This section covers:
- What training is required to address your identified needs or skills gaps
- Drawing up a basic training plan
- Who should receive training and when
- Which factors may impact on your capacity to deliver training
Action: A potential plan of attack on the issues:
Put training into context
Determine first if there is existing library training plan that you can insert the established needs into.
Consider or include:
- Skills, knowledge or experience to be developed
- The relationship to respective role requirements – particularly relevant competencies set out in Library Position/Job Descriptions
- Any existing continuing professional development programs and whether you can tie into these.
- A rough priority rating e.g. immediate/essential vs. developmental/medium term, useful for particular roles etc.
- Any existing staff who exemplify the required skills? They may serve as models to help refine the specific skills that are needed.
A plan can be as basic as you like – it’s not policy, just the action steps – as long as it sets out in some structure the training needs common to one or more staff.
It could be useful to stream the participants according to their skills and training needs – such as foundation, advanced and refresher sessions. Assigning them roles such as eResources promoter, eResources searcher/navigator, eResources gatekeeper/coach may be more indicative than existing job titles.
It may be useful to distinguish between awareness (the value of the eResources) and skills (how to use the eResources). Most staff should have some awareness of the eResources and be able to promote them but only reference/information services staff may need to know how to use them.
If no other option exists draw up your own plan as a table with columns for:
Skills Required - Staff - Deliverables - Mode - Trainer - Accountability
Consider the timing
Look at the appropriate and feasible timing for training. Consider:
- The assigned priorities
- Required sequencing (if any)
- Staff work schedules and competition from other training demands
- Timing of introduction of new or changed eResources
Think also about setting up provision for a standard coaching session for delivery following an incident of observed service failure or weakness? Note also the likely cycles of training – which deliverables will be needed on a recurring cycle? In general try to time training to the point of need and potential use. If you try to link training to the introduction of new resources then you may get more buy-in.
Consider any budgetary issues: note funding requirements and how they may be sourced. Can they be sourced from the existing training budget? Consider not only the costs of delivery but also the need for any ‘”back-filling” while staff are attending training.
Library staff who are Associate and Library Technician members of ALIA can upgrade their membership category to Certified Professional through compliance with the ALIA Professional Development Scheme. The eResources skills training would fit well under the banner of “informal learning activities”. This can be a motivation draw card as well as a draw card for sourcing additional funding.