The Kids Are Alright: Developing a Comprehensive Training Program for ILL Student Assistants
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The Kids Are Alright: Developing a Comprehensive Training Program for ILL Student Assistants



Most academic libraries could not fully staff the great variety of programs and services they offer without employing students. However, the complex and intricate nature of inter-library loan ...

Most academic libraries could not fully staff the great variety of programs and services they offer without employing students. However, the complex and intricate nature of inter-library loan workflows often makes training ILL Student Assistants a challenging task. This presentation will explore specific techniques, tools, and technologies library staff can use to develop a comprehensive training program specifically designed to make inter-library loan training fun, interactive, and effective for Student Assistants. Presentation by Robin Milford



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The Kids Are Alright: Developing a Comprehensive Training Program for ILL Student Assistants The Kids Are Alright: Developing a Comprehensive Training Program for ILL Student Assistants Presentation Transcript

  • The Kids Are Alright: Developing a Comprehensive Training Program for ILL Student Assistants Robin Milford Access Services Librarian University of California Merced
  • UC Merced at a Glance • Merced is located in California’s San Joaquin Valley • The 10th campus in the University of California system • The 1st American research university of the 21st century Three Schools: Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences, Humanities & Arts 2012 Stats: Enrollment: 5760 Undergraduates: 5431 Graduates: 329
  • Faculty and Staff: • Ladder-Rank – 153 • Lecturers – 153 • Full-and Part-Time Staff – 769 • Total–1145 Student Body: • In fall 2008, 33 percent of students were Asian, 30.1 percent Latino, 24.1 percent white, and 6.5 percent black. • Certified as a Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2010 • In 2012, 65.5 percent of freshman students were first- generation college students
  • Cows!
  • UC Merced Library at a Glance • 10 librarians • 12 staff members • 45-50 student assistants; working over 500 hours per week Collection • Shares resources with other UC campuses (36+ million items in the UC system) • Electronic collection managed by California Digital Library (CDL) • Approx. 70,000 online journals, 580 databases, 102,000 books, 3,965,000 online books (including 3,150,000 Hathi-Trust online books) Hours • Open 94.5 hours per week Space • 180,000 sq. ft.
  • Interlibrary Services at UCM Library ILL Stats (July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012) • 6789 items borrowed for students, faculty and staff • 7268 items loaned to other libraries • Processed 14 000+ requests in 2012 • Net Lender since 2006 ILL Staff 2 full time staff members: • Denice Sawatzky, Interlibrary Services Coordinator Dolly Lopez, Interlibrary Services Assistant • 5-7 student assistants
  • ILL Platform: OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing – Will be replaced by WorldShare Interlibrary Loan by the end of 2013. • Provides access to OCLC FirstSearch Request Management System: VDX (Virtual Document eXchange) Integrated Library System: WMS (WorldShare Management Services)
  • Remember the interview process…
  • New Hire Task List • Complete new hire paperwork • Make library staff aware of the new student • Clean and organize student work area • Get orientation training materials together • Arrange for the student’s photograph uniform, keys, parking pass
  • Orientation: The process of introducing new employees to the organization and their positions. vs. Training: Occurs when an expert works with an employee to share the knowledge and skills required to complete the tasks associated with a particular position.
  • Onboarding: A systematic and comprehensive approach to orienting a new employee to help them get "on board."
  • Sample Group Orientation Schedule
  • Training Time! (Finally) The First Day • Review the Training Toolkit documents • Introduce the Student Assistant to the library staff • Go through the timesheet process • Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – show them where to eat, drink, and store their stuff!
  • Training Toolkit Documents • Library Mission Statement • Library Organizational Chart • Duties & Responsibilities List • Workplace Expectations • Workplace Ethics • Patron Privacy Statement • Grounds for Dismissal • Job Description • Important Contact Information Sheet • Supervisor’s Card
  • Training Checklist Helps to: • Plan the training • Check the efficacy of the training • Keep track of what still needs to be accomplished
