Training and Networking Opportunities
PLAN provides both in-person and virtual training opportunities to member libraries on a regular basis. We maintain special interest group listservs as well as coordinate regional consortia and user groups.
Summer Reading Preparation: Summer reading programs help prepare young children for school and help school age children retain what they learn between school years. PLAN has 2 programs to help create their summer reading programs: YouthShares and Performers’ Showcases.
At YouthShare events, we provide basic instruction on planning summer reading programs and youth events. This phase helps new library staff acquire the business skills to organize programs that typically involve 10 to 20 contracts. The second phase is an exchange of ideas that creates and reinforces mentor relationships so novice staff will better recognize when they need help and feel comfortable about calling their more experienced colleagues for assistance.
Performer Showcases allow library staff to connect with presenters before scheduling events for their summer reading programs. These independent presenters are skilled in the use of performance to engage youth and then provide academic instruction on their subject of specialty. The showcase approach allows library staff to personally gauge a specialist’s knowledge and quality before entering into a contract with him or her.
PLAN develops communities of practice and reinforces their training for several years until it becomes regional common knowledge within the profession. Our regional approach institutionalizes knowledge in a way that survives changes in personnel at individual libraries. Our approach to technology training is to include instruction on how to teach the technological skills to the general public as well as provide the instructional equipment.