Perhaps it was the initial threat of cancellation that made my ALA Midwinter experience so endearing. Regardless, it brought about a renewed love for libraries and for all the amazing work of librarians, ALA members and staff, and for the organizations that support and sustain that work. Wearing more “hats” than ever, I traveled through the conference with others committed to showcasing and sustaining rural libraries, public access technology, workforce development efforts, youth literature, and equity of access for all! The weekend was a poignant reminder of just how grateful I am to be in a profession committed to ensuring universal and equitable access to public resources and services. I’m sending this conference report/love letter out to all who share this commitment, but especially to those of you who were back at your libraries doing the great work you do so well!
Directly from the airport, I joined attendees at the OCLC Americas Regional Council Symposium unfortunately too late to hear keynote Sara Lacy (recordings now available for all speakers at symposium) but glad to have heard OCLC’s Cathy De Rosa, share a preview of librarian perception data collected in a recent OCLC Membership Survey (See Public Libraries Snapshot of the data). Thanks to Jamie LaRue for highlighting from his notes some of the very interesting librarian perspectives on their library priorities, how they stay connected, and where they think OCLC should focus efforts. With WebJunction webinars near and dear to my heart, I was particularly pleased to see confirmation of my gut feeling that library staff are more often using webinars to stay up to date and to connect with others. Of the public library responses, 43% of library directors, 50% of managers, and 52% of librarians use webinars to support their ongoing learning and development. We’ll be sure to let you know when the full results of the survey are released.
Day two began with a visit to the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) Advisory Committee meeting. I was very excited to hear from other committees that work with the OLOS office and especially looking forward to the upcoming release of a new toolkit focused on adult literacy. I also learned about an ALA grant project with Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Dream Starts @ your Library project, which has enabled libraries around the country to develop and implement programs engaging English language learners in their communities.
Later that morning, I led the ALA Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee (RNTLOAK) meeting where we shared an update on the distribution and promotion of the recently updated Small but Powerful Toolkit for Winning Support for your Rural Library revised in collaboration with OLOS, RNTLOAK and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL). If you haven’t yet explored the toolkit and want to learn more, check out last month’s webinar. We also talked about our committee’s ALA Annual plans and are very excited to be co-sponsoring two programs in Anaheim with OLOS, ARSL and the American Indian Library Association (AILA). The two programs will explore Advocacy and Fundraising for your Rural or Tribal Library and Building and Sustaining Strategic Plans and Partnerships in your Rural or Tribal Community. And thank you to Stephen Matthews, our committee’s ALA Executive Board Liaison, for sharing the opportunity made available by Annual Conference planners for attendees to present or facilitate outside of traditional program presentations. Learn more and submit a proposal for a Conversation Starter or Ignite Session before February 19.
Following a lovely Saturday lunch with Texas librarians (at Cindi’s Deli, where I ate lunch on Sunday too! mmm), I attended a forum and group discussion on the Edge Initiative, a national effort to introduce benchmarks for high quality public access technology in libraries. The session included a “sneak peek” at a draft of the benchmarks and some insightful and engaged table discussions. Thanks to PLA’s Mary Hirsch and TechSoup’s Sarah Washburn who both provide a summary of their table’s discussions. WebJunction’s Kendra Morgan shared a bit about our involvement in the initiative in December and we’ll keep you posted on next steps!
Project Compass staff wrapped up the day with a state library focus group to share year-two outcomes of Project Compass and to get input on one final event we’re planning for the spring: a national convening of librarians focused on responding to economic impact on communities, supporting 21st century skills development and building sustainable partnerships. We’ll have more details very soon!
The OCLC Update Breakfast was, as always, very informative, even to this OCLC staffer! I just have to share one cool project from the OCLC Research folks, the WorldCat Identities Network, a new way to visually explore the interconnectivity and relationships between WorldCat Identities.
