Resources for Library Training Success

Megan Knapp /

Smiling man working at a desk during a trainingModern libraries evolve with their customers, and that means keeping pace with new trends, techniques, and technologies. Library staff must keep their skills fresh, and are often called on to take a teaching role, not only in guiding customers to the information they seek, but also by leading patron classes on computing or staff sessions on customer service skills. Whether the motivation to learn is specific to a near-term professional goal or supports a deeper curiosity about what makes us tick, this month’s resources provide tips and tools for training (and learning) success.

With slimming budgets and shortened deadlines, many libraries turn to online learning solutions for training needs, especially for staff. Online training provides a number of benefits beyond traditional face-to-face sessions, though many still share a lingering belief that e-learning is not as effective as its in-person counterpart. Recently, OCLC led a symposium on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), discussing the challenges and rewards of this extensive online approach. On a smaller scale, online training can uniquely support personalized, on-demand learning in a number of ways. The webinar The Online Learner: Sinking or Swimming? explores the future of learning and examines strategies for supporting and empowering the learner.

As library staff develop their own skills or create training for peers, it may be helpful to refer to core industry competencies to inform areas of focus. The Competency Index for the Library Field has recently been updated to emphasize essential topics for libraries, including 21st century skills, accountability, and community engagement.  

Supporting job hunters, students, older adults, or anyone seeking new technologyInstructor helping a young man at a computer knowledge, trainers in libraries use curricula, resources, and tools to help their communities advance their digital proficiency. In the webinar Digital Literacy: Libraries Respond to Community Needs, discover practical ways to address digital literacy programming and training and to respond to patron needs on the fly.

Additionally, WebJunction has a number of resources to support training and learning goals, from understanding learner motivation, to creating and delivering training in a variety of formats and to a variety of audiences. Explore these topics for more information, and share your own training success story with us!