Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Staff Tech Training - CiL 2008

staff technology training: 5 steps to success
sarah-houghton-jan, digital futures manager

great resources, but we need to make sure everyone is on the same page:

why invest in staff tech training?
save money in the long run, strengthen staff skills and confidence, showing an institutional commitment to life long learning (helps in recruitment and hiring), increase staff retention rate, increase efficiency and productivity

staff tech training takes
time and money

will need to be customized for your library, as they are all different.

competencies based training cycle:
* planning and brainstorm
* creation
* assessing the staff (what they know, don’t know…)
* training (lengthiest, most time, most effort, needs attention)
reassessment (where are we now)

* and start the cycle over

step one: planning and brainstorm
what does your staff need to know how to do with tech to do their jobs well.
ex: send a fwd, there are a lot of steps to get to the point
what questions are the staff receiving at the ref desk?

benefits of using competencies:
equitable expectations for all staff (if you do this, this is what your suppose to know)
reveals training needs in a quick manner
creates accurate job descriptions
helps with performance evaluations
consistent customer service
helps staff adjust and handle change (training is on a continual basis, become more confident, and capable to deal with new things as they come down the pipes)

working with staff to brainstorm:
create the list with staff involvement (staff know what they need to know)
brainstorming parties rock (over lunch?)
reassure staff they don’t need to know everything now

make trainings fun- through fun sites, not very serious
(ppl might not know about all the cute cats out there)

step two: creation
* work with a task force
* representatives from unit and branches
* representative from different position classifications
* focus on staff input
* get mgmnt buy-in
* and don’t call it “competencies”

some categories for staff skills:
**terminology: a staff glossary (powerful tool)
hardware, office software,
**staying current

competencies best practices:
* keep it core
* keep it task based (open email, delete email)
* different positions – different competencies
* add to job descriptions and new hire checklist
* present list online (blog, wiki, webpage) with each item linked to a how-to
* new technology? look at the list again!

step 3: assessing the staff
* assess objectiviely or subjectively? with supervisor or self
* online service tools are the easiest
* give print option too, if needed
* the psychology of maybe (maybe means no, more likely to say maybe than no)

post assessment
* review individual and group results
* work with supervisors to create individual training needs list for each employee (could staff members develop their own training needs list? )
trust the project manager- they are right! they looked at the data!

step 4: training
training based on revealed needed
all the way from mousing to blogging
get a training budget (!)

why should I do this?
it looks hard. too difficult.
why? prizes: mp3 player! cute star wars mp3 drive.
all these end up with the staff who have been working towards a prize. can go a long way to motivate ppl

inspruiring training:
use real world examples
make the class fun- discussions, exercises
highlight tips and tricks

step 5: reassessment
annual or biannual reviews
rewards for success or consequences for failure
nurture hidden sparks

celebrate success!!
have cake! simple messages! library staff is awesome!

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Annette gaskins and Maurice coleman
Harford county public library

varied populations: the amish to the bloods and crips

why a petting zoo:
surveyed staff, and they discovered staff was good on 1.0 technology and needed a forum to learn about 2.0 levels (wanted to know what they’re kids were doing)

first steps:
get organized and get help: a tech fair interest group
2 pg. proposal covering time and topics to be covered
get the buy-in and get ppl excited
use the tools to promote the fair that were part of the fair

wikis/open source – work tool
gaming – part of collection
streaming media – info source
im/mysace – reference
blogging – expert knowledge
mp3s/ipods – patron use (audiobooks)

first step-
realistic scheduling, couldn’t operate without affecting public service; throw $$-- get part time ppl on the desk, support support!

timing issues: Wednesdays as they open late.
one hour lecture, two hour lab for 36 ppl.
6ppl 6 stations 20 min each
and be aware of time. time to get to where the fair was help. time to get back to the branches, etc.

taking shape: finding ppl
two for the show
station masters, host and hostess (sheepdog or sherpa), get ppl moving, station staff, geek and facility support (making sure they work and making sure the Stuff gets to where it needs to go), and partnership with big box stores (provided technology, provided flat screen tvs)

take shape: finding people
early adopters, techie ppl, pages and teens, curious life long learners

space wise:
drawing ppl from all over the system

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