What can libraries do to instill a lifetime of learning and relearning?

Thomas L. Friedman, author of The World is Flat, had a fantastic op-ed in the New York Times this week that says we need more than intelligence to survive in the 21st century and its economy. In the old days,” Friedman said, “it was assumed that your educational foundation would last your whole lifetime. That is no longer true.” Friedmans goes on to create some new acronyms declaring that we need “P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient).”

I can’t help but think the roles libraries play in these arenas. We’re all about passion, curiosity, and learning. We show it in the storytime we stay up all night preparing for. We show it in the conference presentation we spend weeks preparing for. We show it in the privacy rights we fight for. While these skills come natural some, how do we help instill these skills in our patrons? Our patrons who might be unemployed? Our patrons struggling to find new careers? Our patrons going back to school for the first time in twenty years?

Likewise, how do we help instill passion and curiosity in coworkers who might be hesitant to learn new technologies or new service models?

Friedmans writes in closing that P.Q. and C.Q. are essential to:

…leverage all the newdigital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.

When you think about the pace of change in our world you can see that Friedman is spot on. We can’t go to school for x number of years and say, “That’s it, I’m done.”

Darwin Quote

The world we live in requires constant learning and as libraries we are poised to become the center of lifelong learning in the community. Many of us have already discovered that learning = play + passion. Is it time to pass this message on to our communities? What can we do to teach the people in our communities not only the skills they need to find a job but the skills they need to develop a passion for lifelong learning…to play…to learn? There is no such thing as the 20 or 30 year job anymore–not even in libraries. We must all be prepared to prepare and adapt to the exponential change that technology and global communication brings.

If you want to see more, take a look at my slide deck on 21st century learning.

Stay Up-to-Date on Free Continuing Education Opportunities for the Library Profession

WebJunction announced that they will begin posting a monthly listing of free continuing education opportunities for library staff. This is a fantastic resource that you will certainly want to bookmark!

From the home page on WebJunction, click Find Training on the main menu, then click View Monthly List of Free CE Events  in the drop-open menu or click here: http://www.webjunction.org/find-training/free-events.html

Thank you WebJunction for the awesomeness you bring to the library training and education realm, and thank you to Jamie Markus, Library Development Manager for the Wyoming State Library, for aggregating this list!

Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Nonprofit Trainers

Two years of writing and interviewing and our book is almost here. Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Nonprofit Trainers is available for pre-order from the American Library Association.

Workplace Learning and LeadershipThe best kind of learning is that which never ends—and a culture of training means that staff will be more flexible and responsive to new ideas and strategies, imperative in today’s libraries. In this practical resource, leading workplace trainers Signorelli and Reed offer guidance on improving the effectiveness of training programs. Their book takes readers through the entire process of developing, implementing, and sustaining training programs and communities of learning, in order to

  • Empower individuals to become leaders and teachers by cultivating a culture of ongoing learning
  • Connect library staff and users to information resources so they can effectively use them to their benefit
  • Develop skills among both managers and workers for practicing continuous formal and informal training

Using real-life examples of trainers who serve as leaders within libraries and their communities, this book sheds light on an underappreciated but important component of library operations.

You can read an excerpt from the book here.

Get More (important things) Done

Earlier this month I presented an online training session to the great folks at NEFLIN on time management and getting things done. The training was based on my personal time management style which is a combination of David Allen’s Getting Things Done and Sally McGhee’s Take Back Your Life which gives detailed instructions on how to implement GTD with Microsoft Outlook.

The slides from the session are below and over the next few months I will be writing a series of posts about time management with the best tips and techniques that I have learned. Time management is my passion, so I hope you will follow along and pass this along to your friends.

Upcoming Webinars and Book Release

Here’s a list of upcoming webinars I am facilitating. If your library or organization is interested in any of these or other topics please contact me at lori@lorireed.com or 704.350.5421. You can see slides from all my learning sessions at http://www.slideshare.net/lorireed.

Get More Done! Time Management for Library Staff
North East Florida Library Information Network
Online
August 5, 2010 2-3pm

Microsoft Office ’07: Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts
Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative
Online
August 10, 2010 10-11:30am

Microsoft Office ’07: Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts
North East Florida Library Information Network
Online
November 3, 2010 2-3:30pm

My colleague, Paul Signorelli, and I are finishing up the final chapters for our book. Workplace Learning and Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Nonprofit Trainers will be published next summer by ALA Editions–just in time for the ALA 2011 Conference in New Orleans. In the book we are compiling best practices in leadership in learning from experts such at Peter Bromberg, Pat Wagner, Jay Turner, Maurice Coleman and many others. Stay tuned for more details!