Monday, October 18, 2010

Shelf Reading Training for New Volunteers

When I took over as our branch volunteer person, I wanted to cut down the training time from a two hour training to a one hour training. I also wanted to set a particular time each month when I offered training because none of us have much running room in our schedules anymore and I could not be flexible enough to try to train people when it was convenient for the potential trainee and myself.

I train on the Saturday morning that I work before we open. I have cut the training time down to one hour. Here is what we do:

Welcome to the library.

Collect their application and waiver if they have not turned it in before today.

Explain what our volunteers do (shelf reading mostly!), talk about shelf reading and what it is.

Mention other potential ways they can help with programs etc during the year.

Give them a list of other organizations in the community who might have more opportunities for them.

Take the shelf reading test below. I designed this to be like the Post Office test that requires people to put items in order. This is "open book". They are able to use the pamphlet we hand out when they ask to volunteer and I answer any questions they have as they're doing it because the purpose is not to test them as much as it is to get them to think about how items are arranged and be able to put them in order. We have many areas that are interfiled and I tried to reflect that. Many collections have undergone label changes over time, but older cutter numbered items sit beside newer items that use the first five letters of the author's name, etc etc. People need to learn to recognize fiction or non-fiction and collections such as Mystery and Large Print no matter what the varying labels were over time. Tricky!

Please put the items in each group in order by noting 1,2,3,4 in the space preceding each call number/author/title line

____J551.4 P77 Pond, Alonzo William Caverns of the world
____ 635.965 Su1 Success with house plants
____301.412 P72 Pomeroy, Sarah B. Goddesses, wives and slaves
____914.7 P77 Pond, Elizabeth From the Yaroslavsky station

_____Fic F86 Fraser, Anthea Laura possessed
_____Fic M14 McDonald, Kay Brightwood expedition
____Fic F85 Frankel, Charles Stubborn case
____Fic M15 McEvoy, Marjorie Down the hill

_____Juv Fic W65 Wilkinson, Brenda Ludell and Willie
_____Juv Fic W65 Wilkinson, Brenda Willie
_____ Juv Fic P77 Pomeroy, Pete Mallory Burn
_____Juv Fic P17 Parce, Amory Little friends

_____Q636.8 P77 Pond, Grace Complete cat encyclopedia
____J921.2 H65 Wilkinson, Burke Helmet of Navarre
_____J745.594 Su7 Supraner, Robyn Valentine’s day
_____J923 L72 Wilkinson, Burke Louis XIV, early years

_____Fic Westm Westmacott, Mary Absent in the spring
_____Fic Walla Wallace, Irving The Source
_____Fic Frank Frank, Harriet Single
_____Fic McEvo McEvoy, Marjorie Hard times

_____Easy Su1 Surany, Anico Etienne-Henri
_____Easy W65 Wilkinson, Barry Adventures of Tom Thumb
_____Easy Su1 Surany, Anico Lora, Lorita
_____Easy Su1 Surany, Anico Burning Mountain

_____LP Myst F82 Fowler, Earlene Steps to the Altar
_____Large Print Mystery Patte Patterson, James 7th Heaven
_____LP-M Myst G56 Goldberg, Lee Diagnosis Murder: Murder the Death merchant
_____LP-M Myst P27 Patterson, James Cross

_____Fic Oke Oke, Janette Love comes softly
_____Fic Oke Oke, Janette Nana’s Gift
_____Fic Oke Oke, Janette A Woman named Demaris
_____Fic Oke Oke, Janette The Measure of a heart

_____J-DVDN 025.4 Sa1 The safe side. Internet Safety
_____Children’s DVD 306.85 Famil Families of Brazil
_____Children’s DVD 625.1 Lots Lots & lots of trains. Vol.2, Thunder on the tracks!
_____J-DVDN 616.6 T73 A Trip to the dentist through Pinatta’s view

_____Easy B75 Brett, Jan Trouble with trolls
_____Easy Os1 Osborne, Mary Pope Kate and the beanstalk
_____Easy P48 Pfister, Marcus How Leo learned to be king
_____Easy M61 Miller, William Richard Wright and the Library card

We go through the first 5 questions and answers to give people a feel for how the system works.

Next we tour the library, talking about how each area is arranged as we go.

They see where to sign in and out, and how to pick up where the last person who shelfread left off.

We look at where that last person left off and we go to that area and each person does one shelf length so they get a last practical bit of practice.

I tell them that current volunteers and library staff can help them with questions when they come and we'll all help them continue learning as they go.

Yes, you bet I do talk really fast!

1 comment:

  1. That is a great synopsis of how you train! We should talk more about this, I am the volunteer trainer at IG and have some questions! Mona