Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries
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Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries



Power Point presentation of Building the Digital Branch: Guidelines for Transforming Your Library Website from Library Technology Reports

Power Point presentation of Building the Digital Branch: Guidelines for Transforming Your Library Website from Library Technology Reports



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    Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries Presentation Transcript

    • Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries
      Elizabeth Dunn, Jen Lemke, Jen Post, Ruben Balderas, Elaine Miraglia
    • What are competencies?
      Competencies are the abilities, qualities, strengths and skills required for the success of the employee and the organization.
      In the 21st century, technology is becoming increasing crucial in effectively running libraries.
    • Dozens of lists of professional competencies exist for library and information professionals…
      • ALA'S "Statement of Core Competencies" (draft)"
      • Art Libraries Society of North America's "Core
      Competencies for Art Information Professionals""
      • ALSC's (Association for Library Service to Children)
      "Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in
      Public Libraries"i3
      Medical Library Association's "Health Information
      Science Knowledge and Skills""
      • Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
      Taskforce on Professional Competencies'
      "Professional Competencies for Reference and User
      Services Librarians"'^
      • SLA's (Special Libraries Association) "Competencies
      for Information Professionals of the 2P' Century"'*
      • YALSA's (the Young Adult Library Services
      Association) "Competencies for Librarians Serving
    • Yet very little attention has been paid to the specific skills needed and so far libraries have been lax about qualifying exactly what staff members need to know about technology to better perform at their jobs.
    • Why has there generally been a lack of specific technology competency training?
      Lack of government funding
      The assumption workers can “pick it up by themselves”
      There is concern if staff members are too well trained they will leave the library for the more lucrative corporate setting
    • So, why bother with competency training?
      Providing a set list of technology competencies can improve staff confidence, provide better service to the public and promote life long learning among employees.
    • This training can benefit institutions in a variety of ways:
    • Save Money
      If employees are trained to handle the library’s technology needs, there is no need to spend money on costly tech support
    • Improve the Accuracy of Job Descriptions and Classifications
      Once technology goals have been set, it can streamline the hiring process
    • Create a Culture of Learning
      To reassert ourselves as a profession of knowledgeable information finding experts, must take full advantage of all opportunities for continuing education
      Competency descriptions can unify the staff across departments and help improve the sharing of knowledge and skills
    • Relieve the Tech Pack Mules
      Often one or two members of a library staff are unfairly burdened with technological responsibilities. Creating set competencies to be trained in will take the strain off of these “pack mules” and more evenly distribute the technology related workload.
    • Improve Customer Service
      By making certain library staff members are all “on the same page,” providing patrons with their needs without having to track down a “specialist.”
    • Build a Coordinate Technology-Training Program
      Having a set description of technology competencies provides a tool to determine employee’s current skill set versus the desired skill set
    • The Competencies Cycle
    • Creating a Competencies Task Force
      Who should be included?
      How should the task force be formed?
      Volunteers vs. assigned representatives
    • The Purpose Statement
      Guides the planning process
      Serves as a beacon document
      Helps merge competencies with existing goals/objectives
      Should be available to all staff members
    • Planning
      Set a time line
      Determine local approval requirements
      Complete a literature review
      Answer questions about your library
      Decide the scope of the competencies list
      Identify initial competencies
    • Planning/Staff Participation
      Staff brainstorming session
      Central location; convenient time
      Invite EVERYONE
      Any idea goes
      Worksheets vs. free think
      Ask Management
      Survey staff
    • Writing the Competency Descriptions(the first draft)
      Items needed:
      Purpose statement for the competency list
      Info from task force literature review and discussions
      Scope of the competency list
      Initial competency descriptions based on existing requirements and documents
      Material generated from staff & management brainstorming sessions
      Info from staff surveys
    • Create Categories
      Consider these “Must Haves”
      Glossary of technical terms
      Planning for and evaluating new systems
      Helping remote users
      Dealing with change
      Circulation (specifics)
      Software & hardware specifics
    • More “Must Haves”
      Staff views… AND public views
      Policies & law
      Societal issues & technology
      Virtual reference
      The Techies
    • Formatting the Competencies List
      Individual Competency Statements
      Types of statement: descriptive or task-based?
      Action verbs
      Consistent sentence structure
      Word choice
      Be objective and quantitative
      “Competencies List” vs. “Learning Checklist” or “Training Plan”
    • Formatting the Competencies List
      The Overall List
      One level or multiple levels
      By position, department, or location
      One giant list with supervisory discretion
      Print or online
      Public or private
      Competencies list alone or with assessment
      Finalize the list
    • Implementing the Competencies List
      Get the list approved
      Decide on incentives
      Decide on negative consequences
      Present the list to the staff
      Hand over the competencies project to the training and assessment process coordinator
    • Gaining Approval
      What to include:
      Letter of Introduction
      Description of Process
      Plans for implementation
    • Training Incentives!!!
      “I love what you do for me!”
      • Continuing Education
      • Promotions
      • Pay increases
      • Paid time off
      • Prizes
      -Most improved
      -Highest score
    • Training the Untrainable…
      Determine the cause…
      • Not enough sessions available
      • Refuses to be trained
      • Not retaining information
      • Look for patterns
      The consequences…
      • Negative employee evaluations
      • Pay decrease
      • Position reconfiguration
      • Transfers
      • Demotion
      • Termination
    • Test Time!
      No open ended questions
      So which format works best?
      a. Multiple Choice
      b. True/False
      c. Labeling Parts of the Computer
      d. All of the Above
    • Test Time!
      No open ended questions
      So which format works best?
      a. Multiple Choice
      b. True/False
      c. Labeling Parts of the Computer
      d. All of the Above!
    • Test Time!
      DON’T Ask: “Are you satisfied with searching?”
      DO Ask:
      Do you get too many unrelated results?
      Do you use more than one search engine?
      One word or phrase?
      Prioritize emails?
      Skill level
      Yes, No, Don’t Know
      Confident, Somewhat Confident, Not Confident
    • Technology Training
      Constructed on Foundations of:
      Which one gets skimped on the most?
    • Technology Training
      Constructed on Foundations of:
      Money…………………. …..Skimp!
    • Your Budget
      “Good continuing education costs money. Will you chose to pay?
      Either way…you will pay…”
      --Marion Paris
      On staff trainer and time it takes to develop materials
      Outside speakers
      Offsite conferences
      Travel arrangements
      Staff workload
    • Creating Session Outlines
      See what is already out there
      Write a literal outline
      Have a variety in what students do
      Think about time considerations
      Make backups of materials
    • Creating Effective Handouts
      Be critical
      Create a template
      Give further resources
      Revise class materials continuously
    • Beginning Class
      Start on time
      Do housekeeping immediately
      Ask, “Why are we here?”
      Talk about emotional reactions to computers
      Distribute a questionnaire
    • End of Class
      Reinforce importance and purpose of the training
      Reiterate what students should have learned
      Point out further resources
      Ask students to practice new skills
      Ask students to fill out evaluations
    • Reassessment and Revision
      Quarterly review of students
      Annual reviews of competencies list