October 2007

If you’re a CLENE member you’ve already received your beloved copy of CLENE’s quarterly newsletter, the CLENExchange.

If you’re not a member, you can still enjoy it by pouring yourself a nice cup of tea and downloading the pdf version from our website.



“The potential benefits of online tutorials are many. Instruction can be scaled, increasing the ability of library staff to reach large groups of students. The variety and styles of web-based tutorials can accommodate different learning styles by using image, audio, and text simultaneously or in combination (Hook). Tempelman-Kluit found online tutorials to be a potential way to “reach those users who cannot or will not come into the library.” Because such users are increasingly able to fulfill academic assignments using full-text resources found online, and because users are increasingly expecting to be able fulfill assignments utilizing online resources, libraries find that online tutorials make sense in terms of adapting instruction to users’ needs. Those same users often have expectations about access in a time frame that doesn’t incorporate waiting for answers, or visiting the library to ask a question during hours the reference staff is traditionally available:

“Online tutorials are a lifeline when reference assistance is unavailable or when a user is accessing library resources from off site . . . [they] allow users to learn when it is most convenient for them to do so. And because tutorials are self-teaching, they allow a patron to internalize information at his or her own pace.“ (Hook)

Additionally, online tutorials, when teaching skills related to online resources, take advantage of situated cognition. Hook writes, “knowledge should be acquired in the same context in which it will be used.” Placing users on the computer, within the browser they will use to access online resources, and where they can instantly put to use what they have learned, makes educational sense.”

The text above is the beginning of a section of an Independent Study that one of my former students, Sara Zoe Patterson, completed over the summer ’07 semester. The completion of this (including a nice bib/webliography) and several examples of how she incorporated screencasts/online tutorials into a school library/media center homepage can be found:

I’m sharing this for a few reasons:

  1. I like her bibliography/webliography as it list some great sources of research in this area and, to me, goes a long way to take screencasting and online tutorials from the “flashy” to the necessary.

  2.  She makes use of a technology called Jing. While we both have our reservations about this service; I think it’s one we should keep an eye on.

  3. She also makes use of Spresent, another technology that I think is worth a look.

  4. Lastly, I think her work shows nice specific uses of the technology in a school library/media center environment

Wow – what a whirlwind month it has been since I last posted!  Training new employees, coordinating registration and travel to external conferences, meeting with management teams, serving on several committees, and putting out small fires in my wake have occupied the time of this manager of a department of one.  In the midst of all this insanity, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Bob Pike’s Training and Performance Solutions Conference in Minneapolis.  Even though my work followed me from Georgia to the Land of a 10,000 Lakes (I guess you can never break free from the Internet – the electronic leash), I came ready to learn.  And when it was all over, I returned to my office feeling enriched and inspired. 

One of the projects that I’m working on is a series of Train-the-Trainer classes for our Librarian Is, who’ll serve as the resident trainers for each of our branches.  While I was in Minnesota, I attended Pike’s Train-the-Trainer 101 to see if there was any good content I could add to what I’ve already been building.  Janice Horne of the Pike Group was kind enough to share some seeds of knowledge that I’d like to plant here in the ether for our up-and-coming trainers:   

Raise the BAR with an Opener

v     B breaks preoccupation

v     A allows for networking

v     R relevant to the content 

BELIEVE in Yourself

v     B breathe into your nose, out of your mouth.

v     E energizing statements keep the class engaged.  Smile and gesticulate.

v     L love: come from a place of compassion toward your audience.

v     I interactivity puts the onus to learn on the class.

v     E eye contact with room is a must.  Find friendly faces in the room.

v     V visualize that your trainees will enjoy the class.

v     E eager to serve. 

Commit to ACT with a Closer

v     A action planning

v     C celebrates a job well done

v     T ties things together

Thought I would point this out – received it today via a WebJunction Newsletter:

In this month’s Learning Webinar, Stephanie Gerding, author of The Accidental Technology Trainer: A Guide for Libraries, will address common concerns, recommend tools and techniques, and share helpful advice from her many years coordinating and providing training for libraries of all types around the country. Register for this webinar through the WebJunction Calendar and be entered in a drawing to receive a free copy of Stephanie’s book!

I used to work with Stephanie, so I know that SHE knows her stuff! :-)