“Imagine, I thought, the impact I could have on a person who is discouraged and disheartened about their employment prospects or financial situation. They come to the library and experience a kind of oasis, and see new possibilities, rather than feeling stigmatized about their situation. In the process, they also discover the many other things their library offers.”
Project Compass has spent the last year leading workshops around the country about how libraries contribute to workforce recovery and local economic health. We’ve heard from so many workshop participants about the high level of energy and enthusiasm for taking the next steps to keep their libraries vital and central in the community. We’re excited about the impact of the project and we’d like to share our excitement with you through this webinar.
The project has reached nearly 2000 front-line library staff all around the country, stimulating conversations and actions to take those next steps. We have lots of stories and strategies to share from the amazing library staff we’ve worked with. The reflections from participants in the workshop preceding the ARSL conference—Jamie, Pamela, Hope and Joan—are a representative sample of how rural libraries have taken the Project Compass curriculum ideas and run with them.
This webinar is for anyone who is interested in how libraries are supporting their communities through these turbulent times. Whether you work in a large or small library, whether or not you attended a workshop, join us as we review the highlights of the project and look ahead to a thriving future.
[The following excerpts from the reports of three more participants in the Project Compass workshop before the ARSL conference affirm the power of the curriculum and the collaborative exchange of knowledge among rural library representatives.]
From Pamela Thompson, Director, Mason County Library System (WV):
As I attended the Project Compass workshop, I had mixed feelings about what our small library system could do in helping unemployed and small business entrepreneurship. With limited budgets I thought we were doing all we could to help our community. Unemployment rate is high in our county. After a half day in the Project Compass workshop I was wondering why we haven’t done more!! The ideas I brought back to Mason County were affordable and helpful to our community. I have already implemented various ideas at the libraries. I also realized that we are not alone in this “Not enough funding, what more can we do.” As I participated and listened to all the people we met, I realized that we all in rural libraries face the same problems, whether it be West Virginia, Texas, Kentucky, Arizona, or wherever a rural library is located. By the time the day was over, I was more excited about returning to work to start sharing ideas and implementing programs in our system. After talking to the other WV libraries in our group, they felt the same way.
On returning to Mason County, I immediately came up with a game plan and talked to staff about what we intended to accomplish. In a week’s time we have two libraries with couponing stations, a couponing group in two libraries. Also will be attending County and Town meetings more often, allowing patrons to fax resumes free of charge, allowing patrons to print resumes free of charge and we will be starting a Computers 101 class twice a month at each library to help patrons get an email address, learn how to print resumes, or whatever the need is.
Thank you for the scholarship to allow us to attend an awesome workshop!!
From Hope Wilson, Fremont Public Library (IN):
The pre-conference workshop was inspiring and refreshingly well-organized. I had visited the Project Compass website before attending (before I was even aware of the conference) and had downloaded the Project Compass workbook for myself and the other two librarians on staff. The workbook is so resourceful that it can be a bit overwhelming. We were unsure as to where, when, how to begin.
Attending the workshop gave me the big picture. I now see that the resources are there when/if needed; for example, I don’t have to visit all the links in the manual before proceeding, because proceeding today is the important thing. I was able to return to my library and put some small things in practice immediately. Now, we offer free resume faxes and have purchased a new bulletin board just for local entrepreneurs. We can revisit the resources as we progress.
This workshop came at a great time for me as an administrator. We just added an online, self-paced computer training program and are asking the staff to improve their computer skills. Project Compass reiterated the need for them, as employees, to keep enhancing their own job skills.
I appreciated the positive, encouraging approach of the PC workshop. During my brief staff meeting I found that my employees felt good about what they are already offering and felt validated that their work is indeed a service in ways not considered before. For example, I don’t think that they thought of gardening programs as a help to the un/underemployed. Yet they well might be. This is not to say that the staff does not realize how much more we can do. They are looking forward to seeing the library meet the goals they suggested at our staff meeting.
The PC workshop was so beautifully organized and offered such great discussion ideas that I found it easy to pull out an hour’s worth for my staff. Next month I’ll be attending a six-county consortium where I’ll present a short summary to other directors. And next month we’ll have another staff meeting to measure our progress on Project Compass goals.
From Joan Pellikka, Outreach Services Coordinator, North Country Library System (NY):
We are a cooperative library system of 65 member libraries, all separate entities governed by their own boards of trustees. The largest library in our system serves a community of roughly 27,000; the smallest, 121. More than half of our libraries have annual operating budgets of less than $50,000; fifteen have budgets of less than $25,000. We have some of the poorest libraries in the State and everyone works very hard with limited resources. The ARSL conference offers programs tailored to meet the specific needs of the smaller, rural library presented by people who clearly understand that work environment.
My first day in Frisco, I attended the Project Compass workshop, which left me with a more focused direction for collecting and presenting workforce development resources on the NCLS web site. From there, my goal is to offer training for member library staff, who in turn will share these resources with the public. More importantly, I gleaned bits of information that will stay with me for a long time. The following quote was probably the most important thing I saw and heard at the conference:
Lifelong learning is not an option anymore; it’s a necessity. SMART is the new RICH.
