Wednesday, 28 September 2011

SINTO Training Programme

The recent spell of warm weather may not be an Indian Summer to be pedantic. (Of course, for librarians, pedantry is not an insult but rather a job description). However, it does remind us that the summer is over and winter is on its way - so it is time for the SINTO Winter 2011-2012 training programme.

SINTO was expecting problems in delivering a training programme during 2011 and 2012. We knew that training budgets were likely to be limited. Also we have been emphasising that our training programme relates to workforce development, in other words providing staff with the skills that are needed to achieve the future strategic goals of the library service. But what are those strategic goals? Continuing uncertainty about the level of future funding and the exact impact this will have on the service makes it difficult to plan ahead. Beyond that there are big questions about where library service should be going. For public libraries that is represented by the debate about the Future Libraries project. The outcome of all this is that library leaders (and yes, I am talking to you!) find it difficult to know what their library service will look like in the next few years and therefore what skills they should be providing for library staff.

SINTO's response has been to listen to its members and to provide a lead - identifying future needs and offering a programme that will meet these needs. Our Preparing for the Future programme is an integrated programme of workforce development events and activities. The goal is to strengthen the link between training outcomes and the strategic goals of the library and its parent organisation.

This is what we have to offer over the next 6 months.

Advocacy. It is probably too late to tell your decision makers how good the library service is after cuts have been proposed. Advocacy has to be 24/7 - an integral part of everything we do. Two linked workshops; Gaining support and influence: an introduction to advocacy and Measuring and communicating impact: advanced advocacy; will give staff at all levels the skills to promote the service.

Copyright. Essential for everyone working with published information. This day will be in two parts - in the morning, an introduction to copyright and in the afternoon, an update on recent developments. You can book for either or both parts. The workshop is lead by copyright expert Graham Cornish.

Training skills. The ability to provide training to small groups is a key skill for library staff. Whether it is staff training or providing instruction to library users, staff need the skills and knowledge to be effective. A two day course.

Answering enquiries. A repeat and update of the successful Enquiry desk techniques events that we have run in the past this workshop will cover the essential interaction with the enquirer - whether they are face to face or remote - and the skills needed to find the information. So much is changing in libraries but this remains a core competence for library staff.

Effective communication. No matter how good you are, if you don't communicate well you (and your organisation) will achieve nothing. Is there a secret to being a 'great communicator'? This workshop will explore communication in the work setting from both a theoretical and a practical standpoint.

Perhaps you don't know exactly where your library service will be in 5 years time but this package of skills will help the library workforce respond to the challenges they will face.