If you missed yesterday's webinar on supporting patron learning in small spaces with small budgets, never fear - it was recorded!
As more people turn to their library to learn technology skills, even the tiniest libraries are faced with the challenge of providing training to patrons with limited staff, resources, and space. In yesterday's session, we shared ideas and examples to help libraries address the practical challenges and exciting opportunities that exist.
Where do you (or could you) provide technology training? Some libraries reserve public access computers and use those. Others have a lab with desktop or mobile computers. There are numerous examples of libraries taking mobile labs out of the library and into the community, too!
Who can provide library technology training? The Pella (IA) Public Library discussed the volunteers that make their training so successful. Other libraries have staff or community partners providing training. Stephanie Gerding shared a list of ideas regarding potential trainers:
- Big/Little Buddy tutor system (teen & senior are one example)
- Seniors teaching seniors
- Community club members
- High School Students
- Community Rec or other city departments, including tech
- Literacy Councils
- Community College, University, or Vo-Tech students or interns
- Local Businesses
- Volunteers Network
- Teachers/professional instructors
- Current volunteers
- Partner with another local library and trade trainers and topics
Another "who?" discussed during the session was attendees at training. Many libraries report that older adults are frequent attendees at the tech training provided by the library, but different topics and formats often result in broader attendance by other demographic groups, too.
The session included discussion about handouts (don't reinvent the wheel!) and training topics. Favorite trainer resources cited include: WebJunction, Common Craft, and more (see full list of resources here). Trainers shared their topic successes and also talked about the sessions they created... but no one came.
If you're interested in technology training, why not listen to the archive? It includes the information already mentioned in this post and a lot more (including discussions about marketing, partnerships, and future possibilities for training).
The webinar was the result of our collaboration with WebJunction and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries. The webinar was one of a series of webinars we're offering in collaboration with the Library Edge Initiative. The Edge Initiative is a coalition of leading library and local government organizations. With extensive input from libraries around the country, the Edge Initiative has created benchmarks that can be used by libraries to evaluate and improve technology services. There are 11 benchmarks and today's session was based on Benchmark 1, which includes: Libraries provide assistance and training with the goal of increasing the level of digital literacy in the community.