Memphis Public Library & Information Center - Word: When a Customer Asks. . .

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When I became the Technical Trainer for Memphis Public Library & Information Center, I inherited a training called Word Basics. This class for staff was three hours long and covered everything from character formatting to tables.

I never had a successful training. It was too long and overwhelming. I would have some staff that were not ready to move beyond character formatting into tables. Also, I would have staff that would fight sleep through the easy stuff just so they could supposedly learn everything there is to know about tables, columns, and such.

To top it off, I discovered that a good portion of staff attending had no intention of using Word in their job. They just thought it would be fun to attend.

I wanted to reshape the training so that it was more in line with the library's mission statement (. . .to satisfy the customer's need to know). I also wanted to make it more available to public service staff. Having staff removed from their agency all morning or afternoon caused a problem for some agencies, especially since we are almost two years into a hiring freeze.

First, I changed the title of the training to Word: When a Customer Asks. . .. From the beginning, you know that this is a training for staff so that they can answer customer's questions.

Next, I turned the three hour training into 5 one hour trainings. Each hour is focused on one topic. Staff can attend just the session they are interested in. Plus, since the training is only one hour long, you can explain some fairly advanced aspects of Word that would have overloaded participants in a full blown three hour session. Finally, having staff away from the desk for one hour is easier for agencies to agree to. These trainings are offered once every two weeks with rotating topics.

Here is a link to a post on my blog that explains the trainings in a bit more detail.

Also, here is a link to the Staff Development site. When available, titles of trainings are links to the actual training documents used. To see the handouts that I have completed, go to the Technical Training section.