WA Secretary of State Blogs

WSL Updates for September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 Posted in For Libraries, News, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »


Volume 10, September 11, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) CE NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY

2) AWE GROUP PURCHASE OFFER

3) FREE DISASTER RECOVERY WORKSHOP

4) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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1) CE NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY

The Washington State Library/Washington Library Association Continuing Education Needs Assessment (CENA) Survey is now available.

Your participation will help WSL and WLA offer valuable, targeted continuing education opportunities over the next 2 years. Please share this survey widely with all library staff in public, school, academic, college, tribal and other libraries.

The survey should only take 15-20 minutes to complete and is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/WACENA2014

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2) AWE GROUP PURCHASE OFFER

The WSL Statewide Database Licensing Project and AWE Digital Learning Solutions are again announcing a multi-state special group purchase pricing to all public libraries for both the Early Literacy Station™ and AfterSchool Edge™. To take advantage of this special offer, orders should be placed before December 15, 2014.

The Early Literacy Station™ (ELS) is a dynamic all-in-one digital learning solution for early learners, ages 2-8. It is available in English and Bilingual Spanish and features over 70 content applications. The AfterSchool Edge™ features content for all elementary age students (approximately 6-12 years old). The educational programs, which are correlated to Common Core and state standards, span all seven curricular areas. Each product features engaging graphics, intuitive menus, usage tracking, and administrative functions. No Internet connection is required to use either of these products.

Pricing will be available from the Statewide Database Licensing AWE group purchasing page at sos.wa.gov/q/AWE-2. For more information, contact Cynthia Busse, AWE Senior Account Executive at bussec@awelearning.com or 281.210.4799.

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3) FREE DISASTER RECOVERY WORKSHOP

Protecting Cultural Collections: Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, Response & Recovery is a free two-part workshop sponsored by the Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS). Funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The instructor, Gary Menges, is a retired Preservation Administrator, UW Libraries, a WESTPAS trainer, and a member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC CERT).

Who should attend? Administrators and staff responsible for emergency preparedness, response and decision-making, in all types of cultural institutions. By registering for the workshop, the institution commits to supporting the attendee(s) to achieve the workshop’s disaster preparedness goals. When possible, please commit two attendees so they can work together on the disaster preparedness activities.

Event details:

  • Part 1: ON-LINE WEBINARS – Prevention & Preparedness (archived 2½ hours total)
  • Part 2: IN-PERSON WORKSHOP – Response & Recovery
  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 – 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – Yakima Valley Museum, 2105 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902.

Participation in the in-person workshop requires viewing the archived Part 1 webinars BEFORE attending the Part 2 in-person workshop AND completing the workshop assignments. Any exception requires the permission of the instructor.

For more information or to register visit sos.wa.gov/q/WESTPAS-Yakima. For registration assistance, contact Alexandra Gingerich, gingerich@plsinfo.org; for general & content information, contact Gary Menges menges@uw.edu.

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4) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

September 15

  • VIP Webinar with Ken Burns (Baker&Taylor); 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/kenb

September 16

  • Shared Print Repositories (ALCTS), two-day webinar; 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/spr
  • When Remembering Really Matters: The Power of Serious Games for Learning (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/whenre
  • Walking the Walk: Engage Volunteers in your Volunteer Engagement Program (VolunteerMatch.Org); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/volwalk
  • Executive Branch Documents (ProQuest); 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/exdoc

September 17

  • Shared Print Repositories (ALCTS), two-day webinar; 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PDT wa.gov/q/spr
  • Grant Proposal Feedback Clinic (4Good); 12:00 – 1:00 PDT wa.gov/q/grtfeedback
  • Strategic Decision Making: Shifting Your Culture from Reactive to Proactive; 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/strdec
  • Storymakers: Tell Your Library’s Story (Techsoup); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/storym
  • Subject Matter Expert + Tablet = Faster, Cheaper, Better Video Learning Content (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/subjmex
  • The Team Equation: Managing Teams that Deliver (Training Magazine Network); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/teameq
  • ProQuest Health and Medical Complete; 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/medcompl
  • ELibrary for Schools (ProQuest); 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/eschool
  • My Research & RefWorks: Perfect Together; 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/myres
  • Busqueda Avanzada en la Plataforma (Spanish – ProQuest); 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/spapro

