A Novella for November

Hello, strangers.  It’s been a while since my last update.   Between any of my four kids getting sick, aggravating my sciatica, and visiting individual library systems to present at staff development days, having a moment to sit down and write has been impossible.  However, I’ve decided to make it a priority today to fill you in on a few GLEAN updates that excite me.  My selfish hope is that my learning geekdom is as contagious as my baby’s cold, and will spread on to you.  You know I like giving stuff away.

I’ll start by celebrating our early success with GLEAN.  October was our busiest month to date bringing in over 4,000 logins, 350+ course completions, and bumping our year-to-date cumulative system usage to over 1,400 hours of learning, which does not include Lynda.com use, or time I spend administering the system.  I’ve seen some successful e-learning program launches during my career, but ours is by far the strongest yet.  I admit that I’m biased, but the reality is that Georgia libraries have staffs that not only promote lifelong learning, but also practice what they preach.  We also opened up GLEAN to others in the library community during October, and I’m happy to see our K-12 library peeps, academic library staffers, and our partners at GALILEO coming on board.

November brings along even more changes.  The Skillport learning management system (georgialibraries.skillport.com), which is the backbone of GLEAN will be getting an upgrade before the end of the month.  While the end user interface will not change much, major improvements are being made to the backend that will enhance the system’s functionality.  Primary among these enhancement will be that the Skillport 7.3 upgrade will bring mobile optimization to the site.  I won’t go into all of the details here, but be on the lookout for me to host a few online overviews of the enhancements in the upcoming weeks.

We also have some updates to courses in our catalog.  First and foremost, I have finally fixed the ABLE courses the Idaho Commission for Libraries, so that they report completions properly.  If you are unfamiliar, these are excellent primers for people who are new to libraries or who have not attended library school, and the courses cover technical servicescollection development, and public services.  I’ve emailed the 400+ people who were enrolled in the problematic ABLE courses earlier today with instructions on how to rectify their completion statuses.

I have also listened to an excellent suggestion from a colleague of mine at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.  She asked if it was possible for GLEAN users to receive notification of new “just for libraries” learning assets that have been inserted to the catalog.  While I currently do not have that capability, I have created a Recently Added folder to the Just for Libraries portion of the catalog, so that you can see only items that have been placed in GLEAN during the last 30 days.  New to the catalog this month with more to be added in the upcoming days are select sessions from the Library 2.013 Conference and a Carterette Series Webinar hosted by the Georgia Library Association.  These sessions are:

Librarians in the 21st Century (60 minutes)

Best Practices for Serving Non-English Speaking Hispanics in the Public Library Setting (41 minutes)

7 Ways Public Libraries Can Impact Student Learning (30 minutes)

Leveraging Visual Literacy for Communication (60 minutes)

I’ll end on a personal note by sharing my current Lynda.com playlist devoted to creating interactive e-books.  As a content creator (course developer, aspiring videographer, and web design tinkerer), I’m always looking for new ways to share ideas and promote learning without boring the crap out of people.  Interactive e-books have been on my radar for some time, and now that we have access to Lynda.com, why not turn interest into action?

So ends my novella for November.  Back to adding courses to GLEAN.   

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Author:Jay Turner

Jay Turner is the director of continuing education and training for the Georgia Public Library Service, where he administers a comprehensive learning and development program for the state’s 63 library systems. He began his public library career at the age of 15 as a page, and for almost the past two decades he has progressively served Georgia’s public libraries in multiple capacities: assisting customers on the front lines, coordinating teen programs, managing staff training and development initiatives, and implementing technology and processes to improve learning in libraries. His current focus is collaborating across libraries, agencies, and industries to develop effective, cost-efficient learning programs. His tremendous passion for learning and development is second only to his prodigious appetite and rabid fanaticism with Norwegian death metal.

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