Rethinking library instruction: Libraries as social learning centers

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For Immediate Release

Tue, 09/02/2014

CHICAGO — ALA Editions announces a new iteration of its popular eCourse, Rethinking Library Instruction: Libraries as Social Learning Centers. Paul Signorelli will serve as the instructor for a four-week facilitated eCourse starting on Oct. 6, 2014.

Too often a library’s rich resources are underutilized because library users don’t know how to use them, are afraid to ask or simply aren’t aware. Whether in public or academic libraries, effective instructional programs developed around a library’s resources and services can boost customer satisfaction. Through this interactive eCourse, training specialist Paul Signorelli will help you and your staff increase awareness of all the library has to offer as he teaches basic instructional techniques to improve presentation skills. The eCourse will also include readings, simple assignments, an asynchronous discussion board and optional, live, online discussions. 

Learning outcomes:

  • Use instruction to help promote more effective use of library collections, physical or online.
  • Use instruction to promote more effective use of library services.
  • Use informal and formal needs-assessment to identify topics for instruction and evaluation tools to measure instruction’s effectiveness.
  • Design, prepare and present an informal learning resource that responds to your library users’ current learning needs.
  • Design, prepare and present a formal learning resource that responds to your library users’ current learning needs.

eCourse outline

Part 1: Introduction and Engagement—Getting Users through the Door

  • A brief overview of how library instruction has developed for more than 100 years.
  • A brief review of how library instructions is evolving to meet users’ changing needs.
  • Identifying what must be learned and how we can encourage effective learning (needs assessment).

Part 2: Preparing for Delivery—Thinking from a User-Centric Point of View

  • A brief overview of instructional design techniques.
  • Thinking about the audience and how to create learning opportunities that stick.
  • The importance of preparation.

Part 3: Delivering Learning for Positive Results—Providing Learning that Lasts

  • Creating learning environments that facilitate success.
  • Keeping learners awake and engaged.
  • Encouraging learning through facilitation of discussion and exploration.
  • Setting learners up for success.

Part 4: The End is The Beginning: Libraries as Onsite-Online Social Learning Centers

  • What to do when formal learning ends and learners leave the learning face-to-face or online learning space.
  • Providing a place where learners can succeed.
  • Evaluating for success.
  • Returning to the beginning with new and improved learning opportunities.

About the Instructor

Paul Signorelli has more than 20 years of experience working for libraries and nonprofit organizations. As director of staff training (six years) and volunteer services (14 years) for the San Francisco Public Library, he created, implemented and managed numerous training plans. A graduate of the Infopeople Master Trainer project, he is active in the Learning Roundtable of the American Library Association and the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on Oct. 6, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5418 or editionscoursehelp@ala.org.

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