Building a Personal Learning Solution at NCLA

ncla

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting with my friend and fellow North Carolina Master Trainer Jessica O’Brien at the biennial conference for the North Carolina Library Association. Below are the slides we used, and I’m also uploading a copy of the PDF version of  Building a Personal Learning Solution. We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and own experiences with personal learning. What tools do you use? What have you learned?

Building a Personal Learning Solution from Lori Reed and Jessica O’Brien

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?

A Day in the Life With Lori Reed – Monday

I am so glad that Bobbi Newman started this Library Day in the Life meme. I was part of the first round in 2008 and was amazed at the response I got to combining my work/home lives into my posts. I’m continuing that for this round.

6:00am

Why oh why does 6:00am seem so early. Until this month I had been getting up at 7:00am for years and years. At 6:00am it’s still dark and I don’t want to be awake. But my two kids have to be at two different schools and it takes a much longer time to get a 2-year-old dressed and ready to go in the mornings than it did when she was a baby. I fix my hair and makeup while the kids watch TV in bed. My 5-year-old son asks why I do this and I respond to look pretty. He melts my heart with his response of, “But mom you’ve been pretty for years.”

7:30am

My son and I are out the door and I take him to school. He’s in Kindergarten and it’s a teacher work day so I have to walk him inside to sign him in for the enrichment program that our school system provides for after school and teacher workdays.

8:00am

I arrive at work. Make a pot of hot tea. Open my email and immediately begin processing. During the last round of Library Day in the Life I posted about my frustration with email and Kevin Crenshaw commented about a solution. I followed up with Kevin and he offered me a free trial of his product with training and we have been in contact ever since. When I have more time I’m planning another series of posts about the training and process I went through to get my email problems under control. Kevin is a great person to follow on Twitter. His profile says that he is the father of 10 children! If anyone knows about time management, it’s someone with 10 children!

9:00am

I begin the arduous task of scheduling training for our staff for the 2010 calendar year. This takes up more hours of the day then I want to remember. There is so much that goes into planning and scheduling over 50 training sessions. For example:

  • I am lucky enough to work with a team of about 20 staff who facilitate staff training in addition to their normal jobs. Each of their individual schedules has to be taken into consideration. Who works what night? Who has days off during the week because of working a weekend? Who is taking vacation when?
  • We don’t want to schedule training when other large meetings or events are taking place. Anytime staff are out of the building it affects the ability of other staff to go to training.
  • We don’t want to schedule training on election days because many locations double as a polling place or early voting location. Parking can be an issue, and we are much busier on these days.
  • We don’t want to schedule training during summer reading because our libraries and staff are busy, busy, busy! The same goes for school holidays, teacher workdays, etc. I have a big master calendar with all of these dates written in.
  • Some training requires very large rooms. For instance, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention requires a room large enough for classroom space and physical maneuvers as well.
  • Other training requires computer labs or other specialized resources found only at certain libraries.
  • We have 23 libraries spread across a large geographic area so each class needs to have sessions offered at different libraries across the county. We wouldn’t want to have all sessions for one class in one geographic area.
  • Lastly we don’t want to have any two training sessions happen at the same time. This makes it very difficult to fill both classes and thus does not properly utilize our most valuable resource–our staff’s time.

2:00pm

Take a break from planning to call the ALA Learning Round Table President Pat Carterette. We talk about the name change for the round table and where we are in the process of getting a new logo. I share the designs I received from our graphic artist and we pick two to move forward with.

I follow up with the artist to give her feedback on the 8 logos she sent us. Tell her the final two we selected and give a few suggestions for refining them.

2:30pm

Phone call with one of our librarians who facilitates Readers Advisory training for staff. Have a discussion about how to move forward with converting this training to self-paced training. Refer her to some additional resources that may help.

3:00pm

Meet with our director of research, innovation, and strategy about implementing Web Ex as a tool for synchronous learning. Discuss the pros and cons of online training and meetings and how to balance the need for bandwidth for staff training with the need for bandwidth for our customers using the Internet in our libraries.

4:00pm

Back to scheduling training.

4:45pm

The alarm goes off on my phone. It’s my 15-minute warning to wrap things up so I can leave in time to pick my son up from school.