The climax of my love letter comes with Sunday afternoon’s Small but Powerful Forum, which brought together a small but powerful group of attendees representing state libraries, regional trainers, rural librarians, and my good friends from TechSoup for Libraries, to hear from Dr. Robert Martin about UNT’s powerful PEARL project, Tina Hager about her powerful Texas rural library collaborations with community partners and more on the Small but Powerful Toolkit for Winning Support for your Rural Library. But if you know me at all, you know the table discussions, world cafe-style, are always my favorite part of a conference. The all-too-short time to brainstorm the “core qualities of rural leadership” was a good start, but we’ll have to keep the conversation alive!
Early Monday morning, I felt honored to be invited to join in the great Midwinter tradition, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at this year’s Sunrise Celebration, Honoring a Legacy that Still Inspires. On behalf of RNTLOAK and ARSL, I was invited to join many other association, committee and round table leadership in a presentation of quotes from King’s legacy, inspirational speakers, and always my favorite, some singing! I touched base with folks who are co-chairing this fall’s 2012 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) in Kansas City. I attended the first ever JCLC conference in Dallas, and similar to the ARSL conference, it is an intimate but powerful gathering, with a focus on exploring issues of diversity in libraries.
And since I was up at that hour, I was lucky enough to attend the Youth Media Awards, the “Oscars” of libraryland. You may not know that I came to libraries as a children’s bookseller with my first ever library job as a children’s services substitute. It was a real treat to sit amongst the thousands of youth librarians gathered for the exciting event, knowing they’ve probably read most all of the books and have already done the work of getting the outstanding books into the hands of readers. You can watch the webcast of the event or videos of the winning authors and illustrators. I have enormous respect for all who bring these works of literary and visual art into being and for the committees who award them the recognition they deserve.
I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures this time round, but I do recommend browsing the ALAMW12 pool on Flickr to catch a glimpse of the love in the air.
As Louie Schwartzberg says, “we protect what we fall in love with” and so, may we continue to protect what we love, including our libraries.
It’s hard to believe we’re packing for travel to Dallas next week! We hope to see you at some of these Midwinter events where you’re sure to find WebJunctioneers:
OCLC Americas Regional Council Annual Member Meeting and Symposium
Friday, January 20, 12:00-5:00 pm
Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Ballroom EFG
Open to all! Join your OCLC member colleagues for a fast-paced, informative afternoon. We’ll start with a light lunch at noon. After a brief welcome from ARC Chair William Maes, you’ll hear a dynamic keynote presentation from author and TechCrunch Senior Editor Sarah Lacy, who will speak on “Mining the Fault Lines: Big Collaboration on a Richter Web Scale,” with Q&A to follow. Barbara Preece, ARC Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, will give a membership update, followed by roundtable discussions. Then, OCLC senior managers will share membership survey results and present on the Cost Sharing Models Task Force’s recommendations. The afternoon concludes with a social reception with the OCLC Board of Trustees, OCLC senior managers and Americas Regional Council Ambassadors.
ALA Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee (an open meeting)
Saturday, January 21, 10:30 am-12:00 pm in room D169
The ALA Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds (RNTLOAK) reviews issues and challenges facing rural, native and tribal libraries of all kinds, collaborates with ARSL and other ALA units addressing the needs of rural communities and serves as an advocate for and partner with libraries serving rural, tribal and native populations. All are invited to join this open committee meeting to discuss current initiatives and ongoing activities. There are opportunities for non-committee members to become involved in working groups and your input is encouraged and welcomed!
The Power of Cooperation at Webscale: OCLC’s Strategy for Public Libraries
Saturday, January 21, 10:30 am-12:00 pm in room C155
What is Webscale and how can it help public libraries? If you interested in finding out how OCLC is working with libraries to create a shared future through the power of Webscale and OCLC’s WorldShare services, which include the OCLC WorldShare Platform that facilitates app-sharing, data sharing and collaboration across the library community, please join us for this session.
Cathy de Rosa, OCLC Vice President, will discuss our future strategy and how it relates to what is important to public libraries. You will learn how OCLC’s WorldShare strategy can help your library to be more efficient so that your staff can spend more time serving your community. At the session, you will also receive a copy of OCLC’s latest report, Libraries at Webscale.
