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Helpful Information for Meeting Minimum Public Library Standards

Technology Training for Staff

Each library... provides library staff with annual technology training, appropriate to their position, to address community needs as outlined in the library’s long-range plan of service.

Why Is Annual Technology Training Necessary For Library Staff?

Without trained staff, the public’s ongoing investment in new library technologies will decrease in value. Providing technology training is an opportunity for library staff to keep pace with changing technologies. A well-trained staff will be able to provide a better library user experience with less frustration. Annual technology training for all library staff ensures the full utilization of library technology resources as defined in the long-range plan.

Organizing and Planning Technology Training

Training opportunities should be provided annually for all staff by the library director, in consultation with the board, depending on the needs of the staff and community as defined in the library’s long-range plan.  It is recommended that the library director and staff create an annual training plan. Technology training should be flexible to accommodate and adapt to the constantly changing technologies. A best practice is to also have a budget line for staff training. The Trustee Handbook recommends at least 1% of the library’s budget should be dedicated to education for staff and trustees.

There are many ways to provide annual technology training for staff.  Here are some ideas:

  • Professional Development Day: Work with the library board to determine a day, half day or a few hours when the library will close for a “professional development” or “staff training” day. 
  • Staff Meetings: Devote a portion of every staff meeting to training on a specific technology issue.
  • Webinars/Online Courses: Assign staff to take specific webinars or online courses and give them uninterrupted time during the workday to complete the webinar or online course.
  • Local, Regional and National Conferences: Encourage staff to attend workshops and conferences.  Many conferences such as the NYLA’s Annual Conference and Computers in Libraries offer many opportunities for technology training.
  • Public Library Systems: many systems provide in-person and customized training for member libraries.

Helpful Tip: Public Library Systems can play a crucial role in providing technology training for library staff.  Contact them for help getting started.

What Are Some Technology Training Resources?

Helpful Tips: The State Library partners with OCLC to provide free access to WebJunction’s self-paced courses for all library workers, volunteers, and students in New York State. The free access is available at