Published on November 19, 2009
Technology is becoming more and more necessary to libraries in the 21st century:
Incompetence hurts fellow staff members, patrons and the library’s image.
“Core Competencies not only define the present, they also ensure a future for the profession.” David Hunter, “Core Competencies and Music Librarians”
“A scan of recent openings reveals that desirable and even required skills include: presentation software and technology relative to web-based instruction…experience with SGML, HTML, and other web standards…technical knowledge of DOS, Windows, networked environments and the Internet.” –Library Journalist columnist Anne Woodsworth
“The reality is…with an average age of the late 40s among librarians in public libraries—that the majority of staff members were educated not only before the breakthrough of the Internet, but even before the online public access catalogue (OPAC).” —Jens Thorhauge
As Marion Paris wrote, " It is time to 'fess up: good continuing education costs money. Will you choose to pay? Either way you will pay."
“If you’re not helping them learn, you’re helping them leave.”— Bruce Massis, “How to Create and Implement a Technology Training Program,” American Libraries
Existing Competency List of New Jersey Library Association:
This document is intended for several purposes:
• To educate communities, governing bodies and funding agencies about the importance of the knowledge and skills of professional librarians;
• To develop job descriptions and evaluation tools for professional positions;
• To design policies, particularly as these policies relate to the organization and staffing of libraries;
• To guide students attending graduate library school;
• To apprise library school faculty members who are involved in the development of curricula of the continuously changing needs of the profession;
• To assist in planning staff development programs; and
• To motivate professionals to take responsibility for managing the development of one's own career."
The Competencies Cycle
Marshall, Woodson and Beck say in “Developing Core Computer Competencies for Librarians” competencies should be:
objectively measurableobservable and demonstrableimprovable by trainingCore Technology Competencies for All StaffCompetencyDefinitionSkills and BehaviorsPossible TrainingUnitsWord ProcessingSkillsThe ability to usea word processingprogram, such asMicrosoft Word.Create, format, save, print and open a documentChange font and font sizeCut and paste and Copy and pasteFormat a document using bold, italicize, underline and center textUse spell checkUse HelpMicrosoft Word BasicLearning Styles and Teaching Methods
Remember that users have different learning styles
Visual (pictures, graphics, mental images)Auditory (talk, listen)Kinesthetic (do it, handle it, move it)TellingTeachingLectureDoes NOT workPersonal EngagementWhat are you teaching them?Why should they care?How do they do it?Incentives for Completing Training
Continuing Education Credits (CECs)PromotionsPay increase (!)Paid time off (!!!)Prizes (!!!!!!!!!)Consequences for Not Completing Training
Negative employee evaluation commentsDecrease in pay (!)Position reconfigurations Transfer to different libraryDemotion (!!)Termination (!!!!)From: Houghton-Jan, Sarah (2007). Technology competencies and training for libraries. Library Technology Reports, 43(2), 7-73.
Rachel Singer Gordon, Teaching the Internet in Libraries (Chicago: American Library Association, 2001), 10.
Rachel Singer Gordon and Michael Stephens, " Ten Tips for Technology Training," Computers in Libraries 26, no. 5
(May 2006): 34-5.
Brenda Hough, " Teaching People to Be Savvy Travelers in a Technological World," Computers in Libraries 26, no. 5
(May 2006): 9-12.
Farkas, Meredith. " Skills for the 21st Century Librarian." Information Wants to Be Free, July 17, 2006, http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/index.php/2006/07/17/skills-for-the-21st-century-librarian.
observable and demonstrable
improvable by training
Core Technology Competencies for All StaffCompetencyDefinitionSkills and BehaviorsPossible TrainingUnitsWord ProcessingSkillsThe ability to usea word processingprogram, such asMicrosoft Word.Create, format, save, print and open a documentChange font and font sizeCut and paste and Copy and pasteFormat a document using bold, italicize, underline and center textUse spell checkUse HelpMicrosoft Word Basic
Visual (pictures, graphics, mental images)
Auditory (talk, listen)
Kinesthetic (do it, handle it, move it)
TellingTeachingLectureDoes NOT workPersonal EngagementWhat are you teaching them?Why should they care?How do they do it?
Continuing Education Credits (CECs)
Pay increase (!)
Paid time off (!!!)
Negative employee evaluation comments
Decrease in pay (!)
Transfer to different library
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