Update on the Edge Initiative
Saturday, January 21, 1:30-3:30 pm in room A130/131
Join the Edge coalition for an update on the development of public access technology benchmarks that will help you strengthen the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of public access technology services in your libraries.
The Edge update will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Dallas Convention Center, Room A130/131. This forum will provide an overview of Edge, share early feedback from the field, and provide opportunities to give input on the beta benchmarks (the first version which will be pilot tested in the coming months) and the tools libraries will need to utilize the benchmarks.
OCLC Update Breakfast
Sunday, January 22, 7:00–8:00 am
Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Ballroom EFG
Join OCLC and members for breakfast and an update on OCLC activities from Jay Jordan, President and CEO. Then, share roundtable conversation with colleagues who share your interests, hosted by OCLC staff.
Small But Powerful Forum
Sunday, January 22, 1:30-3:30 pm in room A308
Join rural library leaders in a conversation about advocacy, leadership and the newly revised “Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library,” at a special forum during the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Sponsored by the ALA Committee on Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Small but Powerful Forum for Winning Big Support for your Rural Library will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22 in room A308 of the Dallas Convention Center.
The forum promises to be a powerful and practical discussion for those committed to building and sustaining support for rural libraries. To maximize time and takeaways, the session will employ the World Café method of hosting large group dialogue, including presentations from rural library leaders and an opportunity for attendees to break into small group rounds covering a range of specialized rural library advocacy and leadership topics. At the conclusion of the session, attendees will share their insights and lessons learned with the larger group.
Featured presenters will include Jennifer Peterson, chair, ALA Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee; Tina Hager, retired library director (Texas); and Dr. Robert S. Martin, professor emeritus in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University and PEARL (Promoting & Enhancing the Advancement of Rural Libraries) team member.
One more week until the Library 2.011 worldwide virtual conference on November 2 – 4, 2011. The conference will be held *around the clock* online, in multiple time zones over the course of two days and it’s free! Thank you to the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University, the conference founding sponsor, and to conference co-chairs Sandy Hirsh and Steve Hargadon for hosting this amazing opportunity!
The Library 2.011 conference is a unique chance to participate in a global conversation on the current and future state of libraries. Subject strands include the changing roles of libraries and librarians, the increasing impact of digital media and the e-book revolution, open educational resources, digital literacy, shifts from information consumption to production (Web 2.0), multimedia and gaming spaces, libraries as community centers, the growth of individualized and self-paced learning, the library as the center of new learning models, understanding users in the digital age, assessing service delivery, and defining leadership and information professional careers in a networked and changing world.
The conference schedule is now online, with all 160+ sessions, and an individual hour-by-hour schedule calendar for all 36 time zones. Start on the Sessions and Schedule page, scroll down and click on your time zone, and browse the amazing line-up. The festivities start on Wednesday morning and last into the wee hours of the night on Thursday. Links to the live virtual rooms will be available when the conference starts. Session proposals are available to browse to help you decide which time of the day or night to join in. Hope to see you there!
You may say I’m a biased ARSL board member, but after attending my third Annual Association for Rural and Small Libraries Conference, I stand by my word that this is the best library conference around. Every moment I was awake, I was inspired, motivated and entertained by 300+ of the most amazing librarians in the country. The conference program was packed with sessions filled with practical and actionable ideas for staff working in rural and small libraries. Our WebJunction table in the exhibits area provided us with an opportunity to connect with folks excited about WebJunction. And the many meals and hallway conversations let me reconnect with some of my favorite people in libraryland. As others have said, the conference feels like a small town, with potential conversations, or certainly warm hello, around every corner. [Picture above: So pleased to spend time with my fellow JP, Jennifer Pearson of Geek the Library fame!]
But don’t take my word for it! Guest bloggers have been posting to BlogJunction this week with their ARSL experiences and with reflections on attending the Project Compass workshop held just before the conference. Nearly 50 librarians from around the country gathered for the workshop that Betha and I had the pleasure of facilitating. As we worked through the Project Compass curriculum, attendees worked together to create a new list, Ideas for Workforce Recovery from Small but Mighty Libraries. Jami Carter, from the Tooele City Public Library in Utah, shares how the workshop provided her with terms, ideas, and collaborations to affirm and expand the work their library does to serve the community:
And be sure to explore all the other great conference coverage out there:
Thank you to conference planners, presenters, and participants for yet another fantastic ARSL conference. I hope to see some of you again next year in Raleigh, North Carolina!
