|Perhaps more crucial to public access computing needs in New Hampshire than funding is the education and training in technology for librarians. Librarians who have taken advantage of professional development opportunities to master technology and electronic information are the most important resource a library can offer its community.
The constant change in technology makes it increasingly difficult for libraries and librarians to keep pace with new developments. 81% of libraries in New Hampshire serve populations less than 10,000. These small libraries find it difficult to hire staff with the skills to provide high quality service to their patrons. The most efficient way to provide training and education to librarians is through the State Library. The staff and facilities of the State Library provide the needed tools for the library community to draw upon for its training.
New information technologies are transforming the services demanded of libraries and librarians. For many people in New Hampshire, libraries provide their first experience with electronic information and their only means of accessing it. Simply providing access to electronic information is not enough. The State Library must help librarians learn the skills to use public access computers and high speed Internet connections to effectively serve patrons of all ages.
Objective 1: Improve the speed and accuracy of reference services by training librarians in effective online searching skills
1.1 Increase the number of hands-on training sessions at the Concord and Lancaster training labs
1.2 Develop, coordinate and deliver library education programs to improve access to library education for those who are geographically isolated.
1.3 As new technologies are introduced and offered to the library community, coordinate a series of workshops to use of the technology
1.4 Develop web and computer based training applications to provide convenient and comprehensive instruction for independent learning
1.5 Create a "train the trainer" institute to provide local librarians an opportunity to facilitate training at the local level
Objective 2: Develop distance learning approaches to training and continuing education from remote sites
2.1 Participate with the Granite State Distance Learning network to provide professional development opportunities throughout the state
2.2 Create an online environment to allow for "just-in-time" training opportunities using instant communication technologies
Objective 3: Create a computer literate community of librarians.
3.1 Utilize the mobile training lab to ensure every public librarian has proper instruction to use computers, possesses basic computer skills and can perform online search strategies
3.2 Establish a "connected" New Hampshire where all library computers can access the Internet and all librarians can use the Internet
Objective 4: Strengthen the expertise and accountability of the New Hampshire State Library
4.1 Build the capacity of State Library employees through professional development in communications, advocacy and articulating information needs.