5:30pm

I rush out the door because I got tied up on the phone trying to reserve rooms for training. I realize that I even forgot to have lunch today. In the car I call Sandra Smith from the Denver Public Library. She is one of the people I am interviewing for the book I am coauthoring about leadership for trainers. We catch up and make plans for our next interview.

5:59pm

Rush into the school since at 6:00pm I start getting billed $1 a minute for being late. My son greets me by shouting “MOMMMEEEEEEEE” from across the room and runs to give me a hug so tight I can hardly breathe. It takes my breath away (literally) and puts a much needed smile on my face. He immediately tells me all about his field trip to ImaginOn which happens to be a library a block from where I work, and I feel a pang of guilt that I could not get away for even a few moments to say hi to him and his class while they were visiting.

6:15pm

We arrive home, and I have a massive headache. My son turns the TV on and I immediately begin unpacking my laptop so I can keep working. Now that I have most of the training scheduled I need to create a calendar we can publish for staff. Today is the deadline to have this project done and it’s my job to get this done no matter how long it takes.

7:00pm

My husband gets home with our daughter and she also screams “MOMMMEEEEEEEE” as soon as she sees me at the computer. There is no point in trying to work until I give her some attention. So I step away from the computer to spend some quality time holding her.

7:30pm

My husband tells me to go take a bath and some medicine for my headache. I do this and am thankful that he is home and feeding the kids.

8:00pm

My husband bathes the kids, reads stories to them, and puts them to bed. Again I remind myself of how lucky I am. I finish the training calendar then begin looking at what I missed today on Twitter and my other social networks. I also work on the final touches for my new site. I realize that it is Library Day in the Life Week from the trends on Twitter. I’m excited because this ties into everything I am doing this week with my own site as well as ALA Learning. But at the same time I realize that this week will also sh0w how unbalanced my life is right now. I spent less than an hour with my kids today and between my real job, social networking, and my web site I will have spent 16 hours on the computer today.

12:00am

I am still on the computer and chatting with Marianne Lenox. I realize what time it is and have to abruptly end the chat with Marianne who I hope understands. Then it’s off to bed with my mind racing about what’s left to do tomorrow.

So that’s my Monday. :) How was yours?

IL2009: Sneaking the Social Web Into Your Library & Going Beyond 23 Things

I presented this session Monday afternoon with Bobbi Newman and Erin Downey-Howerton. My portion of the session, 23 Things & Beyond, reviewed Learning 2.0 and 23 Things. There were people in the audience who still had not heard of this great program. I introduced the key principles of 23 Things programs connection, collaboration, play, and prizes. Then I presented some ideas for what to do after a 23 Things program.

The challenge here is how to continue the momentum when the prizes are given out and the official program is over. When does learning become its own reward for staff? I shared the Learning 2.1 site which is where PLCMC continued its Web 2.0 learning.  I also shared Learn Chat a twitter based discussion group for trainers that takes place on Twitter on Thursday nights.

One of the keys to engaging learners online is to reach out to them in their native environments. Many of our staff are already on Facebook so that has become a natural place for me to reach them. I’ve begun posting status updates during the day to let staff know where I am and how they can reach me. A few staff contact me regularly through Facebook chat to ask questions about training and registration. I foresee some research in my future about demonstrating the value of allowing staff to use social networking sites while at work.

I ended the presentation with the steps to creating a marketing/learning/really any plan.

  1. Identify a need.
  2. Research.
  3. Identify the audience.
  4. Identify objectives. Output or outcome?
  5. Craft your message.
  6. Find the right platform/tools.
  7. Develop a plan.
  8. Evaluate. How will you know what worked?

Notice that you don’t even consider whether to use Facebook, Twitter, or blogs until step 6. It’s crucial to first identify a need, your audience, and objectives before thinking about how to get your message out. That’s not to say that you can’t play. Play is essential for learning! But when you are creating a strategic, long-term plan it’s important to lay the groundwork for success.

COMO Convention in Georgia

Last week I attended the Georgia Council of Media Organizations (COMO) convention. I had a great time visiting Columbus, Georgia and connecting with old friends and meeting new friends while down there.

I gave two presentations at the convention about two of my favorite topics–multigenerational workforce and marketing libraries.

A big thank you to Pat Carterette and the Georgia Public Library Service for inviting me to the convention and hosting me while I was visiting!