Thanks to all who took the time to help me with this issue! I was asked to
provide a hit, so here it is. A summary of my original issue is...
I need to create a training for a variety of paras in a school that I am
not scheduled to ever be in, so that they can correctly help students in
the library if they happen to be there when students come in. There is a
para assigned only one hour of the day, the rest of the day, the library is
unstaffed. There was much tension regarding how things should be done and
who was allowed to do them. Here are the responses I got.
Well, first we all hope the admin realizes how difficult it is to manage so
many people using so many books and other features of the LMC. However,
when there is no money we must do the best we can in tough times. We use
Destiny in our district, and my checkout is very flexible with
self-checkout for most students. You might find some use in these files.
I have created bookmarks that students have used. I'll attach the
publisher file and the pdf. Make changes as you need. I also allow
teachers to choose a weekly checkout time each year that is independent of
me. They are in charge with that process, and I'm attaching the file with
those procedures. You might get some ideas from this for your own
training. Good luck!
Lisa Hunt, LMS/NBCT 2005-2025
I suggest writing a step by step manual for each process. Then review the
sequential order they are to follow. Since they have been doing this
already it's about being on the same page so to speak for consistancy.
Then hold training to go over patron service standards. Include patron
privacy to end the open forum hallway over due notices. Again this is
written in the manual. Consider private meetings for targeting specific
individuals and any concerns with their methods for serving patrons.
I hope this is helpful.
Mrs. Christine M. Halbert
Visuals helps A LOT, so if you can, create quick simple screencasts and
create a Youtube channel so you have the information there whenever they
need it to refer back to. The great thing about this is that you only have
to do it one time!
And for some reason, there must be some magic juju when people step behind
a circ desk. All of a sudden, they are the SUPREME BEING of the
library....well, not really. Compare the library to a department store or
any store they go to. Ask them what makes them come back to their favorite
one and what makes them never want to come to another again. After this
conversation with real life experiences, compare this to how a library
operates, and that it IS customer driven and customer based. Hopefully
they'll see that....
Hope this helps,
You could try some role-playing with them. It might help with the customer
service aspect. And approach things with them by saying that you know they
are familiar with the system, but you want to make sure they know some of
the great new features (and then show them something that's not too much to
grasp but might be a little new like editing a book's location to "out for
repairs" or something like that). Then just retrain from the beginning.
It's better to have everyone on the same page, but I understand there might
be hurt feelings.
~Holly Riggs, MLS
I've never done a training like this, but I would also go over some of the
common (and perhaps not-so-common) "what ifs", since I think that's where
most people have different opinions.
Ex: What if a student has an overdue book? May they still check another
What if a book is torn or damaged?
What is the policy for running an overdue report and distributing it? Who
is responsible for this? How often?
Just remind them that you want the Library to be a happy, welcoming place
where students want to come. We want them to read, we want to help them
find good books to read.
My first thought was to emphasize confidentiality issues. Maybe some staff
do not understand that their behavior doesn't make students feel
comfortable in the library, but surely (hopefully?) they will understand
that shouting in front of others about a student's record is a breach of
confidentiality. This might then lead to talk about hospitality &
How about having them all show you how they check books out first? That
way, you can troubleshoot on the spot; and then create a step-by-step
guideline that you can customize to target the biggest faults you saw.
I'd start with the basics of check in, check out, shelving (basically what
you'd want a sub to know) and be clear about the atmosphere that you expect
for the library program. Do the best you can and then let it go, you
already run 2 libraries and the school has chosen to cut support. It's not
going to be a great situation, so you can only give them best practices.
I've been reading the book Essentialism and it talks a lot about not doing
essential things so that you can focus on the things that are essential to
you. I'm not sure how much ability you have to be honest with the
principal, but if you can you need to make it clear to him/her that this is
not an acceptable situation and that there will be problems. When there are
personality conflicts amongst paras, that is something that the principal
will need to deal with, as you are not really their supervisor.
Jenni Davidson <https://plus.google.com/u/1/116384664481875837861?prsrc=4>
Although I appreciate your situation, I also feel that by being asked to
train the paras to do the job of a media specialist the profession is being
undermined. Stick to the basics: how to check in, out and renew and
recommend that the other problems can be solved by hiring someone with a
degree in information sciences.
It would help to figure out where everyone is coming from. Focus on the
needs of the participants, the kids and the paras. I suspect you will find
common ground in wanting to help students find what they need and to be
fair. Giving everyone a chance to be heard will go a long way toward making
them willing to hear you and your goals.
Maggi Rohde <https://plus.google.com/u/1/113548974292458468892?prsrc=4>
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