Memphis Public Library & Information Center - ILS Upgrade

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  • Upgrading your ILS that you have had since the mid-80's can be a large task indeed.
  • This is a super-short and sweet version of our training plan for conversion.
  • We had three training tracks: Technical Services, Circulation, and Reference
  • Our Technical Services folks took care of their own training.
  • Our Circulation Training team took care of the Circulation training.
  • And the Staff Development department (which consists of one manager and one technical trainer) took care of the Reference training and provided advisement and assistance to Circulation and Technical Services.
  • Our ILS vendor did provide training material, however, since we tend to customize quite a bit, we developed our own materials.
  • The head circulation trainer developed a training packet for circulation staff.
  • The technical trainer developed content on the newly created wiki. Click here to see this wiki. Having this material on a wiki allowed us to add and adjust content as we learned more about the product. Indeed, much has been added since we "went live".
  • The technical trainer also began a "Go Live Series" on the Technical Trainer blog. Click here to see this series (keep in mind that the newest posts are first). The idea was to give staff small bits of information over the course of several months that led up to training and Go Live.
  • We also had another internal-only blog devoted solely to developments of this conversion.
  • Finally, it was time to conduct in-person trainings.
  • We have a computer lab with 12 computers.
  • We offered about 15 training sessions for Circulation (4 hours long) and 15 for Reference (3 hours long).
  • Reference staff in small locations that frequently find themselves behind the Circulation desk took both sessions.
  • These were offered during the 6 week time prior to Go Live. To offer training earlier than that would probably result in the need to re-train.
  • The goal of these trainings was to prepare our staff for the first few days of "Go Live".
  • After "Go Live" we offered several "refresher", more in-depth trainings on a voluntary basis.