Summer is the traditional time when library staff upgrade our equipment, software and policies. Things are much quieter during this time of year, so it’s a good chance to take stock, make changes, and gear up for a new academic year. We receive training on vital aspects of our work and suss out solutions to common issues and problems we encounter.
This summer, the E-Learning Technologies unit was asked to train the librarian and archives staff on how to use the our room reservations software. First, a little history is appropriate. See this post to understand where we started.
Sometimes, it can be tough training your colleagues – the familiarity level can get you off-task, teachers and trainers don’t always make the best students, and it’s hard to find logistics that suit every need and schedule. Luckily for us, it’s easy to talk to staff at our library – they ask good questions and have postitive energy. Our aim for the two training sessions was multifaceted.We wanted to provide relaxed, conversational tutorial sessions that:
- provided a brief overview of the room reservation software we use – EMS Professional by Dean Evans & Associates
- showed the staff simple steps to making reservations and sending email confirmations
- introduced a new aspect to our reservations – the ability to request technology resources like laptops and projectors
We formulated a 2-page, step-by-step instruction guide (listed in the Document Archive on this site) that illustrates how a staff member should book a room. We also prepared a slideshow presentation and booked a cozy training lab to host our colleagues.
So, how did it go?
We were, in one word, successful. The sessions were well-attended, our colleagues appeared receptive to learning the new system and we came away with some usage considerations that hadn’t occurred to us. We now know that we need to determine best practices for staff using the system – new and old, with different needs and usage considerations. We also see the need to ease the transition to this system for the whole library staff and figure out stuff like timing and training. Library administration is looking to make the EMS room reservations system our primary tool for reserving and supporting spaces in our building. The task seems daunting, but our colleagues’ reaction to the training is encouraging.
Expect more updates on this project in future posts.