It's True! Librarians,
Reference
 and Training:
It's True!
  It's true, your community's best Internet connection is a Librarians. We need it to be true.  If you are a Librarian, ask yourself if it is true for you and your community.  Are you encouraging people in your community to use your Library technology in the most effective way?  

       Why should  you know exactly how to do an advanced search in multiple Internet search tools?  Why should you care about sharing this information (and more) through classes at your Library?

     Well, for starters, the technology and computers might really get people in your Library now, but your patrons must know that when they have their own computer and high speed Internet DSL at home and can't find their info, that their local Librarian will be able to.  They'll still need your services then, likely even more than they do now.

     So how are Librarians supposed to learn about this stuff?  Who's going to teach you when things like the "invisible web" become something you need to use. (You do need to know about it, and these guys can tell you a great deal about it).

     If you are fortunate, you have training set up through your your local Library system or your State Library.  A huge percentage of us aren't so fortunate.  If this is true for you it means some leg work.  That's part of why these page is here.

     Now that you've found these page and know where to go, :) what might keep us from offering the best Internet reference services or classes?  

     Is it education?  Not a problem.  You're more than smart enough, trust me.  You're on the Internet tight now, aren't you.  That says plenty.

     Is it time?  Already overworked and underpaid, how and why are we going to put forth effort to learn more and then even teach more Internet or computer classes?  Well, it's an investment.  An investment in your community and your career.  In the long run it pays off.  Besides, there are creative solutions to the time problem.  A few trusted volunteers can handle many classes.  Working the problem this way makes your Library look good and helps your community partnerships expand.   True, you will have to reschedule and prioritize this work, but it more than pays off.

     Perhaps most importantly to our profession and our communities, offering training and being and becoming know as a master searcher are two of the best ways to ensure future funding for technology and Library growth. 

     First you need to know.  Then you can share.  You can learn, then you can have classes.  With everyday practice and use you reference skills and training sessions will build a reputation for the Library as the place to go in your community for the best Internet connection around.

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