September 18

  • Making Our Gadgets Work for Us, Spokane County Library, Argonne Branch, Spokane; 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • You Can Do I.T. On Your Own (Infopeople); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/doit
  • Teen Books Buzz Fall 2014 (School Library Journal); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/bookbuzz
  • Funding Rural America: Finding Support for Small Communities (Techsoup); 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/fundrur
  • Measuring Success: How to Strategically Assess Your Program (VolunteerMatch.Org); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/volmeasure
  • ABI/INFORM FAQ (ProQuest); 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/abipro
  • Ebrary-ebooks for Schools (ProQuest); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/ebraryproq
  • New Literature Online LION (ProQuest); 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/lionpro

September 19

  • Leading without Authority, Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham; 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information and to register (unless otherwise linked above), visit the WSL Training Calendar at sos.wa.gov/q/training.

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Spotlight on Staff: Jennifer Fenton

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Training and Continuing Education | No Comments »


If you had to use one word to describe Jennifer “Non-stop” would be a good one. Other words that apply are enthusiastic, friendly, and knowledgeable.  library photo

Jennifer has worked in libraries for over 25 years starting in her high school years at King County Library (KCLS) as a Page. She continued working for KCLS all through her college and graduate school days honing her skills as she went. Her dream job and where she focused her education was in Children’s Services and fresh out of library school she went to work for the Ellensburg City Library as the youth services librarian. Pulling on her experience at KCLS and knowing what was possible, Jennifer took the children’s program to a new level introducing baby and toddler story times, school age programs as well as teen programming. With her quiet charm she roped in the Police and Fire Departments, the City Manager and the Mayor to come and read to the kids. She participated on behalf of the library with the kids in the Ellensburg parade, rode on a float and had on average four programs A DAY! One of the most popular programs was an American Girl Doll event. It started as a Victorian tea complete with real china but soon became a multi-age event for both boys and girls where they put on plays. As she said “The kids enjoy being stage managers and lighting engineers even if they won’t appear on stage.” Sets were made, costumes produced, the show must go on! Jennifer stressed however, that the kids did the work, she just coordinated the event. Did I say “non-stop”?

Besides her day to day work, while in Ellensburg, Jennifer was also the backup Library Director and was often called on to function in this role. In her “free time” She became involved in CAYAS and has been active in the Washington Library Association (WLA) since 1997.

Jennifer loved her time in Ellensburg but wanting to be closer to family she moved back to Western Washington and to the Sno-Isle Libraries, specifically the Mukilteo Library. While at Sno-Isle she was promoted to Assistant Children’s Service Manager. She co-implemented an early learning program called “Ready Readers”. She reports that working with the Children’s staff at Sno-Isle is “Where I got my love of training.” Jennifer’s tenure at Sno-Isle was before Washington’s state-wide involvement with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), each library had to create their own Summer Reading Program.

Richard Jesse Watson’s Sno-Isle’s Summer Reading Logo

Richard Jesse Watson’s Sno-Isle’s Summer Reading Logo

She developed a partnership with authors/illustrators to help produce programs and materials for the SRP and other programming and is still friends with many of these authors.

While at Sno-Isle, Jennifer also worked as a collection development librarian and was “loaned” to Lake Stevens Library as a Branch Manager. She found she really liked the “high level work” and that is what eventually led her to the State Library.

Ready for new challenges, in 2008 Jennifer became the Training Coordinator for Washington State, coordinating trainings both in person and online. She plans at least two major “on the ground” events a year, this year’s being the wildly successful “Gadget Menagerie” and “Mental Health First Aid”.   “She also partners with the WLA on a Continuing Education Needs Assessment which goes to all  librarians in Washington state. This fall look for a Social Media training and more sessions of “Leading without Authority.” Judging on the success of Jennifer’s past programs you might want to sign up early.

You would think with ALL this going on in her life there would be no time for anything else but Jennifer has a husband and two dogs to keep her busy in her off hours. She and her husband make jewelry (just look the next time you see her) and love to travel. Her cubicle walls are covered with gorgeous pictures taken in London, Hawaii and Egypt. Jennifer Egypt

But enough from me, let’s see what her fans have to say about her.

