Cultivating a Culture of Learning in Libraries Archive

If you missed Tuesday’s WebJunction webinar, you can view it here, and you can join in on the follow-up discussion over at BlogJunction.

Cultivating a Culture of Learning in the Library

From Web Junction:

Upcoming Learning Webinars

library staff assisting on the public computers Cultivating a Culture of Learning in the Library
6/10/08 11 AM – 12 PM PT / 2 – 3 PM ET

How much time does your library spend on “training?” Statistics show that most learning takes place on the job or with a coworker, yet as trainers we spend an inordinate amount of time preparing for and delivering classroom training. In this webinar you will learn why you need to get your staff out of the classroom and instead focus on creating a culture of learning in your library.

We will explore:

  • The differences between training and learning
  • The benefits to libraries for creating a culture of learning
  • The key elements of a learning organization
  • Tips for creating a culture of learning in any size library

Presented by guest speaker Lori Reed, Training Specialist for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.

Top 100 Tools for Learning

This has been shared on a few sites (thank you Polly-Alida Farrington for posting). The information is so good I wanted to pass this on as well.

The Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies has released its list of top 100 tools for learning from a survey of 155 educators (81 from the education field and 74 from workplace learning). Each of these educators listed their top 10 tools for learning for both their personal learning and for creating learning solutions for others.

You can view the full results here.

Below is a table of the top 10 broken down by workplace learning and formal education.

For workplace learning

For formal education

  1. PowerPoint
  2. Audacity
  3. Articulate
  4. Moodle
  5. Snagit
  6. Captivate
  7. Slideshare
  8. Word
  9. Flash
  10. Camtasia
  1. YouTube
  2. flickr
  3. PowerPoint
  4. Wikispaces
  5. Slideshare
  6. Voicethread
  7. Audacity
  8. Moodle
  9. Ning
  10. Jing

From CLPT analysis:

What does this show? It certainly seems to confirm my feeling that formal, traditional (Learning 1.0) approaches (i.e. content-based courses, tutorials, etc) are still dominant in the workplace, whilst educators are embracing a much wider range of Web 2.0 tools to create more social, collaborative and informal approaches to learning.

I can’t agree with this more. I attend monthly chapter meetings for ASTD and it seems that educators and librarians are light years ahead of most of corporate America when it comes to using Web 2.0 for learning.

Take a look at the full list and share your thoughts. I’m surprised that Bloglines or another news reader is not higher on the list. I know for me personally that would rank as #1.

Learning from Corporate America: Starbucks Closes Nationwide for Training

On February 26, 2008 if you tried to get your usual Grande Carmel Machiato from Starbucks between 5:30 and 9pm you were out of luck. In a historic move Starbucks closed nearly 7,100 stores for 3 1/2 hours to conduct mandatory training for more than 135,000 employees.

From the Starbucks Web site, “That amounts to almost a half a million hours of training in one night.

My first thought on hearing this announcement was publicity stunt. Why do you need to close for training? Why can’t you do it before or after closing or off site? I learned though that this was more than training in how to make a cup of coffee. According to the Starbucks Web site this was “a nationwide education event, designed to energize [employees] and transform the customer experience.”

It seems that most of the employees agreed. Some comments from employees on the Starbucks Gossip Blog:

I’ve just returned home from my stores espresso excellence training and I feel that as a whole we are re-energized and more passionate mostly about customer care. I really liked the team commitments at the end for us to hold one another accountable and this as much better then other store meetings because we got to move around the store as groups and we had fun! Posted by: Aaron | Feb 26, 2008 6:40:20 PM

Soo, I just got back from my meeting. It was amazing. I feel inspired in every way. I hope other baristas feel the same. Posted by: Neevan | Feb 26, 2008 6:54:53 PM

