Laura Cohen has a couple of posts dealing with things that have been on my mind lately, namely staff training and job descriptions. Laura suggests an all day staff retreat for 2.0 learning. I wish more libraries would put staff training, real training, in a place of importance.
Updated: Going through my feeds, I find that Michael Stevens has added to the conversation at ALA TechSource.
Librarians are expected to know more and more about more and more. We should enable our employees to be the best they can be through well planned, extensive staff training.
The obstacles to staff training are finding someone to do the training, getting people to attend, and finding ways for your staff to use their new found knowledge in their work day. To solve the “who is going to train” problem, many libraries are hiring people to coordinate technology training. In my mind, this is the easiest and most straight forward problem to solve.
Attendance or accountability and utilizing new skills are the hardest obstacles to overcome. Accountability has to come from both the top and the bottom. People in the lower ranks must be motivated. This can be done by getting by-in from the beginning or getting a few leaders on board early. The leaders can then go and “spread the word” among the troops. Higher ups will need to hold the training in importance and make sure that any accountability structure has follow though.
Have people learn new skills is wonderful, but managers should be careful to allow their employees opportunities to use their new skills. Perhaps a new project could be started or staff could have built in play time in which they could explore the limits of their new knowledge.
Training should not be overlooked in the 2.0 world. It is essential to any library’s success.
–Jane, lives in a 2.0