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The No-Nonsense Guide to Training in Libraries

May 2013 | 224pp

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9781856048286
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9781856049634
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The No-Nonsense Guide to Training in Libraries

Barbara Allan

Straightforward and practical guidance for library and information workers in all sectors who are involved in training users, colleagues or other groups.

In order to make an impact with their customers, library staff must be well trained and up-to-date. Training is often delivered by library managers, development officers and trainers who may have limited budgets with access to few resources. This accessible guide uses case studies and examples of best practice from public, school, academic, special and government libraries to help library and information workers deliver excellent training practice.

Increasingly, library and information staff are being asked to do more and more with fewer resources. In the context of higher education and further education, library and information workers are often involved in training large, diverse groups of more than 100 students, who may have limited resources. In public libraries, library staff may be involved in delivering a wide range of training activities to extremely diverse groups.

Many library and information workers in special libraries deliver end-user and specialist training to busy professionals who are unlikely to have the time to attend pre-scheduled workshops. In addition, the rise of social networking tools and other information and communication technologies, has meant that training practices are continually changing to meet the expectations of participants.

This book provides guidance on the design and delivery of effective training courses and is aimed at helping experienced trainers, as well as those who are still developing their skills, including:

  • The people side of training
  • Use of technologies to support training practices
  • Different approaches to learning and teaching
  • Planning and designing training
  • Delivering training: face-to-face and blended learning
  • Evaluation of training events and continuous improvement
  • Learning and development in the workplace.

Readership: All library and information workers involved in training.

1. Introduction

  • Introduction to this chapter
  • Introduction to the book
  • Contribution of training to library and information services
  • Benefits of training
  • The training cycle and the planning stage
  • The financial side of training
  • Legal issues
  • Structure of the book
  • Summary
  • References and additional resources

PART 1: TRAINING PRACTICES

2. Different approaches to learning and teaching

  • Introduction
  • Three approaches to learning and teaching
  • A model for workplace learning programmes
  • Theories of learning
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning
  • Levels of competence
  • Summary
  • Notes
  • References and additional resources

3. Making training interesting

  • Introduction
  • Action planning
  • Activities
  • Case studies
  • Demonstrations
  • Discussion groups
  • Drop-in sessions
  • Games
  • Group work
  • Guest speakers
  • Hands-on sessions
  • Ice-breakers
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Lectures and presentations
  • Problem-based learning
  • Stories and metaphors
  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Treasure hunts
  • Using a combination of methods
  • Summary
  • References and additional resources

4. Use of different technologies to support training practices

  • Introduction
  • Apps
  • Audience response systems
  • Audio files
  • Blogs
  • Games
  • Interactive whiteboards
  • Mind mapping
  • Mobile learning
  • Podcasts
  • PowerPoint
  • QR codes
  • Screen recording
  • Screen sharing
  • Skype
  • Social networking tools
  • Surveys or questionnaires
  • Twitter
  • Videos
  • Virtual learning environments
  • Virtual talks
  • Virtual visitor
  • Web-based training
  • Web conferencing
  • Webinars
  • Web portals
  • Wikis
  • Summary
  • Notes
  • References and additional resources

5. Making it happen

  • Introduction
  • Thinking about participants
  • Design principles
  • Designing face-to-face sessions
  • Impact of learning style preferences on training styles
  • Managing session timings
  • Evaluation of training
  • Marketing and promoting training programmes
  • Summary
  • References and additional resources

6. Delivering face-to-face training sessions

  • Introduction
  • Getting started
  • Different ways of involving everyone in the training process
  • Managing the learning process
  • Questions
  • Ending the learning process
  • Teaching large groups
  • Making database training interesting
  • Working with challenging learners
  • Summary
  • References and additional resources

7. E-learning and blended learning

  • Introduction
  • E-learning
  • Design of e-learning programmes
  • Web-based tutorials
  • Learning groups and communities
  • Blended learning
  • Design of blended learning programmes
  • E-tutoring
  • Evaluation of e-learning and blended learning
  • Summary
  • References and additional resources