“Jennifer is a person of many dimensions but more than anything she is patient, everywhere and every when, she is cool, calm and patient with, well, everybody.”

Lauren L R Murphy, Senior Librarian, Bonney Lake Pierce County Library

“I have worked with Jennifer on numerous projects and her depth of knowledge is always a great asset to each one. She brings a genuine enthusiasm to everything she does and her professional joy is infectious. Jenn is such a treasure to work with!”

Brianna K. Hoffman Richland Public Library

“I admire her as a ‘connector’ creating networks with people state-wide as well as with CE people in other libraries around the country.”

Jeanne Fondrie, Learning Coordinator, Whatcom County Library System

‘I first met Jennifer when I was a new librarian – I followed her as children’s librarian at the Mukilteo Library.  From the beginning, I appreciated the way she took me under her wing and mentored me… I can always count on Jennifer to offer advice on potential trainers, improving training or leadership.  She is knowledgeable, friendly and approachable.”

Kristin Piepho, Children’s Coordinator, Sno-Isle Libraries

Are you tired reading this? I could barely keep up with taking notes. Do you have a training need? Washington Librarians and libraries are in good hands with Jennifer Fenton.

 

 

 

Gadget Menagerie Takes Off

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Library 21 Initiative, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Less than a month into a whirlwind tour of over 40 libraries around the state and the Gadget Menagerie is officially a big hit in libraries. January kicked off the Gadget Menagerie with visits to Skagit and Lincoln Counties as well as the Ritzville Library and Mid-Columbia Libraries. Now, we are preparing for a super-busy February with visits to Gonzaga University, Richland Public Library, Timberland Regional Library, Washington State Library, Spokane County Library District, Sno-Isle Libraries and Everett Public Library. Wow, that’s exhausting just at a glance!

sedro2

Sedro-Woolley staff show off devices at the Gadget Menagerie

The exciting thing about the Gadget Menagerie program is that it is not only for staff, but also for the public. Libraries wishing to offer a public program are partnering with Washington State Library staff to bring the Gadgets to the library for patrons as well. Working directly with library users has been a joy. It is so much fun to help people discover the world of eReaders and tablets. Everyone has different needs when it comes to using a tablet and our job is to help people understand how they are all similar, yet different. Is this a contradiction in terms? Perhaps, but it is very true.

By working with staff and encouraging them to approach devices in a “device agnostic” manner, we hope to get staff more comfortable helping patrons coming to the library on a daily basis with various devices. Each day of the Gadget Menagerie, we are learning more about devices and about our communities.
Devices in the current menagerie include: Kindle, Nook Touch, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPad Mini, Microsoft Surface RT and a Chromebook.

New devices are coming soon and will include more android-based tablets. Patrons and students may bring their own device or explore one from the Washington State Library.

gadgets

Just a few of the available devices at the Gadget Menagerie.

At the public workshops, we assisted many people with their own devices and showcased the gadgets from our menagerie. An 83-year old woman wanted to compare tablets. After working with the various tablets in the Menagerie, she was able to narrow her interest down to 2 tablets. At another session, a 70-something farmer wanted to know when high speed internet would come to his county and town. He loves technology and has quite a few of his own gadgets already. He enjoyed showing us what he liked about the different tablets and was enthusiastic when telling us that when high-speed internet comes to his town, he’d be able to do so much more with all his high-tech toys. When the local librarian asked him “How did you get so tech savvy?,” he responded with, “My grandkids, and I have a lot of them!”

Our youngest patron at the Gadget Menagerie was 9 years old. She had a tablet and wanted to learn about YouTube. Unfortunately, since she has no access to internet at home, her tablet has limited functionality when items aren’t downloaded directly onto it. She loves coming to the library and now knows that she can bring her tablet in and use the library’s wi-fi to download what she needs and ask the friendly staff for help.

So, by now you are probably wondering, what exactly is this Gadget Menagerie?

The Washington State Library is partnering with local libraries across the state providing gadget training for library staff. Library patrons and students will be given similar training focused on the needs of the device user. Over 40 locations and 70 trainings are scheduled for the Gadget Menagerie through June 2014.