[Susie Sharp from the New Rockford Public Library, ND, also participated in the Project Compass Workforce Recovery workshop before the ARSL conference. She shares how much the experience connected her with others serving small and rural communities who share the same challenges and provided an opportunity to exchange solutions.]
I had the honor to receive a scholarship from WebJunction to attend the Association for Rural and Small Libraries Conference in Frisco, Texas, and what I found was a wonderful community of rural and small librarians facing the same challenges we do, no matter where in the country they’re located. One of my favorite quotes from the conference was by Pat Tuohy of the Central Texas Library System who acknowledged and applauded rural librarians’ ability to “run a small, underfunded, shoestring operation that can take a dime and squeeze it to a dollar because they know how important library services are to a community and how powerful they are in changing lives.”
The Project Compass workshop put on by WebJunction was so enlightening and gave me some great ideas of how better to help my job-seeking patrons. I have already contacted some other organizations in my community to create a comprehensive community resources guide to help job seekers and new members of our community. It was such a great opportunity to discuss these challenges with other librarians and to hear new ideas and solutions to similar challenges we all face.
The conference itself was a great one! Gene & Bill from Unshelved put on a great program and Gene gave me some great ideas on how to start a graphic novel collection at my library and took the time to email me a selection of his favorite graphic novels [see list shared on ARSL along with other conference handouts]. Also all the program ideas I was able to come away from this conference with were invaluable. I am ready to start planning some of these no and low cost programs right away! The Reel Reads program was very helpful because it dealt with having an event about books to movies even when you can’t afford to buy the movie license but can still have a program celebrating books to movies. Joe Bob Briggs put on a really fun program too!
What I came away with from this conference was a great sense of community. ARSL is an association that immediately made me feel at home and able to network with other small & rural librarians from around the country. It is a great opportunity and I am proud to spread the word about it. [See also a short video of Susie's presentation about ARSL and her experience at the recent North Dakota Library Association Confernece.]
New Rockford Public Library, North Dakota
[BlogJunction will be host to a number of guest posts in the coming weeks by scholarship recipients who attended the Project Compass Workshop and ARSL conference in Frisco, Texas. Thank you to Anita Simpson, Library Assistant at the Mohave County Library, Lake Havasu City Branch, AZ for her guest blog post!]
I attended my first ARSL Conference 2011 in Frisco, Texas. I was extremely excited with the energy of the entire conference. Everyone that attended was happy to be there, openly friendly, and helpful. The Project Compass Workshop was very rewarding and I came away form the workshop excited, ready to get started planning for the future. The knowledge and resources provided are going to be instrumental in setting up our One Stop at our library. All three days of the conference were exciting and informational. The opening keynote put on by the Unshelved guys Gene and Bill, was a personal favorite [see video of the Unshelved Library Simulator!]. Our staff are big fans, so it was special to meet them personally. All the programs I attended were informational and interesting. It was fun to exchange ideas and learn about all the online resources available for staff and patrons. I want to thank WebJunction and IMLS for their generosity. I truly enjoyed myself and have made several new friends.
Mohave County Library, Lake Havasu City Branch, AZ
Thank you again to all who joined us in early August for Trends in Library Training and Learning Online Conference brought to you in collaboration with the ALA Learning Round Table. We’re excited to bring you this information about the library staff who registered or attended the event and to remind you that all recordings of presentations and associated resources are now available on WebJunction.
A total of 1965 people registered or attended the event and 1082 logged in for at least one of the sessions. Many of those who logged in were doing so in order for staff in their library to join a Viewing Party. See the long list of Viewing Parties!. A special thank you to you viewing party hosts, and sorry if we didn’t get you on the list.
Also a special thanks to our sponsoring WebJunction Partner States who brought over 889 registrants and 500 attendees to the conference and who continue to support the networking and collaboration critical to the success of WebJunction’s online learning!
