The Beginning of Summer Projects

Now that most of our students have left for the summer, it is time to start tackling summer projects. One summer project will be to redo the student staff training sessions that workers receive in the fall. Developing training modules is something that I wish would have been given more opportunity to develop in library school, along with ideas for group and team building activities. Perhaps this falls outside the realm of traditional classroom activities, but I think that coursework or reading in this area would help, not only for student staff training, but for developing the library staff as a whole. So far I have likened the project to developing one shot interactive instruction sessions which last for several hours. I have started reading on best practices and other librarian’s suggestions for training student staff. Our summer student workers have already agreed to be our test audience. With this in place by August, we will be ready to welcome our returning students with a refresher and make new student assistants comfortable in their new work environment. Your words of wisdom are welcome!

2 thoughts on “The Beginning of Summer Projects”

  1. I’m interested in what you come up with. If you get some real gems for developing training modules, I would love to hear about them.

    I manage the students staff of two facilities in my library. Our students are asked to do a lot: teach people how to use new technologies, troubleshoot technology-related questions, float and assist people during the workshops we offer… and all this for a variety of computer programs: Adobe Creative Suite, MS Office, web design products, video and audio editing, EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero, etc., etc., etc.

    As is stands now, much training is learned on the job. We have a few modules for learning the basics, but nothing comprehensive for some of the more advanced skills they should acquire here. We’re trying something new this semester: online quizzes that ask questions patrons may ask. Their responses should be short answers, and most of the solutions to the questions can be found in our online handouts, in the technology books we have online, or in Google. The idea is to get them comfortable with consulting the tech resources they have available to them; rather than just telling a patron, “I’m sorry, I don’t know Photoshop,” we want them to say, “I’m not a Photoshop expert, but I bet we could figure out the problem,” and then pull out books, handouts, and other resources to assist the patron.


  2. Hello there, I’ve been developing an online training program for my student workers over the past several years. It’s based on a wiki, but integrates pictures, video, and a blog. There aren’t any actual training modules in the traditional sense, but people can look up “load the film” and get photos, text, and video to help them out if I’m not there in person. If you’re interested, you can take a look at the wiki here: or email if you’d like to chat. -Lauren

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