PART 2: LEARNING IN THE WORKPLACE

8. Learning and development in the workplace

  • Introduction
  • 90+ approaches to learning and development in the workplace
  • 360 degree feedback
  • Accreditations
  • Action learning
  • Action planning
  • Analysing mistakes
  • Appraisal processes
  • Apps
  • Asking advice
  • Asking and answering questions
  • Audio recordings
  • Benchmarking
  • Blogs
  • Book reviews
  • Briefing papers
  • Briefing sessions
  • Cascade training
  • Celebrating success
  • Coaching
  • Communities of interest and practice
  • Competitions and prizes
  • Complaints
  • Conferences
  • Covering for holidays
  • Crises
  • Critical friend
  • Delegation
  • Demonstrations
  • Displays
  • E-bulletins
  • E-learning
  • Electronic mailing lists
  • E-mails
  • E-portfolio
  • Evaluating different products
  • Exchanges
  • Exhibitions
  • Exit interviews
  • External funding
  • Feedback
  • Fishbone diagram
  • Focus groups
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Gap year
  • Induction
  • Instructions
  • Internet
  • Interviews
  • Job rotation
  • Key performance indicators
  • Learning boxes
  • Learning contracts
  • Learning conversations
  • Learning journals
  • Meetings
  • Mentoring
  • Metaphors
  • Mind mapping
  • Networking
  • Online discussion groups
  • Online tutorials
  • Organizing events
  • Personal development planning
  • Personal development portfolios
  • Playing cards
  • Presentations
  • Professional journals
  • Professional organizations
  • Project work
  • Promotion
  • QR codes
  • Quality assurance activities
  • Quizzes
  • Reading
  • Reflection
  • Retreats or residentials
  • Rich pictures
  • Secondment
  • Self-assessment tools
  • Setting deadlines
  • Speed networking
  • Sticky notes
  • Study tours
  • SWOT analysis
  • Teamwork
  • Training a colleague
  • Twitter
  • Video clips
  • Visits
  • Wikis
  • Work-based learning qualifications
  • Work shadowing
  • Working parties
  • Writing
  • YouTube
  • Notes
  • References and additional resources

"Well-written and covering a broad range of topics in a useful in-depth manner, this guide to library training deals with topics ranging from making training interesting for both staff and users, to the best ways of delivering face-to-face instruction. Modern technology useful for training, such as QR codes, virtual learning, or interactive white boards is also discussed. Allan (Westminster Business School) also offers brief case studies and real-world examples, along with "tips for trainers." The second part of the book focuses on over 90 approaches to facilitate learning in the workplace. The author's experience includes managing workplace and academic libraries and she also holds a MSc in information science."
- Reference and Research Book News

"I will have this work within easy reach, particularly before I plan and design the next training workshop. The logical layout, format and design of the book are so user friendly, making this an invaluable ‘go to’ training resource."
- Australian Library Journal

Barbara Allan is Dean of Westminster Business School. Her background includes managing workplace and academic libraries. She has spent many years working in business schools where her focus is on enhancing learning, teaching and the student experience, and the internationalization agenda. She was awarded a National teaching Fellowship in 2008 from the Higher Education Academy. Barbara is the author of several Facet Publishing titles including: Project Management (2004) and Blended Learning (2007).

1. Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to introduce the context of training in library and information services. It begins with a general introduction to the aims and intended audience of this book, and some of the current issues faced by library trainers. This is followed by a section which looks at the links between training practice and the strategic goals and objectives of the library or information service. It is helpful for trainers to be aware of these connections, as the more effectively our training is aligned with the needs of the library and information service, the greater will be its contribution. It will also make it easier to access resources and support for training activities. The next section presents many of the benefits of training, and this is a useful list which may be edited as required by individual practitioners who are making a bid for training resources. The training cycle is then outlined, and this involves four stages: planning, design, delivery and evaluation. This chapter considers the planning stage, and highlights the importance of working with a range of stakeholders to ensure that you develop an appropriate training plan. The chapter ends with a guide to the structure of this book and the content of each chapter. This is followed by a list of references and additional resource materials.

2. Different approaches to learning and teaching

This chapter introduces underpinning approaches to learning and teaching which are relevant in different training situations. If a trainer has a basic understanding of these approaches then s/he will be able to ensure that their training activities are logical, coherent and designed to meet the needs of diverse participants. The chapter starts by exploring three different approaches: content or trainer-centred approaches, where the focus is on what is to be taught; learner-centred approaches, which, as the name implies, put learners at the centre of the learning process; and social approaches to learning. There is overlap between learner-centred and social approaches to learning. Social approaches to learning are very relevant to trainers, as – particularly in continuous professional development – learning communities are often developed as part of the training strategy. In recent years there has been a shift in emphasis from traditional face-to-face training sessions and towards designing development programmes which are integrated into workplace practices. This is called the 70:20:10 model and it is explored in this chapter. Finally, the chapter ends with an exploration of three learning theories. The section starts by looking at three different models of learning style (VAK, Honey and Mumford, Dunn and Dunn) and their relevance to training. This is followed by two models of learning: Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning; and the Learning Competences model. The Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning model provides an insight into the design of learning outcomes, and also of learning activities, and into the need for these to be aligned. The Learning Competence model is relevant both to the design of training events and to people’s behaviours as they learn something new. It is worth noting that there is an extensive theoretical literature on learning and teaching. The content of this chapter is very much a summary and synthesis of these ideas.

