Training Programs: Techniques for the Law Librarian

By , October 14, 2009 6:19 pm

by Kristine Lloyd

Even with the most delectable culinary enticements, it’s tough to lure people to training classes when the billable hour is ticking or a law school assignment deadline looms. And how do we find the time to plan and teach a class, especially if despite our efforts, people don’t have time for training?

Teaching and training are activities that we rarely have time for, yet are vital to both ensuring our patrons are using the resources we subscribe to and using them effectively, and for positioning ourselves as research and information services experts.  At our September meeting, Warner Miller and Catherine Horan talked about the training programs in place at their respective firms.

Google Master Class: Did you know there’s a Seattle-based company whose sole product is Google search classes marketed to businesses? In 2006, after reading about Boost eLearning’s Google classes, Warner Miller thought: I could teach that! And so the “Google Master Class: Thinking Outside the Search Box” was born. Warner designed the class using legal research examples, exploring not only the advanced search features, but also the extra applications and sites within Google. The class began humbly in the IS training room, with 8 seats and terminals, but over time, the class grew in popularity. So much so, that it was recently organized and offered at the firmwide level, with over 300 attorneys and staff signing up to attend.

Research Refreshers: It’s hard to convince attorneys to tear themselves away from their desks, so it better be short, sweet and worthwhile. With that in mind, Amy Eaton and her fellow Perkins librarians developed a series of “Research Refreshers.” Catherine Horan described these 15 minute classes, taught monthly by the Seattle office librarians. The classes are offered through Perkins’ PC University, a learning management tool designed to organize all firm course offerings. Each class focuses on a resource or topic that can be covered in a 15 minute period: short and sweet information tidbits geared to fit into busy schedules. Catherine reported that some of the most popular classes have been docket classes and a class titled The American Legal System, geared towards educating personnel new to the legal environment about statutes, regulations and cases.

One Response to “Training Programs: Techniques for the Law Librarian”

  1. Robyn Hagle says:

    I’ll add that, in addition to the American Legal System course, I have received encouragement to develop more introductory legal courses. For example, I’m currently in the process of developing a “How a bill becomes a law” course, which will also highlight the documents coming out of the legislative process. My understanding from speaking with our secretaries is that just because they’ve been working in the legal profession for 10+ years doesn’t mean they have ever been trained on the basics of our legal system! See the need, meet the need!

LLOPS is powered by WordPress • Panorama Theme by ThemocracyLog In