rusq: Vol. 50 Issue 2: p. 195
Sources: Technology Training in Libraries
Suzan A. Alteri

Suzan A. Alteri, Public Services Librarian, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Part of the Library and Information Technology Association Tech Set series, Sarah Houghton-Jan’s Technology Training in Libraries is a guidebook on staff development and technology training. As with all the books in the series, there is a companion wiki and author podcasts that provide more detailed information and up-to-date coverage. In its commitment to emerging technologies, the series even provides a Facebook page for more information on the books and their authors. But for this particular title, the goal is to outline the necessary steps for creating effective technology training programs.

Because technology is always changing, it can prove difficult to provide training that gives employees an appropriate technology skill set. The author contends that constant vigilance is required to be successful in technology training: although technology changes rapidly, technology training has not kept pace. “Few would argue against technology’s place in libraries. However, technology training has not managed to make its way into very many libraries, especially in a coordinated manner” (11). Houghton-Jan wishes to change this situation by establishing a step-by-step process for training staff on today’s emerging technologies, especially those that have a direct impact on libraries.

Technology Training in Libraries is written for all libraries and administrators, regardless of their level of technological expertise. It is important to remember that this is a book not on technology, but on training. It is designed not for those who have adequate knowledge of technology, but for technology trainers and managers. The book not only covers why technology training is so important for libraries, but it also offers a wide array of training methods as well as tips for how to pace both formal and informal courses, how to accommodate different learning styles, and how to communicate with management—all within libraries’ limited budgets. Using the ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate) training method, Technology Training in Libraries also covers broader topics, such as how to create cultures of learning and experimentation. What makes this book stand out from other manuals is that the author anticipates potential problems in planning and implementing large-scale programs and then provides concrete, realistic solutions.

Technology Training in Libraries is a crisp, cleanly practical manual whose focus is on being realistic and simple but still effective. The focus is on how to implement a program that fits in with an institution’s mission, how to determine staff needs, and how to meet patron needs, making this an essential resource for all libraries. The extensive list of recommended resources and the bibliography are also beneficial. However, libraries with partial training programs in place might find some of the information repetitive and should look for a more in-depth resource.

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