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19 Jan 2010 / Julie

T is for Training Questionapalooza v 1.1

As part of a “getting to know you,” The Real Maurice challenged the T is for Training group to a Questionapalooza. Here’s me:

1) Your One Sentence Bio
A self-proclaimed rockstar from New Jersey, Julie coordinates the statewide virtual reference service for Maryland while making time for learning, pignoli cookies, painting and friends.

2) Do you blog? If yes, how did you come up with your blog name?
last name + profession. its a brand, but sometimes the whole [adjective + librarian] blog names get to me.

3) What is your professional background?
artist, set builder, newspaper editor, book editor, website designer, insurance sales rep, reference librarian, large library service administrator…. all of those things helped hone my customer service skills (read: ability to work with people) and fed my desire for learning.

4) What training do you do? staff? patrons? types of classes?
I create, facilitate, share, and encourage trainings to the AskUsNow! community. It started with New Staff Training and has turned into a “AskUsNow! University” of sorts with trainings on topics such as customer service, handling crisis calls and more.

5) What training do you think is most important to libraries right now
I think it is VERY important to make sure the people in libraries on the front lines EVERYWHERE are comfortable with or at least willing to learn how to INTERACT with PEOPLE and TECHNOLOGY. Anyone else should be helped out.

Also, administrators, leaders, and really everyone else should be trained on creating and encouraging the space and time and opportunity for LEARNING, the care and feeding of the SELF and the ORGANIZATION, and INNOVATION.

6) Where do you get your training?
Rutgers, various jobs, everyone i meet, life in general*

* i read the question wrong initially but my original answer holds value. but in answer to the actual question as it is written/intended – anywhere i can get it. online. f2f. library-specific things. and any training opportunity from any profession i can get my hands on.

7) How do you keep up?
twitter, research, WOM and most importantly, but giving myself permission to sometimes *NOT* be on top of things.

8) What do you think are the biggest challenges libraries are facing right now?

a- stereotypes and lack of a common focus across the profession. people get that libraries do books. but a book is just a medium. ACCESS, INFORMATION, COMMUNITY AND RELATIONSHIP BUILDING, is where we are (or should be) and where we should be focusing our marketing to the masses to help change our stereotype and improve funding…

b- funding, and our general lack inability as a profession (which is only as strong as our weakest link) to TELL people why we’re a CORE service. There’s a lot of assumptions that people understand that and why libraries are important but we don’t tell enough people loudly enough to overcome our stereotypes and then wonder why our funding goes away. There’s only so much money. Everyone wants some. We have to speak up.

9) What are biggest challenges for trainers?
i wont answer for trainers everywhere but here are my challenges:
- engaging “the hostage” (the person in your training who was told to be there but who has no interest in doing so)
- designing trainings that appeal to all learning styles
- keeping the Love of Training fire burning. sometimes you just get burned out.

10) What exciting things are you doing training wise?
building up the availability of self-guided, online, or archived recorded trainings for our AskUsNow! staff in various areas of interest

11) What do you wish were you doing?
training-wise? i’m doing what i want to be. see #10.

in general? add a little sunshine, warmth, and a hammock and you’ve about got it.

12) What would you do with a badger?
poke him with a spoon.

13) What’s your favorite food?
pignoli cookies.

14) If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you want to have with you?
a way to get off said island. or at least a hammock and some shade (might as well make use of the time).

15)  Do you know what happens when a grasshopper kicks all the seeds out of a pickle?
I do. But if i told you…

and actually i’m responsible for this crazy question. The original version of this question is “If a hen and a half could lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how long would it take for a cross-eyed grasshopper with a wooden leg to kick the seeds out of a dill pickle?” and my dad used to have this on his master-level tests as a stress-reliever for students towards the end of final exams.

16) Post it notes or the back of your hand?
whatever is available. diner placements, receipts, paper bags, hands, shoes, phones, books, etc. but usually theres a phone or a post it around.

17) Windows or Mac?
i know windows. i dream about macs.

18) Talk about one training moment you’d like to forget?
I’ve forgotten… but it might have something to do with a presentation i did rather than a training… i learned never present declining data that needs an explanation.

19) What’s your take on handshakes?
Make them strong or don’t bother. I’d like to know you’re there and you mean to be heard.

20) Global warming: yes or no
exists? yes. do i like it? no.

21) How did you get into this line of work?
Take equal parts NEED TO KNOW, RESEARCH, and the LOVE OF LEARNING and whisk briskly into WANT TO BE A PROFESSIONAL STUDENT. Add EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS. Bake for an hour. Feeds millions.

22) What is the best part of your job?
there’s lots. but i really appreciate and love the flexibility to be innovative. both the flexibility that i have and the flexibility i try to encourage in others.

23) Why should someone else follow in your shoes?
because my vision for the world is one that needs to be fulfilled but it’s a marathon, not a sprint and will outlive me.

24) Sushi or hamburger?
both. just not together. but maybe back to back.

25) LSW or ALA?
depends on if you’re looking for spry, nimble, and useful or slow-moving, political, and expensive.


26) What one person in the world do you want to have lunch with and why?
Einstein. Or Gandhi. Buddha, maybe.

27) What cell phone do you have and why?
Palm Treo. got it a few years ago to help integrate my life and give me access to work email while traveling (laptop given by work was hefty enough to be a desktop so i dont travel with it). i’d like to get rid of it but there’s no option i prefer over it available at my service provider.

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