Many others are represented in the list of top 20 participating states:
And 90 participants represent these cities and countries around the globe:
|Amsterdam||New South Wales|
|Cambridge||Rio Grande do Sul|
Here’s the breakdown of the many library types represented:
As you can see from the broad representation across the globe and across the types of libraries you work in, the topics presented are indeed universal. From brain development to instructional design, from creating videos to creating community, the presentations were top-notch and inspirational. Betha provides an excellent summary of the 2 days in her post, Two-day online conference was a brain booster on the Learning Round Table Blog and you can view all the live-blogging we did here on BlogJunction. And be sure to check out the tweet archive for #learntrends!
I’d like to personally thank all of the planners (especially Sharon and Mary Beth from the LearningRT!), presenters, emcees, producers, viewing party hosts and all other participants, for joining the conference and for contributing to the success of WebJunction’s third online conference! I look forward to connecting with all of you in future online events.
Thank you to Buffy Hamilton for a great wrap-up for the WebJunction/Learning Round Table hosted online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning. Buffy’s presentation, Cultivating the Library as a Site of Participatory Culture and Learning was a refreshing antidote to the overabundance of claims that libraries are no longer useful or meaningful in our society.
Buffy is intent on shifting the perception of the library, to bring back the human element and help people find themselves in the story of library. It’s about keeping the best of what we have always done, no matter what type of library, and amplifying the aspect of the library as learning space and a communal space. She explored a variety of ways to weave in the talents and passions of patrons to create a more interesting concept of what the library means—as a place for “self-excavation” and discovery.
Buffy channels the thought leadership of Dr. David Lankes and Dr. Henry Jenkins, both of whom have promoted the concept of “participatory librarianship” and identified the conditions to make a learning space participatory. Jenkins believes that “relationships are the cornerstone of libraries and participation.”
Buffy is her own verb as she demonstrated the range of items in her participatory toolbox that she has deployed to achieve maximum participation with her students and to “ignite the conversation”:
There’s a lot more practical and inspiring detail in the archive. Watch for it to be posted Friday.
So let’s start the “Get libraried!” campaign. (thanks Zola for that bit of brilliance.)
What will you do to invite participation, to foster shared ownership, to make your library the place that both creates the conversation and thrives at the center of the conversation?
Thank you to Julie Erickson and Jane Healy for their presentation, Beyond 23 Things: Enhanced Self-Paced Training , the penultimate session of the WebJunction/Learning Round Table hosted online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning.
A few years ago, the South Dakota state library offered self-paced “23 Things” training based on Helene Blowers now well-known model that helped library staff become familiar with a host of online tools.
Jane and Julie thought, why not use a similar model, but for training staff on state library subscription databases? This would take a rather dry, often intimidating subject (databases) and blend it with an interactive training approach that also encourages staff to make use of Web 2.0 tools. They also were excited that this training could reach out to many different types of learners, in different types of libraries and staff roles and with different ability levels. Their proposal was accepted, and they have done three rounds of the training.
They gave us lots of tips about how they put the program together. A key point they noted up front: they used free tools for the whole things, including:
They stressed that these are not the only free tools available, and other examples were shared by the audience in Chat, such as WordPress, Jing, WikiSpaces, and more.
Their steps for launching the program included:
- Publicity. They used listservs, in-person announcements, andtargeted emails to people who had taken live e-resources training before, and previous challengees.
- Registration. They used a form on Google Docs, created a pretest and post-challenge survey on Survey Monkey
- Lessons. They created 10 lessons, which were released each week for 11 weeks. Each lesson contained a brief intro to provide context, info about the e-resource, and a discovery exercise
- Blogs. Participants created blogs, which added to the trainers’ RSS feed readers and the state library blogroll. These posts included answers to participants’ discovery exercises and comments about the challenge.
- Completion. Post-challenge surveys, analysis, and tweaking of the program based on feedback and results.
The costs associated with the program were really associated with staff time. Time to set up, promote, manage and monitor the program. Because they incorporated into their workday, so it is hard for them to say how much total time it took.
