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Programming and Training

Page history last edited by Kim Miller 6 years, 10 months ago

Original Question:  June 12, 2013


Kathy Sheppard (SC)


Hi all, a quick question –

The word “training” does not occur in the definition of “Library Programs.”  Do you all include all kinds of public training, including technology and Internet training, in your count of public programming?  Do you break training out separately as a local count? 


Does anyone feel that it would be helpful to include a definition for “training” at the SDC meeting?




SDC Comments:


Bruce Pomerantz (MN)


To me, instruction is counted as program because instruction falls within the parameters of introducing “the group attending to any of the broad range of library services. . .or provides information to participants.”




Joyce Chapman (NC)


We tell the libraries to include training programming (like group training on technology) in their program counts. Where they get confused is with one-on-one assistance with technology, which doesn’t seem to necessarily fit into the reference definition but also has nowhere else to be counted. This year we’re introducing some new questions: program and attendance counts specifically on 1. Tech/computing, 2. Jobs/careers; and one-on-one assistance on 1. Tech/computer, 2. Jobs/careers. Those are some of the data points we need to be able to talk about for advocacy. A couple of our libraries independently collect even more categorical data for programs or one-on-one assistance, homework assistance is the one I can think of off the top of my head.




Diana Very (GA)


In Georgia, we count all training (computer, financial, literacy, etc) at the local libraries as programming as well as all the children's storytime, etc. Training for staff development would not be considered a library program and is not included in the count.




Laura Stone (AZ)


Ditto for Arizona. I think training is a subset of programming.




Michael Golrick (LA)


I would count tech training for groups as programs.


Actually, *I* think it is pretty clear that one-on-one technology training is reference. I work the Reference Desk every day (see signature file…), and am just back from it. Re-read the definition:


A reference transaction is an information contact which involves the knowledge, use, recommendations, interpretation, or instruction in the use of one or more information sources by a member of the library staff. It includes information and referral services. Information sources include printed and non-printed materials, machine-readable databases, catalogs and other holdings records, and, through communication or referral, other libraries and institutions and people inside and outside the library. The request may come in person, by phone, by fax, or by mail, electronic mail, or through live or networked electronic reference service from an adult, a young adult, or a child.


It is pretty clear to me that “instruction in the use of one or more information sources by a member of the library staff” includes computer training.


If *we* want, we can certainly make the definition even more explicit, and I would support that (but I am not officially proposing it, either).




Roberta DeBuff (NV)


As someone who came from a public library adult services desk (in my past life, not so long ago), I think I would agree with this statement and concur that the one-on-one training would be best counted as a reference transaction.  Group training, which is scheduled, would be, in my opinion and perception of the definitions, would be counted as a program.


The two cents of a novice…




Joyce Chapman (NC)


Maybe we could modify the official definition so that it’s clear the one-on-one tech goes in reference (and anything else that goes in there that people are confused about). I suspect that most of my libraries count this in reference now, we are still going to start asking them to count it as a separate category as well though, since there’s such a demand for this info on the advocacy side.




Kathy Sheppard (SC)


We count group training and group programming separately (# sessions and # participants) so we can reflect training activity separately.   This lets us know which libraries are comfortable offering formal instruction to the public, and how much of this is going on.   But I am having a little difficulty with my folks sometimes not differentiating between “training” and “programs” - some programs are kinda like training, and some training is kinda like a program.   Making a chart of examples this year and hopefully that will help.


They have less difficulty with the idea of one-on-one technology training counted as reference so we’re ok there.  But it would be good to know how often “reference” turns into “training” in these one-on-one interactions, because this would help us gauge if positive change is taking place in the population.  I am just not sure how I could get all of them to define and to report these kinds of transactions separately.  


Thanks to everyone for your input!




Eleanor Bernau (NM)


Ditto for New Mexico.




Robert Jones (IL)


Same for Illinois.



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