~Bernie Trilling, 21st Century Skills
One librarian pointed out that this statement clearly illustrates the value of libraries at all times, not just in times of recession. Her comment, along with the quote, struck me very powerfully. Also during Project Compass, we viewed the video, Did You Know 3.0, which provided statistics that were, for me, eye opening. I am working on integrating both the quote and the video into advocacy efforts for our member libraries.
In the same session, we were reminded that it is so important to not make assumptions about job seekers. Highly skilled professionals such as physicians and pilots are finding themselves in situations where they must learn to assess their abilities and market them in another industry. We must be flexible and prepared to assist everyone with varying levels of expertise.
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?
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:
We’re moving into a new month with great anticipation for the upcoming August 10-11 online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning. In my communications with co-planners (thank you LearningRT!), presenters, members of the production team, and libraries arranging for viewing parties, I’ve come to realize that this online conference most certainly will be greater than the sum of its parts. This is WebJunction’s third online conference and building on experience, your and ours, and the ever-expanding modes of online and blended learning, here are some ways for all to benefit:
As presenters, emcees, producers, viewing party cohorts and all other participants, active or passive, gather around the online conference using these modes and means of engagement, you will see, we certainly do equal more than the sum of our parts. I look forward to learning with all of you!
Project Compass offers its second free online workshop, Libraries Supporting Small Business and Financial Health. This workshop explores the potential for libraries to help move their communities from surviving to thriving by supporting local entrepreneurs and by helping patrons increase their personal financial skills. Looking beyond the immediate needs of job seekers, discover other approaches to supporting the workforce in your community and growing their capacity to succeed in the 21st century.
The program will kick off with a live webinar on July 12, and will be followed by four weeks of self-paced reading assignments, facilitated discussions and peer networking. Read the full description.
Or go straight to registration, which is open to all until filled. Participation in the first workshop is not required.
If you are participating in workshop #1, you are welcome to register for this second workshop. The content and discussion topics will investigate different pathways to workforce renewal.
Project Compass is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Libraries continue to be a pivot point in their communities as we move from recession toward recovery. No matter where your library is on the spectrum of providing services to the un(der)employed, this free online workshop from Project Compass will build your knowledge and confidence to deliver programs and services that will keep the workforce in your community moving forward in the 21st century. The workshop will cover how libraries can respond to the basic needs of patrons impacted by the weak economy and to the specific needs of job seekers. It kicks off with a live webinar on June 1, and will be followed by four weeks of self-paced reading assignments and discussions.
Read the full description.
Or go straight to registration, which is open to all until filled.
Project Compass is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Today’s press release brings news of what’s sure to be our best online conference yet! We’re teaming up with the ALA Learning Round Table to plan and produce our third online conference, Trends in Library Training and Learning: Developing Staff Skills for the 21st Century set for August 10-11.
The conference, to include eight one-hour sessions over two days, will be hosted using the WebEx web conferencing tool, which will provide attendees with easy online access to all live sessions and the ability to interact with other attendees and presenters using text-based chat. Registration will open by June 1 when full conference details are available on our Online Conferences page.
“Libraries are changing quickly and staff need more training than ever to navigate nimbly through change,”said Sharon Morris, ALA Learning Round Table President 2010-11. “This conference will help library trainers, managers and staff to find new ways to train, learn and keep up. The Learning Round Table members are excited to be working with WebJunction on this cutting-edge online conference.”
Jay Turner, a leader in developing creative e-learning solutions for libraries, will serve as keynote speaker for the conference. Mr. Turner serves on the Learning Round Table Board and is the training manager for the Gwinnett County Public Library until May 13. He will then become the new Director of Continuing Education for the Georgia Public Library Service. Mr. Turner was selected as an ALA Emerging Leader in 2008 and is also active in the Public Library Association.
Session presenters will provide practical solutions for libraries looking to implement both staff and patron training using innovative learning techniques that include formal and informal, and online and face-to-face methods. Topics will be particularly relevant to public libraries, but all library staff are welcome and encouraged to attend.
With tight training and travel budgets, this free conference provides library staff an easy and affordable opportunity to learn from and network with both the WebJunction and Learning Round Table communities. Anyone unable to attend the live sessions will be able to view the recorded presentations that will be archived on WebJunction.org after the conference. Full session archives from WebJunction’s two 2010 online conferences are also available to view on WebJunction.org.
Over the first year with Project Compass, we heard about the many successful ways in which public library staff around the country have responded to the needs of the unemployed. We also heard that library staff could use more training and knowledge to augment their ability to help the struggling workforce. And of course, we heard about budget cuts and how little time there is for learning.
Working with library trainer and consultant Pat Wagner, we developed a series of five short video presentations in which Pat shares her knowledge and experience on some key topics that will help library staff help their patrons. Think of them as “learning tapas” or small chunks of information to be consumed when you have the time and the appetite.
Find links to all five in the table of contents.
There are lots of other resources on the menu of the Workforce Resources community.
We’re heading into a second week of double-header online WebJunction events and hope to see you there! This week’s Digitization and Preservation Symposium was attended by more than 500 people (!) and included the usual buzz of resource and idea sharing throughout. Be sure to review the archive and the questions and links gleaned from chat.
