Below are the key take-aways from our session on how to approach technology training needs:

Use Interactive Adult Learning Methodology

For adults: mixing new and old methods can be more effective;

This is not only for adults: Interactive HUMAN learning methods!

Libraries are education providers – from learning places to peer support environments;

The librarian’s role is one of educator, companion, education facilitator, motivator and guide;

Librarians need to offer keys for patron learning; tell patrons why they need to learn something & how

Training is essential to libraries becoming lifelong learning centers in their communities;

Librarians should understand the different types of learning styles to suit different people;

We need to ask people what they really want to learn; not what we think they should learn;

Learning opportunities should be for individuals & groups;

Libraries should find opportunities to connect digital possibilities to local library education programs;

Design services that meet community needs;

Find leaders within different groups to lead instruction to facilitate peer learning opportunities;

New technologies can enhance local participation

Opportunities include:

Libraries can feature a press display & store newspapers in a database;

Libraries can host online discussions or open forums for matters of national or local interest;

Libraries can provide a place for anonymous feedback—perhaps an online suggestion survey for local issues?

Libraries can provide political education for youth (e.g. in Denmark, libraries are showing the impact that council discussions are having on the daily lives of youth);

Libraries provide a safe place for people to connect with the government;

Positioning the library as a place for political discourse and information can build a faithful user group that will provide future support for library services;

Library can also provide essential health services like providing a blood pressure machine or a breast cancer screening – this will lead to more recognition from consumers and government and potentially increase budgets;

Don’t recreate the wheel, and don’t try to do everything—lots of online training courses already exist and can augment the services you can provide;

We need to build the capacity of our communities from reading to high-tech.

Risks include:

Libraries might lose neutrality (we need to develop policies that clarify how/what the library can/will support)

Some librarians might not feel that this is part of their jobs (we need to make it part of their jobs and show them why providing these kinds of services are essential to our communities and the sustainability of the library.)

 

Partnerships can help us obtain useful content

It’s necessary to look for support of the private sector, but also important to find a balance between content coming from private sector and the library;

Partnerships can create good will towards the library;

Partnerships can create a base for volunteers, new resources (e.g., computers, monitors, etc.) and new content;

You need to find win-win solutions that benefit the library and the partner organization;

Use your personal network: partnerships happen with individuals (not necessarily organizations); look for individuals who want to support what the library is doing;

Many organizations have included corporate responsibility into their mission statements now.

 

“If you want to get laid, go to college; if you want education, go to the library.”—Frank Zappa

 

Resource:

http://ekurser.nu/ (IT help online, coming in multiple languages soon)

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