Monday, October 29, 2007

IL2007 - Sunday Preconferences

Hi all! It's the beginning of the first full day of the conference, and we're about to kick things off. I just wanted to post my notes from yesterday's preconference workshops.

Training Adults: Getting and Keeping Attention
Rebecca Jones
Jones discussed the role of the trainer, different learning styles and ways of engaging these styles, dealing with resistance in the training session, and other challenges. I feel like this could have been a full-day workshop and it would have been more fulfilling -- Training 101 in the morning and 201 in the afternoon. However, I did get a number of useful tidbits from it overall.

Tips for Effective Change Agents
Roy Tennant
What an astoundingly useful workshop. Tennant covered the ways that change agents can work within their organizations, the attributes of change agents, coping mechanisms, dealing with recalcitrant staff and out-of-touch administrators, and more. The best thing for me was a checklist of tech and communication skills to work on over the next year:

Build a Basic Skill Set
- Know a programming language, just enough to do the basics of anything you want to do (Perl, PHP, Python, etc)
- Know a basic indexer and/or database -- MySQL, SwishEnhance/Swishie, others?
- Have a place to work -- laptop/home machine, a server if you've got access to one

Build Communication Skills
- Summarizing and writing simply (re-read On Writing Well)
- Ability to simplify and show practical applications for technical topics
- Create diagrams & other modes of expressing visual information
- Facility with basic office software
- Ability to speak IT language, library language, administrator language and plain English or whatever the language of your key users is


Okay. First presentation is over and it's on to the next room. Enjoy!

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