Maryland Area Libraries: Want to learn to train like a pro?

I’m heading to Maryland in two weeks to lead an all day preconference on training.

TRAIN LIKE A PRO: Improve Your Skills as a Trainer

Studies show that learners retain less than 10% of what they learn in a traditional training session. Train Like a Pro will provide you with tips, techniques, and tools to be an effective trainer. You’ll create engaging learning experiences for your participants – whether they are library employees, volunteers, or patrons. You will leave this session feeling more confident as a trainer.

Wednesday, May 9 from 9-5

There’s still time to register!

I’ll also be a judge at Battledecks Wednesday evening. Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones!


Libraries and Training: Where do we stand?

A recent article on Mashable cites the 2011 Training Industry Report that compared training data from 2010 to training data from 2011 and said, “The amount spent on training jumped about 13% from 2010, including increases in overall training budgets and payroll, and spending on outside products and services.”

The article goes on to say:

It’s anticipated that training will continue to be a major focus for organizations in the upcoming year, which makes sense: As our economy continues to move in a positive direction, consumers will demand better service. This translates to a need for customer service, management and leadership training, which are poised to see increases in 2012.

Is this true for your organization? There was a time when it seemed that libraries were on the cutting edge of training compared to private industries. We had 23 Things before most private industries even allowed access to Facebook and Twitter. But with all the budget cuts to libraries, is training one of the things being cut? And if training is being cut, what is the impact long-term to libraries?

Make sure to read the rest of the article. The three social learning trends to watch in 2012 is an interesting read. Many of us are already there on a personal level as far as social learning, but are our libraries there on an organizational level? If not, what do we need to do to get them there? If so, what do we need to do to move forward?

5 Reasons why training is a hot career for the next decade and beyond

US News and World Report named Training Specialist as one of the 50 top careers for 2011 in the business category. The headline says that training will continue to see “strong growth over the next decade.”

By 2018 jobs will increase by 23% for trainers.

I have several theories about why training will continue to be a hot career.

  1. As the aging workforce retires, new people will need to be trained for those positions. Leadership, executive training, and coaching will see exponential growth in the coming decades.
  2. As the economy improves many workers will change companies, jobs, or even careers. As this happens we’ll see an increased need for onboarding as well as basic skills training in nearly every industry.
  3. As technology continues to have huge impacts on the way we work and play,  training is needed to not only teach workers how to use the technology but how to best utilize the technology to interact with clients and customers. Who would have thought five or even two years ago that Facebook would be a corporate communications tool. Additionally social networking tools have created new mediums for trainers to work in.
  4. Skills possessed by trainers transfer to other industries. Once you know the principles of instructional design and learner-centered training, you can develop training for any organization.
  5. Training is fun and rewarding. Training is one of those jobs where you feel good at the end of the day. You know you’ve made a difference, and it’s an awesome feeling to watch employees’ skills and talents grow.

I’d love to hear from you. What do you love about training, and what are your predictions for the future of the industry?

Double Your Dropbox Space

Last month I posted about one of my favorite tools Dropbox which allows you to synchronize files between multiple computers and online. Today I found out that Dropbox will double your space if you have an EDU or school email account. I went from 8.25 GB to 16.5 GB in less than a minute by adding my university email account to my existing Dropbox account.

If you already have a Dropbox account just go to and add your school email address.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account what are you waiting for! Use this link to create an account.

Note: Dropbox operates with a pyramid marketing campaign. You earn free space by referring friends to Dropbox. Since my friend Alison told me about this space increase for school email accounts, I’m posting her referral link to say thanks! Of course you can always pay for premium amounts of storage too.

Finding Your Place in Your Organization

Yesterday during the Technology Essentials 2010: WebJunction Online Conference there was a session by Sandra Nelson about integrating your technology plan with your strategic plan. Home with a sick child, I enjoyed the conference via Twitter as tweets like this came in:

This tweet really stood out for me because defining the problem or what it is that we want is crucial, and I can’t agree with Sandra enough on the value of integrating anything that’s important to an organization into its strategic plan. The strategic plan is the North Star that guides an organization into the future. Not having a strategic plan is like sailing blindly into the night without any tools for navigation. You may end up in the Bahamas or you may end up in Antarctica. Your strategic plan determines your final destination and provides you with a map of how to get there.

My employer recently created a new strategic plan, and I was overjoyed to see the following listed as a strategic priority:

Once an organization has a strategic plan it’s important that each and every employee can find his or her place in the plan. This may seem like a small thing, but when employees know how they are contributing as an individual to the overall success of an organization, they feel ownership and pride in their jobs.

My place is clear, and I have this strategic outcome posted in my office. Why? Because this portion of the strategic plan is my North Star and it guides everything I do.
Strategic Outcome for Library Relating to My Job

Any time I find myself with too many projects and not enough time, I step back and make sure that the projects I am working on contribute to my strategic plan (taking ownership). All of my goals and outcomes for my job support this one part of the Library’s bigger plan.

Last fall we created a new Employee Learning & Development Curriculum. All of the training within the curriculum ties in to the strategic plan for the Library.

Employee Learning & Development Curriculum

Does your organization have a strategic plan? If so, have you identified your role in that plan? If your organization does not have a strategic plan, are there ways that you can ensure you are contributing to the overall success of the organization?