“We are very excited to be able to provide this training,” State Librarian Rand Simmons said. “We hope these skills will be beneficial to both library staff and those who rely on library resources.”

burlington

Staff at the Burlington Public Library study devices at the Menagerie.

Library staff will learn how various eReaders, tablets and other devices work. They will discover what these devices have in common, how they differ, and learn basic operating tips. Staff will learn basic troubleshooting and tips for helping patrons with their devices, including how to download books from the library.

The Gadget Menagerie will familiarize local library staff with the variety of gadgets available, allowing for staff to be more comfortable and skilled in helping library patrons.

Not all libraries are offering both types of training; some libraries are focusing only on staff training since they either already offer public workshops or don’t have the resources to offer trainings at this time.

These trainings are funded by the Washington State Library via the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

For this project, which is part of the Washington State Library Digital Literacy project, we are actively encouraging feedback and stories. So far, 100% of the public attendees say they have learned something valuable and would recommend the program to another. Comments from the public vary, but this one is very typical of the responses we have been receiving; “It was useful to have knowledgeable persons explain the equipment-what they will and will not do. Thank you for bringing the variety of devices.”

As one staff person said in a thank-you note, “We couldn’t have asked for better, more useful, hands-on training!”

Sing With Our Kids: WSL Workshops Wrapping Up

Thursday, October 24th, 2013 Posted in For Libraries, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | No Comments »


Parachute play

Parachute play

Music powers the young brain and children’s musician, Nancy Stewart, brought that message to over 300 librarians across Washington State. Nancy launched a pilot program last year to connect families with free resources for early learning through community singing. Her project takes place in her own community of Mercer Island and has been expanded to last through at least summer 2014. The ideas shared at the trainings provided by Nancy around the state for library staff will be incorporated into her resources. Nancy’s free website for “Sing With Our Kids” is available at http://singwithourkids.com/.

Nancy’s free website includes songs, videos, book recommendations, community toolboxes, a grandparents corner, tips on using technology, advice from the experts, early learning and music information, your voice and ears and much more. All the information is available freely as long as credit is given and not profit is made.

Programs related to the project have included flash mobs, scavenger hunts, caroling, may pole celebration, storytimes,  campfire sing-alongs and early literacy talks for parents and care-givers. When Nancy demonstrated the may pole at the library workshops, excitement was so high that many libraries now have their own maypole for singing and dancing. In addition, one librarian in Everett came up with the idea of theming the may pole to reflect the current season and a new version about a spider was created. Check out Nancy’s flash mob video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnFA4DOIwdc&feature=share.

marthamaypole

Martha Shinners and the May Pole

Making inter-generational connections and getting out into the community is what Nancy’s pilot project is all about (in addition to encouraging singing and the development of early literacy skills in young children.) Nancy has partnered with the local library, bookstore, parks, churches and even families she has never met while working on this project. Using social media (blog, facebook, twitter) helps Nancy reach a wider audience and connect with new people. For her community Christmas caroling, Nancy’s basic idea was to get families together and go caroling. She threw out the idea that someone could do this in their own neighborhood and even project the lyrics onto a big screen if available at someone’s home. Next thing she knew, Nancy was contacted by a family inviting her to lead caroling at their home with lyrics projected. Neighbors and family came together to sing making for quite the memorable event.

Early literacy skills are vital to helping children prepare for kindergarten. Nancy has great videos on the six early literacy skills and five practices of early literacy at http://singwithourkids.com/video.htm. She collaborated with Charlie the Noiseguy to make the videos both educational and fun.

Feedback from the workshops held in 13 locations around the state was extremely positive. Participants shared the following comments on the impact of the workshop:

Campfire Sing-Along

Campfire Sing-Along

  • I would say the project was great to learn about and Nancy was very motivating. It helped me feel encouraged to understand the importance of music in a child’s life and the need to incorporate it more into storytimes. I also enjoyed the live examples of how to use a parachute, maypole, etc. Great ideas!
  • Being reminded about the power of music once again and how it can connect families together.
  • It was just listening to Nancy talk about the power of song. It gave me a lot to think about and also a new way of talking to patrons about the importance of song. Also, her website looks incredible! I think this will be invaluable.
  • Building the confidence and providing the outstanding free resources for integrating songs and singing into children’s programming in the community.
  • The wealth of ideas and all the connections that were made. The reminder about the importance of music in my professional life and personal life!
  • I really enjoyed the videos that Nancy shared of herself going out into the community. Breaking up in to small groups and brainstorming gave us a “hands-on” approach and I think that helps us retain the information better and we also learn from each other.

