Koha ILS

KohaCon13: Tips for Training Libraries on Koha

Nicole, our very own ByWater trainer has been training libraries for 10 years and training libraries on Koha for 7 years. She gave a presentation at KohaCon13 on training libraries on Koha. Libraries are entering an unknown world often times of open source software. She likes to cover what “Open Source” is and what it is all about in trainings to educate libraries that in open source when we work together ‘we go further’. Open source involves a community that works together and sharing what we know. Encourage the libraries to become involved in the community and ask questions and contribute to discussions. Education on open source helps alleviate the fears that they may have about open source software.

Making the transitions. If you can remove the discomfort around open source, then you can focus on the transition to a new ILS. Often there are ‘language’ barriers that exist between the old ILS and Koha. Try to translate or use those terms in explaining how Koha works. Making the transition often involves managing the expectations of a
library when they switch to a new ILS. In training we can empathize with the changes – we’ve all experienced it. We ask the questions to understand where the library is coming from.

Learning style differ between individuals. Provide examples and show people how to do something, especially if they learn visually. The manual is available for those who prefer text. Tutorial videos are great for people who need to see it done and follow along. Train for the “a-ha moment”. When something clicks and the eyes light up. Train to the point where people ‘get it’. Remain flexible, stay positive, be enthusiastic and make it personal. You may not win them all, but these tips will help you win most of the time!

Read more by Joy Nelson

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