You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

Ian KindergartenAs the mom of a Kindergartner, I’ve been reading the speech Obama plans to deliver tomorrow to millions of school children across the nation. My son could not be more excited about hearing the address. He personally voted for Obama, albeit in a preschool election, and to him Obama is his president.

Reading the speech as a mom, I can only be grateful that we have a president who values education.

Reading the speech as a trainer, there is one paragraph that really hit home with me:

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

Let me repeat that last line:

You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

This could not be more true, and I think this should be one of our mottos in the training and library world. It’s not enough to just show up for training. Training requires work on the part of both the trainer and the learner.

As trainers it is our responsibility to make this clear to our learners and to help them in whatever ways we can to be successful in their learning. So take the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink.” Let’s change that to: “You can lead a horse to water, and you can make sure the water is fresh, tastes good, and is delivered so that it can reach all variations of horses.”

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.


  1. Here, here! Well said!

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