The final workshop takes place tomorrow in Spokane at the Moran Prairie branch of the Spokane County Library District. After the final workshop, Nancy will continue to share her project with libraries throughout Washington via her website, blog and other avenues. Interested in giving it a try yourself? Check out Nancy’s community toolbox at http://singwithourkids.com/toolbox.htm.

 

Sudoku, Battle decks, Gamification…Oh My!

Friday, June 28th, 2013 Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Training and Continuing Education | 1 Comment »


Sudoku was a foreign concept to me; I couldn’t understand why people were obsessed with filling in crossword puzzles made up of numbers. I’m not much of a mathematician and I was convinced Sudoku was a math game. Being stranded in eastern Washington 100 miles from the nearest town led me to give Sudoku a try and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s all about logic and as a librarian and trainer, I do love logic games.

One of the (manySudoku) new trends in learning, both classroom and virtual, is gamification. Games help people learn by getting them involved competitively and helping them find the intrinsic value in the subject matter. However, gamification in its most simple form of pop-quizzes is not quite the same. In developing trainings, many trainers are now adding in components that help participants learn materials by exploring and achieving results on their own and with colleagues.

For those of us with a competitive streak, this style of training can be highly engaging and fun. And of course there’s that sense of fun and not taking things too seriously. Many people like ice-breakers and games, but there are always those that prefer not to engage in these activities and perceive them as a waste of time. The trick is to make sure that the games and activities contribute to the learning goal. For example, in a communication workshop, you could do an ice-breaker that involves miscommunication. Here’s an example from http://www.trainerbubble.com/

Follow the Leader

Duration:  15 – 30 minutes.

Objective: Useful during a session on body language or communication skills, where you want to highlight how people communicate.

Instructions: 

  • One person is asked to leave the room. While they are gone the rest of the group identify a ‘leader’. This leader must perform a subtle action that everyone has to follow (i.e., rubbing their nose, licking their lips, scratching their ear, winking, crossing legs, etc.)
  • Ask the person to return to the room and explain that they must identify the leader of the group. The leader should alter the action every few minutes with everyone following suit.
  • In review, discuss what was noticed and how we interpret and spot body language in others.

braingamesAh, the possibilities….

There are many great ice-breakers out there and the possibilities are endless.

In addition to ice-breakers and energizers, training can be gamified by its very structure. Take Battle decks as an example.

From http://www.webjunction.org/documents/webjunction/Battledecks_2010.html:

Battledecks is a fun improv exercise that challenges contestants to deliver a presentation on the fly using an unknown slidedeck containing random (and often hilarious) slides. The contestants are judged on their ability to create a coherent presentation that incorporates the slide content smoothly. Laughs and getting through all of the slides on time are a plus.

How it works:

  • Each presenter will be given 5 minutes to present 12 slides.
  • They have not seen the slide deck before today.
  • Attendees will judge the presentations based on a set of criteria.
  • You are encouraged to use chat during the presentations.
  • There is a slide from one of the conference presentations in each of the decks!

Criteria for judging:

  • Believability, humor, and integration with conference theme.
  • Ease and presence in online conferencing tool, engaging the audience.
  • Presentation flow with minimal pauses or stammering, and getting through all of the slides

Beyond the classroom: Brain Games for Health

Studies show that keeping the brain engaged through games helps stave off the onset of dementia (New England Journal of Medicine, Joe Verghese, M.D., volume=348, issue=25, 2003). Some fun brain games that can be done in trainings or on your own include:

  • Write a short story…in only 7 words.
  • Here’s a brain workout that will help keep your mind on track. Try these three exercises in simple subtraction:
    • Beginning at 200, count backward, subtracting 5 each time (200, 195, 190…).
    • Beginning at 150, count backward, subtracting 7 each time (150, 143, 136…).
    • Beginning at 100, count backward, subtracting 3 each time (100, 97, 94…).

Let’s keep our brains sharp and engaged and try adding some gaming to our trainings. And just for fun, let’s test your attention skills with this video.

