“Libraries Hire Learners, not the Learned”*

The head librarian at MPOW is very keen on professional development. We have a learning and development committee (of which I’m a part) which conducts an annual survey of our training needs. The committee encourages using inhouse expertise to facilitate training.

It was decided not to use the 23 things as a template , but some of the training does involve some Web 2.0 applications, primarily those which are deemed relevant to work. a The training then consists of presentations to staff. It’s all very informative and there is a lot of useful information which is imparted, but somehow I think we have missed the point. While our training is highly relevant, it’s also quite passive and reliant on someone imparting information. There are still a number of staff reluctant to take part. When the suggestion was made to upload the information onto our staff development wiki, one staff member baulked, claiming “I’ve already done it (meaning she had already presented) and don’t really want to re-visit it”.

The 23 things was a mixed blessing for libraries. What it did was encourage staff who were used to being consumers of information to being creators of information in order to understand the new array of technology. A side effect of this was a lot of really cool names and URLs for blogs were already taken when I started blogging, due to the success of 23 things. Unfortunately a lot of them did not last more than a couple of posts (grrr).

Stephen Abrams touches upon the 23 things in a recent blog post questioning its relevancy. While it was a great way to get up to speed with what our users are using, part of the point was to kick start an interest in self-directed learning and professional development. That is essentially what 23 things was about, not just developing skills, but developing an interest to keep on leanring new skills, and to make the time to do so. Another reason why I didn’t watch Masterchef πŸ™‚

My next skill to learn however, is quite relevant to my other job and that is to make a passport for Master BG’s favourite toys Monkey and Woof-woof for our overseas trip. And more on that another time…

This week, I showed the AV librarian what I was doing with YouTube, uploading videos to be displayed on our website, and inserting captions. He found itΒ  I also spoke to another staff member about using delicious to manage his plethora of bookmarks. He said he’d have a play.

Maybe the best approach is a less formalized, ad hoc approach, combined with good humoured nagging. This usually works with the little BGs :).

*Stephen Abrams July 19, 2010 1:56 pm in response to a comment

2 thoughts on ““Libraries Hire Learners, not the Learned”*

  1. Spot on. Have just read this while looking at some of my 23Thinger’s posts- I am now running my third program in MPOW and I have a couple of people who still have not finished and start anew each time. Whilst I’m reluctant to say no- I do wonder. They have support of management and can make time, but don’t and that’s OK- but it’s up to them, they are adults in control of their own PD…thanks Steph πŸ™‚ (apologies for small rant..)

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