Training with the Branch Heads (Library Administrators Please Read)

I am a tech trainer librarian at heart folks. Probably always will be. Those moments of turning people on to new ways to get information or do their jobs when the “AHA” sparks in their eyes. Yes indeed.

Yesterday I did a 2 hour session for our branch librarians at the request of their supervisor — the Coordinator of Extension Sevices at SJCPL who consistently rocks my world with her forward thinking and insight. She IMs. She reads a whole bunch of LIS Blogs via RSS and comments on posts with me time to time. She has an iPod! She uses FIREFOX!

Anyway, this time she requested a general “how to post to the library blog session” and an RSS session because she really wants her heads to be “in the know.” Even if the librarians are not consistently posting to the SJCPL Lifeline, Nancy wanted them to undertsand the process and how it all works. (How many of you have had this encouragement and opportunity? Have you taken advantage of it if you have?)

We zipped through the blogging portion pretty quickly because they were quick to catch on. We went through some RSS basics and this time I demonstrated Bloglines. After they subscribed to a few feeds we had extra time, so I asked if they wanted to see a couple of other new things.

We took a look at flickr and I defined folksonomy for them and then, at Nancy’s urging, we touched on podcasting. I showed them Greg’s blog and podcasts and Karen’s freeverse post. With the speakers up high in the training room, we played Karen’s full podcast and used it as a discussion point: what is SJCPL doing with some of the TTTs? Did they know what bthey all were? What have the branch heads encountered in their libraries — portable storage,etc.

What an incredible way to get people talking and pondering what a library might be doing or planning to do. Have a staff meeting coming up? Play that post and ask your librarians how they feel about the TTTs… what they know about…what they don’t..

So the jist of this post is: Adminstrators: look for teaching/learning opportunities for your librarians and encourage them. Lead by example as well! A plugged-in, “in the know” adminstrator can really sell new technologies and plans to the staff. And don’t be fooled — if you are afraid of your computer – your staff knows it! Keep on top of the Top Technology trends and look for cool ways to illustrate them and educate your staff – Thanks for the inspiration Karen!