Resources:

http://www.trainerbubble.com/

http://www.prevention.com/health/brain-games

http://brainrules.blogspot.com/2013/05/brain-rules-for-educators

http://anniemurphypaul.com/2012/12/finding-the-intrinsic-game-in-learning/

http://info.alleninteractions.com/bid/92049/Game-Like-Qualities

http://www.webjunction.org/documents/webjunction/Battledecks_2010.html

OCLC WorldShare ILL Update & Training Information

Friday, June 21st, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education | No Comments »


oclcAs a reminder, all libraries currently using OCLC’s WorldCat Resource Sharing (WCRS) service need to plan a migration to the new WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan service between now and the end of the calendar year, when WCRS will no longer be available. Academic libraries that belong to Washington Group Services (sos.wa.gov/q/waywho) are encouraged to migrate as a group in July and August.

Members of Washington OCLC Group Services have the unique opportunity participate in a managed migration from WCRS to the new service. It’s important to take advantage of this opportunity for training in the new service before access to WCRS ends in December. If your library has not already registered for WorldShare ILL, please register at sos.wa.gov/q/WA-ILL-Form.

Training scheduled specifically for Washington libraries will be held at 11 a.m. Pacific Time as follows:

Self-paced training options are also available. Visit sos.wa.gov/q/WayfinderNews for more links and information, including archived webinars and self-paced training options.

WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan now has new, recently released features including 2-per-page printing of book straps and requests. To learn more, consider viewing a webinar recording that provides an overview of new and upcoming WorldShare ILL enhancements. The program also included a chat with OCLC’s WorldShare ILL team about effective use of the service, best practices, and plans for its ongoing enhancement and expansion. The recording is available at sos.wa.gov/q/ILL-Enhance.

Living in a Virtual World

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | No Comments »


YakamaNationComputerLab

Time-traveling back to 1995….

My introduction to the virtual classroom was almost 2 decades ago! One of my undergraduate professors decided that he would have us meet virtually for a class session. In 1995, internet was still a novelty. I had my email through school and felt like one of the elite. I recently stumbled upon an email about that first virtual classroom experience, software has changed, but the premise is the same.

From the 1995 email:

“You will be ‘in’ a virtual ‘classroom’ on the ‘Penn’ campus. See who else shows up, identify yourself, and talk to each other. There’s help on line, but the key thing you need to know is that if you type “ at the left margin, whatever you type until you hit will be attributed to you as spoken ‘discourse’ everybody else can hear…(Some strange things may happen to you, but what the heck?) List-lurkers welcome to come along and meet the rest, and I will try to be there myself, but there are time zones and a schedule where I’m lecturing that evening to cope with.”

I attended this session and was frustrated that my slow typing meant that I was always at least a step behind everyone else in the conversation. Then, we discovered what Professor O’Donnell was trying to teach us. Thirty minutes into the session, “O’Donnell” revealed that he was a Teacher Assistant pretending to be Professor O’Donnell. Lesson learned; we never really know who we are talking with online.

Now, I gAlaska et the opportunity to teach librarians how to use virtual classrooms for meetings and trainings. In March, I went to Valdez, Alaska to teach a conference session on this topic. I must admit that playing the game “Get Out of Valdez” gave me brand-new appreciation for the Pacific Northwest and reinforced my thoughts that the Alaskan librarians are made of awesome. I was welcomed warmly to our northern most state and had the opportunity to meet many Alaskan librarians, from those working in remote villages with a population of 40 to a former Washington librarian who now manages the Anchorage library. Despite concerns that days of snow may prevent us from departing Valdez, we all made it safely out.

The session focused on how to create interactive, fun webinars and I gave the participants several templates that they can re-purpose for their own use. Attendees later told me that I helped them see the simple things that could be done to enhance the webinar experience.

Through my various communities of practice including; I have been able to practice and fine-tune my webinar skills over the years. In the beginning when the Washington training group decided to experiment with web meetings, I was resistant. I knew I would miss seeing my colleagues face to face and the social interaction of those meetings often lead to great new ideas and projects. However, I soon became a convert. Now, while I love seeing my colleagues in person at trainings and conferences, I appreciate the times that we meet virtually.

