Staff and Public Technology Training Programs

These excellent examples of library training programs can help you design innovative workshops and plan for training. Some of these were devised for staff training purposes but could be easily adapted for public training, or vice versa. If you need specific lesson plans, handouts, or PowerPoints, read this post for library and nonprofit websites that share their materials for free. If your library has a technology training program or if you know of other great examples, please share in the comments.

Staff Training:

  • Pioneer Oklahoma Library System staff training program has a training academy that includes weekly sessions. You can view their training tracks, which map individual classes to each library department (Children’s, Circulation, Computer Center, etc.), and includes technology components.
  • The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has a very well done staff training plan including technology competencies, and lists all courses offered with descriptions. 
  • Yale University Library has an example of how to encourage staff to develop their own individual learning plans, in which they set their own goals and identify for themselves what areas they need to learn more about.
  • The Staff Day Success wiki includes topics such as ideas for staff recognition, team building, workshops, keynote speakers, fun activities and sample documents.
  • Five Weeks to a Social Library is a free, completely online course devoted to teaching librarians about social software and how to use it in their libraries. The course content is freely viewable, mostly containing archived webcasts, screencasts, and links to online articles. The course covers the following topics: Blogs, RSS, Wikis, Social Networking Software and SecondLife, Flickr, Social Bookmarking Software, and Selling Social Software @ Your Library. It is a great example of a learning program that could implemented at your library for staff or the public, that would allow them to progress at their own pace, but does require guidance during the implementation.
  • The Maryland State Library 2010 Unconference site (theme: "Web 2.0 Unleashed") is a great way to learn what unconferences are all about. Includes explanation of the concept, agenda, and a suggestion board for topics to discuss at the event.
  • The Arizona State Library had a day-long E-Reader Summit and Technology Showcase including presentations on digital copyright and legal perspecitives, technology trends, inspiration from State Librarian GladysAnn Wells, and resource sharing. There is audio from some of the presentations on WebJunction, you can view the presentation from the keynote speaker, Kristen Purcell, on the Pew Internet site, Information on the Go: Digital technology trends impacting today’s libraries and librarians, and you can also view information on the e-reader bundles that were provided to libraries through LSTA funding.

Public Training

  • I Just Need 3 Sources by Tomorrow from Ohio University Libraries is an open-ended hour for students to bring whatever they are working on now to a librarian and ask specific questions. Students will come away with exactly the source or two they need right now. Expert, efficient, to-the-point instruction and activities. Pre-registration is NOT required.
  • Fantastic Freebies for Everyone and Tuesday Technology Talks from Princeton Public Library, NJ. Fantastic freebies gives an overview of a number of free services, sites and downloads. They also offer Tuesday Technology Talks each month and feature invited guest speakers who discuss current and emerging technology.
  • 23 Things / Learning 2.0 Program, PLCMC, North Carolina was originally developed and launched by Helene Blowers for the staff at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in August 2006. It is an online self-discovery program that encourages library employees to try new technologies (blogs, wikis, podcasts, online applications, etc.), and rewards them for completing 23 “Things” (or small exercises) on their own. The program is built on the idea that participants learn best when they’re engaged in their own learning and are motivated to learn.
  • Public classes at ImaginOn, a collaborative venture of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and the Children's Theatre of Charlotte include technology classes such as: YouTube Video Contest; Take Photos for Your Webpage; Present your Research (for home school students); Teen Second Life: Get One; Make Your Own Computer Games; Gaming for Parents; Scanning at the Library; Email by Appointment; and Computer Q & A.
  • The Netguides Program was developed by Andrea Mercado at Reading Public Library in Massachusetts as a way to provide one-on-one technology help for those who need it using volunteer students.
  • Chicago Public Library developed a teen volunteer program named Cyber Navigators. High school juniors and seniors are trained by the library on technology and public service skills. The Cyber Navigators troubleshoot equipment, teach library users how to use electronic resources, and prepare selected Web site lists (called Webliographies). The program is funded by grants.