Supervisor Tips

Watch Video Tutorial

Get an overview of the material before assigning any modules.

  • Look at the first page of each module to view the learning outcomes.
  • Review the quiz questions for each training module.
  • Determine if you want to coordinate the module material with other training or supplement it with information specific to your library.
  • See what exercises have been assigned in each module. The exercises frequently ask the trainee to work with the supervisor to find how the activity relates specifically to your library.

Consider the trainee’s learning style.

  • Does that person learn things quickly and absorb a lot of new material in a short time or does the person need to learn a little bit at a time to thoroughly grasp new ideas?
  • Does the trainee work best alone or should a co-worker be assigned to answer questions and provide support?
  • Does the trainee have enough experience to work through the module to the end or will it be best to have the trainee check with you at intervals that you determine when you read through the exercises?
  • If you are unfamiliar with the trainee’s learning style, suggest that they do the first module without a specific time limit to find out what pace will work the best for them.

Consider specific training needs and how you would like to use the modules.

  • How many? Do you want your trainee to do one, two, or all of the modules? This depends on your knowledge of the trainee’s skills, your expectations and needs, and the time available.
  • Over what period of time? Very new employees may take longer or have more questions about basic library procedures. Each module can be scanned and read in an hour, but to visit the links, do the exercises, and absorb the material will take much longer. It will be a better training experience if the trainee isn’t expected to cover the material of one module at one sitting. Completing all the modules may work better if done one per week, or every other week for modules where exercises involve examining the reference collection.
  • In what order? All six modules work well in sequence, but you might have a special need for assigning them in a different order. For example: start with the ethics module for a trainee working with the public who has no background in public services. Module 1 is an overview helpful for someone with no experience in reference work. Experienced trainees could do Modules 2 and Module 3 alone for the reference process and behaviors or do Module 4 and Module 5 alone for strategies and essential reference resources.
  • At what level or learning track? Someone who already has experience with reference service may just need a refresher and would not benefit from the exercises. You might ask that trainee to scan the contents of the necessary modules and discuss with you the review and quiz sections only.

Participate in the training.

  • Your trainee is requested to ask you throughout the modules and exercises how the presented concepts work specifically in your library.
  • At the end of each module, the trainee will complete a quiz to give you along with the completed module exercises. There are no answer sheets for the quizzes. Answers can be found in the modules and in the trainee’s exercise answers, except for questions with answers that are specific to your library. It is recommended that you allow the trainees to treat the quizzes as “open book” tests for immediate feedback and reinforcement. Some quizzes ask the trainee to use the catalog or the collection.
  • Assess whether or not the trainee is ready to go on to another module or needs to review by discussing the quizzes with the trainee.
  • The final quiz covers the most important concepts of all the modules in addition to the topic of Module 6 (ethics) and asks that the trainee complete a project — a pathfinder. You might want to specify a topic for the project that would be helpful in your library.
  • Upon completion of each module, a Certificate of Achievement can be printed for the trainee.
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