May Training from the Montana State Library

May is blooming with learning opportunities!

First…I hope you are planning to attend the Webside Chat with MT State Librarian Jennie Stapp this week on Friday, May 10th at noon.  It will be a celebration of sorts, as the Montana library community fared well with the 2013 Montana legislature – a well-earn faring, of course.  Jennie will recap the good news and answer any questions about what comes next.  Register here.

We’ve got lots of training for DiscoverIt! planned for this month. It’s time to dive into this search tool if you have not yet gotten your feet wet, or if you’ve given it a try and decided you need more training, take advantage of all the opportunities this month.

DiscoverIt Intermediate Administration Training – onsite and hands-on.  The onsite trainings in Miles City (Monday, May 13th), Lewistown (Tuesday, May 14th) and Missoula (Wednesday, May 15th) are not-to-be-missed!  Register here.  Cara and I and the folks at EBSCO will help you with implementation of DiscoverIt! for your library.  Come to this training and walk away offering a top-of-the-line search experience for your patrons.

Promote the DiscoverIt! tool and win an iPad (or other great prizes!).  Create a display to promote the DiscoverIt! Search Tool, take a photo, go to the Montana State Library Facebook page and click on “photo contest,” enter your photo and complete the form, and – here’s the fun part – get your supporters to vote for your entry.  The most votes wins!  Looking for an idea?  Join me and Sara Groves on Friday, May 10th at 9 am and we’ll drum up some ideas for you.  You don’t need to register for the online meeting on Friday, just go to and enter this meeting code: 978-224-344.  There is a short 3 minute video explaining how the contest works on the MT State Library Vimeo channel – click here to view it. 

I’ve started a new series of trainings for DiscoverIt! users called “MORE PRACTICE SEARCHING.”  These are designed for those that have attended a “JUST THE BASICS” session or they have some practice using the DiscoverIt! tool, but just want a little more guided practice. These sessions are small group learning, very interactive, the participants share what they know and we all learn from each other.  The first one was terrific and one of the suggestions was that MSL staff create a tip sheet (or two) for improving search results.  Great idea, huh?  I’ll have something like that ready for the next MORE PRACTICE webinar on May 23rd at 9 am.  Click here to register for that session.  I’ll continue to offer JUST THE BASICS and MORE PRACTICE SEARCHING in the upcoming months, and Cara will continue to offer training on customizing and managing your library’s profile – your instance – of this amazing new-age library search tool.  You can truly make this search tool whatever you want it to be for YOUR library.

If you presented at MLA and think your session would do well as a webinar, please contact me.  I would love to schedule some time online for you to present your session to a broader audience and to get it recorded for anytime/anyplace learning.

Registrations for the Montana State Library Summer Leadership Institute (July 22-24 at Carroll College in Helena featuring ALA President Maureen Sullivan!!!) will open next week.  Watch for that opportunity.  The first round of applications are for public library leaders that did not attend in 2012.  You need not be a director, but only one person per institution may attend and no one attending can report to anyone else.   We’ll offer a second round and open it to those that attended in 2012 on the first of June, if there are seats remaining.  We have room for just 20 participants.  This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for public library leaders, so please plan to attend if you can.

And…finally…SAVE THE DATE – Fall Workshops will be held at the Red Lion Colonial Inn in Helena on September 27th and 28th.  Federal funding precariousness caused a delay in getting the funding secured, and I just didn’t have much choice about dates and location.  A survey we did last month (over 120 responded) indicated that Helena is a good spot to hold the meeting – the easiest drive time for the most number of people.  We are just starting to plan the scope and details for Fall Workshop, so if you want to suggest something, please let me know.  Registrations will open Mid-August (probably August 15th).  If you have the summer’s off from your library job, be sure to check into your  MSL library directory account in mid-August so you can get your registration in early.  Last year, most of our sessions were closed out within the first week of registration.

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