I just got home from the training session and I have to say it was great. It put us all on the same page and let all of us know that the standards have been raised and we WILL be held accountable for it. Not everyone remembers it. This meeting wasn’t to teach us how to make coffee and thats what a lot of people are missing. This was about making the BEST cup we can EVERYTIME, no exceptions. It was about how to give you customers what you pay for and more. Not to mention it laid down some new guidelines to make sure that if the customer does not get what THEY think is the perfect cup of coffee WE WILL MAKE IT UNTIL YOU ARE SATISFIED. We learned the vision of Howard and what he expects of us as a whole company so that not just some stores but ALL of them are doing the best everytime. I personally thought it was informative and helpful, especially to the new hires in our store who don’t know yet what they need to do and reminded all of us how to provide our customers with a place they want to be. To be perfectly honest with you I think that there are a lot of baristas out there (and if you have read some of their posts you know what I’m talking about) that we are not only in the coffee business but also the PEOPLE business. Posted by: | Feb 26, 2008 7:17:42 PM

Hi Everyone!!! Training tonight was great, what I felt would be just a refresher on the new flavor profile and proper steaming of milk, foam ratio, etc., ended up being more of a conversation on what we can do to accommodate and create a better experience for our customers. Posted by: buck star | Feb 26, 2008 9:36:18 PM

I freakin loved the meeting tonight. It’s like Starbucks Experience. it really re energized my passion for my job and my pride in my drinks, my service and the company as a while. I can’t wait to work on the floor again!! Posted by: Staxman | Feb 26, 2008 10:36:09 PM

I admire the courage of the company’s leadership to close every store, not just their doors, but their cash register as well, and then pay all their employees to attend a training session in order to improve the customer experience. Can you think of any other company that would spend that kind of money and time to improve their product? Can you imagine an airline stopping all flights for a day and requiring their employees to spend the time focusing on the passenger experience? Good for you Starbucks!! Posted by: | Feb 26, 2008 8:50:49 PM

So I have to ask, when was the last time you received comments like that on a training evaluation? What would it take for libraries to have all staff committed to the customer experience? What can we learn from Starbucks?

Learning Through Storytelling

How many times during a training session do you use a story to illustrate a point? If your answer is never you might want to consider adding storytelling as a powerful way to reinforce learning.

The art of storytelling traces back to prehistoric times and it’s legacy remains even today through cave paintings, art, and even oral history. I often hear my mother’s voice in my head saying, “Slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady wins the race.” Everyone remembers the story of the tortoise and the hare. No matter how many decades go by, no matter how many languages you learn, no matter how many degrees you earn…a well told story will stay with you for life.

Today I had the privilege to attend a workshop at ImaginOn called “The Power of Storytelling” presented by Dr. Rebecca Isbell, director of the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development at East Tennessee State University.

Though this workshop was geared for library staff and educators who work primarily with children, I found that much of what I learned applied to working with adult learners as well.

Why use stories? Stories help learners to…

  • Remember and reinforce key points and concepts.
  • Give meaning and deeper understanding to a new concept or skill.
  • Stay awake! How many times have you ever been in a workshop where you had to pinch yourself to stay awake?
  • Make learning fun! I wrote this quote down from Dr. Isbell today during the workshop, “Learning should be joyful–not painful.” I know that my 4-year-old son loves learning. What if we could always inspire that passion for our learners?

I recently attended a customer service workshop and the facilitator told a wonderful story about the Lincoln Memorial Mystery. The story illustrates why it is so important to not just accept the way things appear on the surface and why we need to look at a bigger picture. The facilitator could have just told us that this was important, but using a story to teach the concept really helped to transfer and retain the learning. Not to mention it made a three hour workshop not as dry and boring as it could have been.

Some tips for getting started with storytelling:

  • If you think you are not a storyteller, think again. We’ve all shared a story of an interaction with a patron or a bad driver.
  • Build a good repository of stories. You can adapt the same story and use it over and over with different audiences just make sure it is relevant.
  • You must love the story! You may become identified by this story so be sure to choose one that you like.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Work on pace, pauses, and inflections.
  • Try the story out on a friend.
  • It’s ok to make mistakes!

This quote from Dr. Isbell sums up the importance of storytelling, “Storytelling is an interaction between teller and listener. It ultimately becomes a mutual creation.”

For us as trainers I would add that it becomes a mutual learning experience.