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Effectiveness of ICT training for public library staff in the UK: staff views

King, Sandie and McMenemy, David and Poulter, Alan (2006) Effectiveness of ICT training for public library staff in the UK: staff views. Electronic Library, 24 (2). pp. 265-276. ISSN 0264-0473

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to report the findings of a survey into staff perceptions of the UK-wide information and communications technology (ICT) training conducted under the People's Network programme for public library staff. A web-based survey was undertaken across several prominent UK mailing lists, seeking staff views on issues such as the usefulness of the training provided, and any perceived gaps in training that existed. The survey also asked what types of ICT queries staff regularly encountered. It was found that while the staff found the training rewarding, there were concerns at the lack of ICT troubleshooting in the programme, and the reliance on an off-the-shelf training programme not specifically designed for libraries, namely the European Computer Driving License, or ECDL. The paper suggests that ICT training for library staff should be built around problem solving and troubleshooting, rather than generic skills, in order to match the kinds of queries encountered in the front line of libraries. The paper is useful for anyone involved in designing library training programmes, or for researchers or students interested in the ICT skills necessary for librarians and the types of ICT queries encountered in the workplace