Setup took the most time, to decide structure, but this effort has decreased with each new round.
Advice and Caveats:
Don’t go it alone–have a team of 2 or 3 people.
Setting up the blogs was a difficult step for many participants
Technical issues could create hiccups, such as authentication issues that prevented access to databases.
Participants reported new knowledge and especially their confidence with e-resources. This led to increased enthusiasm and advocacy about the program went talking with stakeholders in the community. They showed some graphed results from their pre and post surveys that dramatically demonstrated the shift in comfort level.
They’ve opened up the program to school teachers in the summer, who gave additional perspective about the training and considered how they wanted to incorporate into the classroom. The audience asked, why not adapt it for patron and student training as well? We’ll be curious to see if anyone takes that ball and runs with it–let us know your results!
In the Chat and on Twitter, the audience pushed back on the time thing: those who had tried to participate in 23 Things programs found they couldn’t keep up with the challenge under competing priorities. The presenters said that how much the libraries support the program, if they deliberately permit staff to set aside time for it. CE credit is also a motivator. Individual staff’s intrinsic motivation for continuous learning can also be a factor.
The stumpiest question asked during the Q&A section at the end was “Why 23?” The answer, provided by someone in the audience, was “It was based on Stephen Abrams 43 Folders”…I am surprised there wasn’t a follow-up question, “Why 43?”
The audience was asked, What immediate next step can you take based on the information you learned in this session? Lots of responses: we suggest you look at the Chat to get inspired to action for your library!
Wow, just one more session to go!
Online conference coverage continues for WebJunction/Learning Round Table hosted online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning.
Thank you to Crystal Schimpf, Kieran Hixon, and Nancy Trimm for their presentation, Tech Training Skills for 21st Century Library Staff.
With 631 people in the room (and many others viewing as a group under one name), we all were asked to answer a poll on the whiteboard about roles in the library: Did we primarily assist public, train staff, or supervise staff? It quickly turned into a crazy quilt of color, as shown here:
The focus is on tech training because of libraries key role in providing internet. 73% of rural libraries are the ONLY provider of free internet. Two thirds have received 1:1 help from library staff, and 14% attended computer training at the library.
Attendees shared in Chat about how they help people with technology, and the responses showed the huge range in depth and breadth of experience library staff have with technology, from hardware, to software, to the web and email, to databases, and more. Basically, librarians must be prepared to be skilled in both IT and teaching competencies.
The bulk of the presentation then answered the following questions:
What are competencies?
Why are they valuable for library tech trainers?
what are the competencies for library tech trainers?
How do we support competency-based training?
In the spirit of not reinventing the wheel, the group offered Colorado State Library’s own tech trainer competencies for all to ripoff and reuse. You can find those here: http://www.coloradovirtuallibrary.org/btop/content/technology-trainer-competencies
On Twitter, Ohio Public Library core competencies were also shared: http://t.co/LZLuIPl
After the main presentation by the three, there was ample time for Q&A. As I was wrestling with Twitter and Facebook lags during that time, I missed a lot of the great questions, but here are some:
Q: How do you keep up with users on the forefront without neglecting those who are lagging behind?
Assist the laggers with their immediate needs but give them encouragement and orientation to more current technology, perhaps as a follow-up one-on-one. Other suggestions were posted to chat.
Q: How do you deal with situations when people come with technology that you are not familiar with?
If you don’t know about it, think of it with other reference questions: You might not have the answer, but you should understand where to find the answer. Also, it might alleviate the anxiety of the person asking if you admit that you don’t know the answer but “let’s learn together”.
Q: How did you go about developing the competencies?
They did a literature review of what competency sets were already published. Created drafts and circulated for review and feedback.
Q: How do you train reluctant or time-stretched staff?
Kieran mentioned that in a small, rural library, training while doing frontline patron services is a necessity. Have to keep an eye on how it will help in the long run, allow for on-the-job training (not sequestered in a classroom), make it short bites of training, and use immediate incentives like treats.
Then the presenters turned it around and asked a couple questions of the audience to reflect on:
How can you support the learning needs of technology training in your organization?
