This section covers:
- Training staff about what eResources are, when to recommend them and how to search eResources
- Showing staff how to “sell” eResources
- Communicating to all staff the value of eResources.
Staff who work on service desks need a basic awareness of the content and application of your eResources. Coach and encourage staff to assess the information needs of clients. This may involve directing clients to reference staff or giving them promotional material about eResources such as brochures or bookmarks. Give staff basic orientation to eResources and the promotional collateral including examples of when and where eResources might be used.
Personal recommendation can be the most effective approach to conveying the value of eResources, making connections that may not be evident to users.
- Hold regular (annual, biannual) short and succinct staff training sessions on your eResource collection. Aim for sessions to be no more than two hours, and if possible, hold them in the morning. Include short tasks or simple role playing exercises to reinforce the application of the eResources.
- Make the most of online training tools from eResource vendors and services such as NSW.net.
- Investigate training webinars offered by vendors.
- Encourage staff to be involved with evaluations of eResources your library may be trialling. This helps staff consider various search features and gives them opportunities to experiment.
- Develop an eResource check list for key staff to follow, detailing important steps in the setup and promotion of an eResource. This should be attached to your marketing plan, and endorsed by your manager/director. It’s important that all key staff are aware of their responsibilities regarding the management and promotion of your eResource collection.
- Develop a key competency profile for staff focused on the various eResources your library offers.
- Showcase an eResource during regular staff meetings and provide examples of “collateral” (i.e. promotional material such as bookmarks, flyers and brochures).
- Start an “eResource of the Week/Month” email to library staff. Include search tips and examples. Encourage staff to try a search or two of their own.
- Regularly inform staff via emails. Ensure the emails are short and easy to read, and include a screenshot of the eResource and perhaps a copy of associated collateral.
- Showcase relevant eResources during staff induction sessions. If your organisation does not include the library service in their induction process, it’s time to sell your library service!
- Encourage staff to “sell” eResources to patrons, other staff and clients. However emphasise to staff not to oversell value or suggest eResources have relevance for every information need - they don’t! They can be one powerful option among others.
- Write up short descriptions of examples of eResources use “success stories” for any library staff newsletter or commonly accessed intranet pages.
- Make use of video tutorials provided by eResource vendors.
- If one team member shows a particular interest in any eResources take them aside for a bit of additional coaching in content and application – even if it’s for their personal interests. Their awareness, maybe even use of the resources, may well result in them acting as an informal promoter of them to the rest of their team or library users.
Educating and training staff about eResources must be on-going to keep up with new eResources and changes in search features. It is important to remind staff regularly using examples of eResource success stories, quick quizzes or refresher training.