Plus, there are so many more opportunities for collaboration now that I live much of my life in the “virtual world” of librarianship. I can meet regularly with my fellow Continuing Education state-wide coordinators from around the states and keep up with my local colleagues between our quarterly in-person meetings. I was able to partner with my colleague, Shirley Biladeau, from the Idaho Commission for Libraries to offer a series of eReader webinars for library staff. We are currently partnering on teaching Turning the Page 2.0 in the fall. Without the help of our virtual spaces including the virtual classroom, my job would be a lot harder.

Now, 18 ycomputerears after my first attempt at navigating the virtual classroom, I am passionate at sharing my knowledge and skills with others. Also, I generally “know” who is in my classroom because we now have VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) that allows me to hear the voices of my peers. And if someone isn’t on a microphone and communicating over chat, I trust they are who they claim to be.

Jennifer Fenton is the Continuing Education/Training Coordinator at the Washington State Library and can often be found glued to a computer screen with a headset facilitating, attending or monitoring various online trainings and meetings.

Online learning helps library staff across the state keep skills sharp

Friday, May 10th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, Training and Continuing Education | 1 Comment »


cropped image001Written by guest blogger, Adrienne Doman Calkins, CE/Training Intern, Washington State Library, Library Development

Library staff have questions too. Lots of them. Like: How can I best implement eReader training at my library? What are the current trends in library programming? How can I improve our website? What training materials already exist to help me train my new staff? How can I best help my community with digital literacy skills? I want to brush up on my communication skills, but how can I from a remote area with few training opportunities. How can I learn about project management with my busy schedule?

Most importantly, library staff want to know how to keep their skills current to best serve their evolving communities.

The Washington State Library sponsors online learning for library staff across all 71,000+ square miles of the state through a statewide membership to WebJunction, an online learning community designed specifically for library staff. Washington is one of 18 states partnering with WebJunction to offer sponsored access to online courses and webinars for library staff. While WebJunction has a national presence, it is also a local organization based in Seattle, Washington, since 2003. Washington library staff benefit from WebJunction’s connections to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the parent company to WebJunction, OCLC.

If you’ve used WebJunction in years past, look again. The newly redesigned WebJunction website is easier to navigate and offers more resources.

Library staff across Washington are getting value out of the WSL partnership with WebJunction:image003

  • 700 courses were taken in 2012
  • 527 registered users attended 24 different live webinars in 2012
  • Library staff from 30 different libraries registered for courses in 2012
  • 561 Washington library staff are currently registered as WebJunction Washington members.
  • With current membership, courses cost WSL about $22 each. That price gets lower the more members join and take courses. The current contract pays for over 3,600 library staff to join WebJunction.
  • WebJunction content is available 24/7 to library staff wherever they have an internet connection, making it a great resource for rural library staff, who may not be able to attend offsite trainings as easily, or any staff who need to be as efficient as possible with their time.
  • New content is constantly being added to WebJunction. Upcoming webinars can be found on www.webjunction.org, or look on the Washington Partner page to see these and links to WSL’s First Tuesday webinars. Can’t make the date? Past webinars are accessible as archives, as well. New courses will soon be available in video format when WebJunction adds Lynda.com trainings to their course catalog, increasing the software, business and creative offerings sponsored by WSL. Note: access to Lynda.com trainings will be limited, so registered staff should look for the invitation via email soon.
  • Washington library staff can create a free account on the WebJunction site. Sponsored access will be approved by WSL and WebJunction within 48 hours.

Some WebJunction users are really taking advantage of the resources. One power-user, Keyla Gonzalez, a Circulation Clerk 2 from Bellingham Public Library, took 25 courses in 2012. She has built an impressive list of skills using WebJunction: “I have learned cultural communication styles, how to reach out to our non-English speaking patrons and how to better equip myself to be more helpful when answering patron’s requests.” What does Keyla appreciation about the WSL sponsored access to WebJunction? “I love that I can use my own time and finish my course load at my own pace. If there’s a course that is strenuous I know I can go back and re-do it however many times I want. Mostly I love that it is accessible at any time and it is free!”
WebJunction WebinarsAnother important role in online learning is the WebJunction champion—that person who encourages staff to take courses and attend webinars. Some champions are peers, others are trainers, administrators, managers or supervisors. All of them know access to online learning is only part of the solution to help staff keep their skills sharp. The other part is creating a culture that prioritizes learning and gives staff the time, space and resources to participate in online training opportunities.