How has your role in the library change because of technology? What training do you need to support your new technology-related duties?
We kicked off day 2 of WebJunction/Learning Round Table’s hosted online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning, with a keynote presentation by Char Booth, “Instructional Literacy and the Library Educator.”
Char invited all the participants (>600) to go hogwild in the Chat, to keep it as interactive as possible–and everyone took to that idea like ducks to water. Twitter was also very busy (#learntrends).
Char started with a suggestion that we take a positive and persevering attitude toward training, even though we may be challenged by difficult economic and budgetary conditions.
She then introduced the idea of “the Library Educator”–specifically, that no matter your job description, you are involved in learning. But this concept is not widely recognized: we tend to get trained on what to teach but not how to teach. Char shared a poll she did that showed that a majority library staff feel their MLIS education did not adequately prepare them to design and delivery instruction. Chat responses seemed to indicate that this was a sentiment shared by session attendees as well–some mentioned that they did draw upon prior experience as a teacher once they entered the library profession.
She acknowledged that huge amount of anxiety can grip new or undertrained instructors. We may often find ourselves expected to teach without all the formal education and training, certification and credentials that most teachers get.
A big problem is that there is assumption that librarians are not teachers. This affects how we are perceived when we are in a learning interaction on the job. How do you change those perceptions?
And what about your perceptions of learners? Do you believe that they can be inspired by a teaching interaction?
We were invited to close our eyes and conjure up our best teacher ever. Then we burned up the Chat window with descriptions of the qualities of that teacher.
Then, we were asked to think of our worst teacher and chat about that. Wow, the adjectives posted were very vivid. It was obvious that these terrible learning experiences still resonated with us.
The point was, we already know what makes a good and a bad teacher, from our own learning experiences. Avoid the bad, emulate the good qualities, and absorb them into your teaching identity.
She posited a nice metaphor of “librarians as an indicator species” in the sense of being emblematic of the environment, and asked us to post to chat what librarians were indicators of. Responses ranged from “tote bags” to “democracy.”
The meat of the session was devoted to delving into the pillars of Instructional Literacy: a combination of (1) reflective practice, (2) educational theory–learning, teaching, and curriculum theory; (3) teaching technologies; and (4) instructional design (systematic planning makes for a better learning experience). Added together, the outcome is teaching effectiveness.
Reflective Practice is a commitment to be aware of improving your teaching and training strategies, Continuous incremental improvement. Practical aspects of this practice are:
1. Metacognition: thinking about thinking, self-awareness, incremental improvement
– do simple small exercises after doing an instruction. Three question reflection. What went well, what bombed, what should I follow up on?
–concept/curriculum map: break down a core idea into parts to understand it better (mindomo.com)
–buid a teaching portfolio of assignments, handouts, materials in an organized storage.
– capture things that happen for posterity: recordings, whiteboard capture, screenshots, photos of students, colleagues, environs
– communities of Practice: build in fun activities, make it visible, get engaged with it
Be sure to view the archived recording when it is posted so that you can see all the great Chat and get the many details that I have not included in this summary!
Online conference coverage continues for WebJunction/Learning Round Table hosted online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning. Thank you to Sarah Houghton for her presentation, Getting Admin Buy-In for Training.
We spent the first three sessions of today’s online conference getting psyched up to learn, to train, and to have fun doing it. But what if training is not a priority at your library? That can sure kill your buzz. So, Sarah Houghton addressed how to overcome that barrier and get your administration on board with the value of staff’s pursuit of new and improved skills.
The problem Sarah notes is that most libraries have experienced extremely uneven staff skills, from awesome, to adequate, to struggling. The goal is to have a consistent skill set across staff who are performing the same functions.
She shared the reasons why to invest in staff tech training, and suggested you ask yourself: What does your staff need to know to do their jobs well?
How do you get admin to approve your brilliant plan? How do you get them to say yes, and give you the resources to do it? Your boss make likely talk about wanting things fast and free, you may be subjected to a cadre of committees to review your idea, or there just may be a resistance to change. Sarah’s advice? Ask for forgiveness, not permission. Just do it, do it well, and point to the results.