If you missed the first two sessions in the Libraries and Economic Development Series, you can still register for Tuesday’s final session, Going to Your Customer – Outreach and Strategic Partnerships, to learn how to boost your community’s economic development.
And if you’re involved in training of any sort, the second webinar next week is not to be missed. We have Emerging Leader Group N to thank for recruiting the Baltimore County Public Library Virtual Orientation Project for this webinar.
On Wednesday September 1, 2:00 Eastern, in collaboration with ALA Learning Roundtable we’re pleased to host Creating A Virtual Orientation for New Staff. Orienting new staff quickly to your organization is very important. A virtual orientation could be the key to a timely, comprehensive, standardized introduction to your library system. Discover advantages to implementing a virtual orientation for your workplace. Presenters Jean Mantegna, Sandy Lombardo, and Melissa Hepler have also shared their expertise in a recently published case study. Come join us on Wednesday if you want to hear how they planned, tested and implemented this exciting training project!
Many thanks to everyone who attended the WebJunction presentation today at IFLA. This presentation was part of a joint session of the Knowledge Management, Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning, and Information Technology sections.
Visit the IFLA site to read all of the papers that were presented in Session 107 — it was wonderful to be part of a session that included examples of knowledge management and staff training projects from around the world.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of contributing to Trends in E-Learning for Library Staff, a snapshot of how library staff in the U.S. viewed, and used, e-learning in 2005.
This spring and summer, Jennifer Peterson and I interviewed libraries to develop a new snapshot of how U.S. library organizations are utilizing online training tools in their staff development initiatives. Our resulting report is less about how online learning is viewed … in fact, we started with the assumption that online learning is an accepted, even expected, component of training programs today. From there, we examined why online learning was incorporated into the training program, which tools were used, how learner collaboration and ownership were encouraged, what successes were realized, and asked the program coordinators/trainers to offer any advice for other library organizations pursuing similar programs.
The paper we wrote was accepted for inclusion in this year’s IFLA program, and I’ll be presenting our findings this coming Friday, after immersing myself in the international library community for a few days.
I’ve also posted the paper, with practical approaches for adding online learning to your training program, and case studies about the training programs profiled on WebJunction, in our Training Program Management section.
Read the entire paper, or check out the case studies for each of the training programs profiled:
And on a related note, be sure to join us on September 1 for a free webinar with the folks from Baltimore County Public Library on Creating A Virtual Orientation for New Staff.
You have to look at bit behind the scene to appreciate the triple winning lineup of this Thursday’s webinar Building An Online Learning Community In Your State. It is a production of the dynamic Group N of ALA Emerging Leaders in collaboration with the ALA Learning Round Table and WebJunction.
Sponsored by LearnRT, the Emerging Leader Group N is summiting the learning curve of planning and producing a series of webinars of interest to the training community. Since January, they have surveyed the field for topics of interest, identified a few key topics, selected presenters, received production and technical training on webEx, and are ready to roll it out to you—the library learning audience. Show your support for the efforts of Angela, Jennifer, Natalie and Sonnet by attending this Thursday.
Or just come to find out how the combined creative forces of Maurice Coleman and Nini Beegan created a collaborative, online space where Maryland library staff can participate and contribute ideas, information, and content.
It’s not too late to register at:
Are you involved with planning and implementing an all-staff event at your library? We heard it from the experts at PLA: a successful staff day is hard work, but it can facilitate learning and bring recognition to all in your organization. Pat Carterette hosted the panel of staff development veterans including Mary Ross, Stacy Schrank, and Nancy Schutz. These folks have planned and implemented numerous all-staff events in public libraries of all sizes and they shared their tips, tricks and strategies for a successful day.
I encourage you to review the session slides and handout now available on the PLA site, but here are some of the gems I jotted down. The presenters touched on all these aspects of a successful staff day:
Program Ideas and Resources
“Day of” Considerations
Staff Development Day Survey: Emerging Leader Project
The presentation and handouts reference an exciting project being taken on by a group of Learning RT- sponsored Emerging Leaders. The group is in the process of creating a staff development day handbook. If you are involved at any level with planning staff development day events and have recommendations or materials that others may find helpful or if you have attended a staff development day and have insights, they would like your help! You can find the survey here http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/StaffDaySuccess (All respondents will have a chance to win a $25 gift card from Amazon!)
At the beginning of the presentation the audience was asked a few questions about the size of their staff and the budget available for a staff day. I was struck by the large number of folks who come from smaller or medium-sized libraries who have little or no budget to plan their staff days. In these tough times, I think we need to include a number of contingency plans or cost efficient ways to build organizational morale and learning. I’d love to hear from libraries who insert learning and staff development into every day or from those who are using presentation archives or online meetings to bring staff together. There are examples popping up all over the place! I’ll mention the WebJunction Online Conferencing group here as a place to explore innovative approaches to online “staff days”. And for ideas on integrating learning into “every day”, be sure to check out the presentation and handouts from another PLA session, Power Up Your Learning Organization.