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Technology Training for Library Customers Janie L. Hassard Hermann Technology Training Librarian Princeton Public Library, NJ

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Presentation on theme: "Technology Training for Library Customers Janie L. Hassard Hermann Technology Training Librarian Princeton Public Library, NJ"— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology Training for Library Customers Janie L. Hassard Hermann Technology Training Librarian Princeton Public Library, NJ Session C202: Training for Staff and Patrons in Public Libraries Computers in Libraries 2006 Washington, DC

2 Reaching &Teaching a Tech-savvy Public Library customers are becoming increasingly proficient with computers, the Internet and technology. Technology and training expectations are rising exponentially. Computer classes and technology training must evolve to meet this demand. Constant innovation to remain relevant is crucial.

3 Princeton Public Library Background Single-branch municipal library in heart of downtown and near Princeton University New state-of-the-art 58,000 square foot building opened in April 2004 Staff: 50 FTE; Population: 31,000 100+ computers for public use; fully equipped technology center

4 Looking Back Approximately 10 years since Princeton, and other public libraries, began offering basic computer and Internet classes. Emphasis on mouse skills and using online catalogs. Subject-specific Internet classes, email, and Microsoft Office classes soon added to class calendars and curriculums. Focus was on basic computing and searching skills.

5 Looking Forward Classes that focus on digital cameras, MP3 players, and other “gadgets” Instruction on using eAudiobooks and legal downloading of files Electronic communication classes – blogging, wikis, RSS, VoIP, and other trends Lectures and demonstrations that help community stay current with technology and related issues Instruction that is more individualized

6 10 Steps to Creating a Tech-Savvy Technology Training Program It is a time-consuming process – can take several years to build. PPL’s current program has been over 5 years in the making.

7 Step 1: Start Modest Implement monthly programs that will appeal to advanced users.  Technology Talks; “DataBytes” Use invited guests to minimize staff preparation time.  Don’t be afraid to ask; you will be surprised at how many are willing to share their expertise Offer one or two advanced classes. Gather feedback.

8 Step 2: Build a Mailing List Gather addresses at every session or class you offer Send no more than one or two targeted messages per month Inform but don’t

9 Step 3: Make a Training Plan A comprehensive plan is crucial -- include as much detail as possible Decide answers to questions such as:  Who will do the training?  How many courses to offer per week or month?  How many new courses can be developed per quarter?

10 Step 4: Write Lesson Plans Create a template or standard lesson plan format Don’t be afraid to borrow from others  Why reinvent the wheel? Create support materials for classes  Slideshows, handouts, web pages, etc.

11 Lesson Plan Sources WebJunction  Learn the Net  SeniorNet 

12 Step 5: Train Staff or Volunteers Hire staff or recruit volunteer trainers to assist depending upon budget considerations. Training the Trainers is essential. Provide practice sessions before going live to work out the glitches.

13 Step 6: Decide Registration Procedures Required for all courses, none or some? Restricted to card holders or open to entire community? How many students per class?  Rule of thumb: 12-15 is recommended maximum for hands-on computer classes  “Gadget” classes need to be smaller (6-8)

14 Step 7: Acquire Equipment & Software Find funding sources (if not already in place) Purchase and install software such as Dreamweaver, PhotoShop, etc. Acquire scanners, digital cameras, MP3 players, iPods and other gadgets



17 Step 8: Promote! Promote! Promote! Create print calendars (monthly or quarterly) and distribute widely Regular press releases Library Newsletter Network with Computer Clubs Generate email lists Negotiate for front page real estate on your library’s web site!





22 Step 9: Feedback and Evaluation Listen to your students Evaluate your statistics Communicate with colleagues

23 Step 10: Update Frequently Stay current! Continually scan the literature for trends – both in terms of teaching and technology. Keep your program fresh and on the cutting-edge to keep them coming back.

24 Don’t Forget! Compile statistics Gather testimonials Demonstrate Impact

25 What’s Hot and What’s Not Hot:  Photoshop Bootcamp and Mini-Course  Digital Camera Test Drive  School for Scanning  Sharing Photos Online  Downloading eAudiobooks Not:  Email Essentials  Meet the Mouse  Learn the Library Catalog  Subject-specific classes  Online Travel, Health, etc..

26 What’s Hot and What’s Not Lukewarm:  Shortcuts and Timesaving Tricks  Top Sites and Other Treasures  Xtreme Searching  Computer Basics  Introduction to the Internet  Introduction to Search Engines  Xtreme Searching  Databases Revealed  Searching the Invisible Web  Genealogy Online

27 Questions or Comments! Special Thanks to my Tech Aides: Bob Keith, Jim Crawford and David Heredia

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