons! A mentor can provide tips, advice, resources and more. They know libraries… but they are also fresh eyes (or ears) who can help provide useful perspective on any challenges your team is experiencing as you work to develop a vibrant culture of learning in your library. And the mentors will be learning from you, too – it’s a shared opportunity!

Library Consultant and BELC instructor Stephanie Gerding is thrilled about the mentor group’s role in the initiative. She explains why, “Mentors inspire and encourage you to stretch towards your dreams. Then they provide you with the connections and accountability you need to turn those dreams into reality.”

Up to 10 teams will be selected for the BELC initiative and applications are being taken until November 23rd. Interested in creating a more effective learning culture in your library? Apply today!

We’re Better Together

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