  • Sample Training Checklist
  • Sample Training Checklist # 2
  • Benefits of a student assistant training manual: • It lets the trainee concentrate on and partake in the training during the training session instead of taking detailed notes. • It can serve as a reference document in the work place. • Identifies areas for improvement in current workflow
  • What are the challenges of training ILL Student Assistants? • ILL work is often complicated – consists of detailed workflows and multi-step processes • Requires an ability to think abstractly and troubleshoot • ILL units are often isolated from the rest of the library • Some tasks can be repetitive and monotonous • Can require high degree of technical proficiency • Must transition quickly between working with physical materials and technology to working with patrons
  • What are the characteristics of a successful ILL Student Assistant? • Detail oriented • Works quickly and accurately • Strong analytical and problem solving skills • Well organized, orderly • Manages time effectively • Customer service oriented • Not afraid of technology • Good communicator • Team player • Intellectually curious and eager to learn new skills
  • Training Approaches Individual Group Peer-to-Peer Job shadowing
  • Training Tactics • Manual/Guidebook • Group Activities/Ice Breakers • Quizzes (e.g., Quia) • Cheat Sheets/Crib Notes • Flow charts/Concept maps • Video tutorials (e.g., Camtasia, Jing) • Blog or wikis • Games (e.g., Nuts & Bolts, Problem Child) • Monthly learning theme/Tip of the Week
  • Concept Map
  • “Nuts & Bolts” Purpose: Requested renewal practice, importance of details. Question: An undergraduate asked for a renewal. Below is the VDX information for the request. Should you ask the lending library for a renewal?
  • Yes No There is a “yes” and “no” pouch: • Yes pouch will have explanation sheet and a note to open the No pouch • The No pouch will have the same sheet and the next game Question: Should you renew? Answer: No What to do instead: 1. Change the local due date using the “local change request details” in the actions available bar to the undergrad renewal due date (on the whiteboard) 2. Update WMS and send the patron a “Renewal Approved” e-mail
  • “Problem Child” Purpose: Encourage better understanding of the VDX record, expose students to common problems. Instructions: We received these requests in the afternoon shipment. Some of these requests have issues we need to highlight. Can you find the problem child requests?
  • Christine Sisak & Lynne Marcus’ Tips on Motivating and Engaging ILL Student Assistants: • Points System • Evaluations • Special projects • Peer-to-peer training • Student of the Month Award • MVP Awards • Keep the lines of communication open by using weekly emails/Facebook posts • Make the office fun and friendly: • White Board • Home Away from Home Wall/Pet board • Team Roster
  • Remember assessment…
  • Questions?
  • Thank you!
  • Works Cited Baird, Lynn N. “Student Employees in Academic Libraries: Training for Work, Educating for Life.” PNLA Quarterly. 67.2. (Winter 2003): 13, 23. Online. Baldwin, David A. (2000). Effective Management of Student Employment: Organizing for Student Employment in Academic Libraries. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2000. Print. Bortles, Elaine and Alex Toth. “’I’ll Take Circulation Policies for 100 Alex’ Or, Fostering the Team-Based Approach Among Library Student Assistants.” PNLA Quarterly. 67.4. (Summer 2003): 14, 20. Online. Brandt, George B. Onboarding: How to Get Your Employees Up to Speed in Half the Time. New York: Wiley, 2009. Print. Farrell, Sandy L., and Carol Driver. “Tag, You’re It: Hiring, Training, and Managing Student Assistants.” Community & Junior College Libraries. 16.3. (2010): 185-191. Print.
  • Krasulski, Michael J., and Trevor A. Dawes. Twenty-First Century Access Services: On the Front Line of Academic Librarianship. Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries, 2013. Print. Reale, Michelle. Mentoring & Managing Students in the Academic Library. Chicago: American Library Association, 2013. Print. Russell, Thyra K. “Student Employment Manuals.” Journal of Library Administration. 21.3/4. (1995): 95-108. Print. Sisak, Christine and Lynne Marcus. “Team ILL: Training, Engaging & Motivating Student Assistants .” IDS Conference 2013. PowerPoint. 2013. 25 Aug 2013. ILL 2013.pdf Sweetman, Kimberly Burke. Managing Student Assistants: A How-To- Do-It Manual for Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2007. Print. Weible, Cherie L, and Karen L Janke. Interlibrary Loan Practices Handbook. 3rd ed. Chicago: American Library Association, 2011. Print.