3. Making training interesting

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of different methods of delivering learning and teaching. A combination of these different methods may be included in a training session in order to engage the learners and enhance their learning experience. The training methods are listed in alphabetical order.

4. Use of different technologies to support training practices

This chapter focuses on providing a general overview of the different ways in which current technologies can be incorporated into training programmes. Initially, the internet provided library and information trainers with access to a range of tools and facilities to support learning and teaching. These included: web-based tutorials; online communication tools; asynchronous tools such as discussion boards and messaging services; synchronous tools such as chat or meeting rooms; specialist software which could be used to develop games, quizzes and surveys; presentations; and multimedia resources. In educational institutions, these were often combined to produce virtual learning environments (VLEs) such as Blackboard and WebCT, which also included online tracking systems. The rise of social media and Web 2.0 has provided an increased range of tools that may be used for learning and development. At first sight, these appear to be a complex array, but they can be divided into three main groups: communication tools, collaboration tools, and multimedia. Keeping up to date is a real challenge. New technologies appear to be developed at an ever-increasing speed and trends and patterns of use are constantly changing. This chapter is devoted to exploring both ‘traditional’ internet learning and teaching facilities and real-time media tools. They are arranged in alphabetical order.

5. Making it happen

This chapter is concerned with the activities that need to take place in order to ensure that training events are well designed and evaluated, and also marketed and promoted. The starting-point for thinking about any training event is the learners and their needs, and this is explored under the headings: library and information users and their needs; supporting learners with disabilities; and working with international students. This is followed by a detailed section on designing training events. Why spend time designing learning and teaching activities? There are a number of reasons for taking the time to work out the detail of your training programme and these include: giving yourself confidence, focusing your thinking on the learners, preparation of learning materials, meeting problems with contingency plans, thinking through the whole event, reduced likelihood of making basic errors, and looking professional. The section covers basic design principles and explores different approaches to structuring face-to-face training events. The design of a training event involves thinking about evaluation and incorporating this into the structure of the event. Frequently, evaluation is considered at the end of books on training, but if it is to be properly designed, then it needs to be considered at the same time as the design process. The Kirkpatrick (1994) model is used to describe different levels of and approaches to training evaluation. The last section in this chapter focuses on marketing and promoting training events. It describes common approaches to ensuring that the appropriate participants attend training events and ends with a series of case studies which
explore current practice.

6. Delivering face-to-face training sessions

This chapter is concerned with delivering face-to-face training sessions. It covers the following topics: getting started; managing the learning process; questions; ending the learning process. This is followed by three examples: teaching large groups; making database training interesting; and managing challenging behaviours.

7. E-learning and blended learning

The purpose of this chapter is to bring together different ideas and approaches to e-learning and blended learning. The chapter starts with a focus on e-learning and discusses the design of two different types of e-learning programmes: web-based tutorials and learning groups and communities. This is then followed by sections on blended learning and the design of blended learning programmes. Working in an online environment requires a different skill-set to delivering face-to-face sessions, and this is explored in the section on e-tutoring. The chapter concludes with a section on evaluating e-learning and blended learning.

8. Learning and development in the workplace

This chapter provides a brief introduction to over 90 ideas for workplace learning. Many of these ideas may be used either as part of a training programme or as standalone activities to promote individual or team learning. The chapter does not include any tips for trainers, as its aim is to provide a general overview of different approaches to learning and development in the workplace. The concept of workplace learning received a boost through the rise in popularity of the 70:20:10 model of development, which is described in Chapter 2. The basic idea behind the 70:20:10 framework is that 70% of learning takes place in the workplace through dealing with challenging activities; 20% of learning involves learning from colleagues; and 10% is based on courses and reading. The topics in this chapter are organized alphabetically and provide busy trainers and managers with more than 90 ideas for workplace learning. Where appropriate, ideas are cross-referenced to relevant chapters earlier in the book. Many of the ideas presented here are relevant to trainers who want to keep their knowledge and skills up to date.