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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

ILA Annual Conference: Info On My Presentations Today

Today I am part of two presentations at my state library conference and both are focused on staff training.

Below I will have the information from the conference website and the details on what we will be covering. If you would like to download any slides or handouts, no matter where you live, go to the online conference program, put "Spratford" in the Speaker's Last Name Box," and hit search. This will bring up the page you need.

Now, here is what you can expect today.

First up:
Not only have I been a participant at 15 years worth of inservice days as a worker, but I have now been to dozens more as a presenter. Throughout my travels I have witnessed some amazing staff training going on at different libraries.

I wanted to let others get the chance to see the innovative, inspiring, and just plain fun staff training going on at libraries right here in our state. I invited people I was inspired by to present with me own order to inspire more library workers to rethink their own staff training models.

From the planning email I sent the group:
  •  I will start with a general overview of what we are trying to accomplish-- presenting a variety of outside the box staff training ideas that will inspire staff to be better at their jobs. 
  • I would like Brandon to go first because he is going to talk about how they restructured their Staff Day at Wauconda. 
  • Then Jeannie will talk about a variety of staff training and self care sessions she has organized as the Executive Director at two libraries.
  • Laurel will be up next to talk about the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training that is an ongoing continuing education program at Skokie
  • Finally, I will talk about how getting everyone at your library excited about your core business [reading!]-- no matter where in the building they work-- improves job satisfaction, customer service, and builds teamwork.

 Next up in the same room immediately after:

This presentation is one that Alissa Williams and I came up with together. Alissa was excited about  sharing the results from the training I provided for the Peoria area adult services librarians a few years ago, and asked me if we could to gather a few other libraries here in IL who I had worked with to present.

After Alissa brought the idea up, I immediately realized that while I give similar training programs everywhere I go, the outcomes for the libraries are very specific to their needs.

I asked libraries who had me offer training for different reasons and who had positive outcomes to come and share their experiences. It is amazing how similar presentations can yield such different results when libraries take what they learn and run with it. I think these presentations will inspire you just as they have inspired me.

Here is what we have planned for this program:

  • I will serve as emcee, explaining the general idea of the training I provide and then introduce each panelist from my perspective-- why they asked me to be there.
  • Alissa Williams from Morton Public Library will be up next. For Alissa, I was asked to do a "train the trainer" type event. She gathered library workers who do RA from all over the Peoria area in order for them to both bring back specific ideas to their individual libraries and to encourage them to keep meeting and sharing ideas across the region.
  • I presented in the morning as part of an entire in service day for Terri Suda at Wauconda Area Library. Terri has had amazing results in terms of their growth of RA service offerings and buy in from staff from all over the building, across all departments.
  • Nancy Castellanos had me do Booktalking training for her staff at Fountaindale Public Library. I saw the entire staff in 2 shifts. This was part of a morning only training session where the other half, when not with me, were with my colleague Jez Layman, hearing about how to upsell their programs. So basically, all of their training was focused on how to be better at talking with patrons in general- not just RA.
  • Finally, Emily Compton-Dzak from Winnetka-Northfield might have had the most daunting challenge ahead of her. Emily's library was going through an huge renovation when I visited them. Not only was the building going to look different, the staff was going to be reorganized. For example, every circulation clerk was getting a promotion and would be expected to provide RA. I came to work with staff who had been doing RA and those who would now be required to do it. The session was both for team building and learning, and now, Emily will share their results in the new building with their new RA focused attitude.
I can't wait to be a part of these programs today. Sharing each library's successes for our colleagues, especially because these are all successes in motivating and energizing staff, is going to be a great experience for everyone. Staff training does not have to be boring and useless, and I am going to spend 2 hours proving that to you today.

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