One such champion is Patricia Chupa, Circulation Supervisor at the Shelton Timberland Library. Pat, as her staff know her, has built just such a culture in her department. She incorporates online learning into the goals her staff make during annual performance evaluations and goes on to make a contract with her staff: if they “partner with one another to get the materials handling work done in a timely fashion,” then they are guaranteed “protected time to do their courses” and staff help cover for each other by negotiating the best time for trainings. Has the effort paid off? Pat is proud to report “the professional approach to their customer service has improved across the team, and that has readily been demonstrated in the level of satisfaction we see and hear from our patrons.”

The WebJunction Washington partner resources are managed by the Washington State Library, with input from a state-wide WebJunction Washington Advisory Team made up of members from public, academic, and special libraries across the state. It’s the sponsored learners, though, that make WebJunction resources come alive as library staff interact with library patrons with skills learned through this state-sponsored resource.

 

 

OCLC ILL Training for Wayfinder Libraries

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education | No Comments »


worldshareill-logo OCLC is replacing the current WorldCat Resource Sharing interlibrary loan (ILL) service with a new service,  OCLC WorldShareT Interlibrary Loan, in 2013.

A series of training sessions on the new service has been scheduled for Washington libraries:

Training for Public and Special Libraries:

  • WorldShare Interlibrary Loan Getting Started: Tuesday, April 2 – Register
  • WorldShare Interlibrary Loan Borrowing: Wednesday, April 3 – Register
  • WorldShare Interlibrary Loan Lending: Thursday, April 4 – Register

Training for Academic Libraries:

  • WorldShare Interlibrary Loan Getting Started: Tuesday, July 16 – Register
  • WorldShare Interlibrary Loan Borrowing: Wednesday, July 17 – Register
  • WorldShare Interlibrary Loan Lending: Thursday, July 18 – Register

While these training sessions have been scheduled specifically for Washington libraries that are partner members in the Wayfinder/Washington Group Services project, staff from other Washington libraries are also welcome to register and attend these sessions.

For more information on the transition, visit the Wayfinder News page.

EveryoneOn: March 21, 2013 Kicks Off the National Campaign

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education | No Comments »


 

shutterstock_5274472_computer_training3.21 EveryoneOn and Connect2Compete

http://www.everyoneon.org/ and http://www.connect2compete.org/

Someone asked the other day what all the fuss is about. Do libraries really need to pay attention to this national campaign? At this point we don’t know if the campaign will create a ripple or a splash, or if it will gain a huge amount of momentum over the three years of the campaign.

What we do know is that it allows another layer of society to have access to technology and Internet services at modest prices. For those most poverty stricken, the available technology and access to Internet will still be out of their reach. In this sense, and in either case, libraries will still be a critical piece of bridging the digital divide.

What we also know is that the campaign directs people to their local library, Goodwill, and other digital literacy training providers. From the EveryoneOn website, people will be able to access a search box which will return a list of libraries and other providers within a certain distance from the city and state, or zip code that is entered. For public libraries, at a minimum, their location and contact information will be provided. Libraries also have the opportunity, at the branch level, to enter information about the services they provide at each location.

My guess is that with the number of national organizations behind this effort, awareness of the campaign will not be an issue. Some four billion dollars of direct contributions and in-kind funding are being directed to this effort. Intel, Best Buy, Citi Group, Morgan Stanley, Four H, Boys and Girls Club, IMLS, United Way, TechSoup, National Urban League, Microsoft, ALA, Goodwill, Cox, Time Warner, Cablevision, Brainfuse, CareerBuilder, Learning Express, Sesame Street, and a host of others have signed on.

I would suspect libraries will be contacted whether or not they post more information to the EveryoneOn site. March 21, 2013 is the national kickoff to this three year campaign. Library staff should be prepared to be contacted by the ones and twos, the tens, the hundreds, and for the largest library locations perhaps the thousands, all of whom will want to know more about the services and the trainings their local library provides.

Jeff Martin, Library Development Program Manager, Washington State Library