Tips to help you in your venture:
If you feel alone, reach out to others and ask for help (use your professional network)
Use ROI Calculators
Speak the same language as your administrators
Slashed training budget? Look at free options vs expensive consultants. The word “training” can bring dollars signs into admin’s eyes. Consider webinar swaps: you train my staff, I’ll train yours
Show that Rapid Prototyping of training works. Show successful examples of what you can do. Collect information from staff that shows that it worked.
Build allies among opponents. Target those most reluctant first, develop rapport and get them on our side. (Think Star Trek)
Say no to no. Ask for reason why, so that you can address that issue.
Retain authority gently. (Think Andy Griffith) Coach around your point of view.
Start small. You don’t need to put together a whole training program at the start.Plant the seed.
Bring it. Organizations can move very slow, so bring your best game, highest impact effort to it, to WOW decision makers into action.
It’s all about the users. Why are we training staff in the first place? For the benefit of the library’s services and resource to our users. Tie it to impact on users.
Sarah then segued into how to approach a comprehensive training plan. She noted the key ingredients:
She noted a few caveats:
One person can kill a project
Not everyone believes that staff lack basic skills, so you have to show them.Denial.
Not everyone believes that web-based training is valuable.”If it’s not live, it’s not training”
It is possible for you to sabotage your training initiative yourself by making some key errors.
Finally, Sarah covered how to assess your progress and celebrate the results. The hour was packed with information, so be sure to view and listen to the full archive when it posted.
Online conference coverage continues for WebJunction/Learning Round Table hosted online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning. Thank you to Angela Nolet and Amber Slaven for their presentation, Lights! Camera! Action! Using video for patron and staff instruction. I have to confess that I ate lunch during their presentation so didn’t take the best notes, but know that they shared lots of the nitty-gritty info on how they use over 80 hours a week of staff time on developing and marketing their amazing video program.
We’ve kicked off the final session for day one…it’s been a great day! See all the gems here: http://www.webjunction.org/trends-training-learning
The second session of the WebJunction/Learning Round Table hosted online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning inspired the over 600 people in attendance! Thank you to Marianne Lennox for her inspiring presentation, Happiness Through Personal Learning. She provided achievable steps to both personal and professional happiness or as one attendee said everything “from scientific explanation to practical use.”
Marianne talked about happiness (also known as subjective well being) as a perfect followup to Jay’s presentation on the brain. A few bits that jumped out for me:
And then she moved into talking about how to develop and practice a PLE (Personal Learning Environment). She noted that PLE is a verb not a noun! There are as many ways to set up a PLE as there are learners, and she talked about the VARK learning approaches:
Learning Styles (VARK)
Marianne shared her own PLE including her use of Google Reader. You must watch the archive for this…loads of new details I’ve never used!
She sent us off with 3 tasks:
And finally, remember to use the little things that make you happy (food, music etc.) to help reinvigorate your brain to be excited about learning. And as she said, you can be a lurker but you have to listen!
Her archive will be updated here…a must see! http://www.webjunction.org/trends-training-learning/-/articles/content/122111802
Pavlov, frogs and Twilight metaphors! Jay Turner rocked the opening keynote of the WebJunction/Learning Round Table hosted online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning. Our brains are recharged from Jay’s presentation, Born to Forget: How to Survive and Thrive the Age of Information Overload. In his inimitably colorful style, Jay linked recent research on brain development with the work skills needed for the 21st century learner to maximize long-term memory (or how avoid “groundhog day syndrome”).
“The serpent that is biology conspires against us.”
Jay elaborated on 8 best practices for getting through to the learner’s brain:
1. Keep learning enviro fresh
2. Encourage exploration
3. Separate the need to know from the nice to know
4. Use appropriate scaffolding strategies
5. Master the art of the story
6. Help learners turn inward to connect outward
7. Boost performance through self-efficacy
8. A formal training class is not always the solution
There is so much more information in the space between those best practices. You’ll just have to listen to the archive, which will be available after the conference at: