One challenge that many Technical Services supervisors face is providing little or no-cost training opportunities for their staff. With limited professional development budgets and constant change in Technical Services workflows, it can be difficult for libraries, particularly public and school libraries, to keep up with staff education needs. The purpose of this article is to address common issues encountered in creating little or no-cost local trainings on a variety of topics, ranging from concrete tasks to complex theory. By the end of this article, readers should be able to navigate common issues faced in creating and implementing locally created/adapted staff instruction. Readers who are interested in free professional development resources should utilize email lists and professional organization resources.

I am a senior librarian in the Technical Services division of the Tigard Public Library whose primary responsibility is cataloging. Over the past four years, I have worked with colleagues at the Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) Automation office and with staff at other WCCLS member libraries in order to provide countywide professional development opportunities for Technical Services staff responsible for cataloging and serials management. These trainings have included in-person instruction with customized guides, gamified self-guided exercises, and basic introductions to complex postMARC concepts. Each of these professional development opportunities came with unique challenges and led to some lessons that I would like to share, including (I) keeping trainings simple and focused, (II) assigning local experts if one does not already exist and (III) relating complex terms to existing practices.

Author Biography

Stephanie Milbrodt is a Senior Librarian in the Technical Services division of the Tigard Public Library. She completed her Master’s in Library Science through Emporia State University. Before working in public libraries, she worked as a Cataloging Specialist at Reed College and as Circulation Supervisor/Cataloging Specialist at Pacific University.

Copyright statement

© 2019 Stephanie Milbrodt



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