The T is for Training Challenge

You may have noticed that the T is for Training group has been posting 27 things about themselves. Well somehow I missed that email (as I am a member of the group – but get way way way too many emails in general). Here are my answers – better late than never 🙂

1) Your One Sentence Bio

I am a librarian, open source evangelist, blogger, writer, teacher, dog lover and overall technology enthusiast.

2) Do you blog? If yes, how did you come up with your blog name?

Yes! I’m terrible at coming up with titles, so I figured what I’d be writing about was what I was learning so the title simply had to be ‘What I Learned Today…’

3) What is your professional background?

I started as a web assistant at the Jenkins Law Library in Philadelphia right out of undergrad. My years there made me want to learn more about librarianship and so I went to get my masters while there and finished it while working as the metadata librarian at the Princeton Theological Seminary. It was my work in these two roles and my online ramblings that moved me from working in libraries to working toward getting libraries to learn more about open source!

4) What training do you do? staff? patrons? types of classes?

I train librarians in all walks of life. At work I train librarians how to use Koha after they finish their migration. In my spare time (ha ha) I train librarians around the world how to use various technologies to make their lives easier, their work more efficient and their budgets less scary. An archive of my training can be found on my Publications & Presentations page.

5) What training do you think is most important to libraries right now?

All of it!! Libraries are filled with people of such varying skill sets and backgrounds. No one can know everything about the library and so I find that the librarians who are constantly learning are the most valuable and I’m happy to help them keep learning.

6 ) Where do you get your training?

Mostly one on one. I find a problem I can’t solve and I ask my fellow trainers 😉 I also attend conferences and webinars when possible.

7 ) How do you keep up?

I have to admit – I have been falling behind lately. My key is to watch my colleagues’ blogs, microblogs, and Facebook pages for new links and tools.

8 ) What do you think are the biggest challenges libraries are facing right now?

Budget cuts!! In my state (PA) our budgets for public libraries were cut so much that we’re probably going to lose access to our state-wide database subscriptions 🙁 I think that while libraries are facing the challenge of changing technologies – the budget crisis is so much more pressing at this moment.

9) What are biggest challenges for trainers?

Keeping the class interested. Topics that we find interesting aren’t always interesting to our trainees – I’ve had people dose off in class!! So, doing whatever you can to make every topic exciting – or at least worth staying awake for 😉

10) What exciting things are you doing training wise?

I’ve just started teaching hands-on workshops on using WordPress for your entire library site – this has to be one of my new favorite classes.

11) What do you wish were you doing?


12) What would you do with a badger?

Absolutely no clue … why do I have a badger??

13) What’s your favorite food?

Mac & Cheese!

14) If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you want to have with you?

My laptop with a portable wifi network of some sort – can’t live without my Internet 🙂

15) Do you know what happens when a grasshopper kicks all the seeds out of a pickle?

It makes a mess.

16) Post it notes or the back of your hand?

Post it notes – Mom always said no writing on yourself.

17) Windows or Mac?


18) Talk about one training moment you’d like to forget?

In general I’d like to forget my whole first year of speaking/training – I was so nervous that I’m sure I looked totally clueless to those attending.

19) What’s your take on handshakes?

They’re okay for first meetings.

20) Global warming: yes or no

Feels more like global freezing right now …

21) How did you get into this line of work?

Fell into it. As I said my writing online got me noticed and all of the sudden people were asking me to teach them what I knew.

22) What is the best part of your job?

Getting to work with librarians all over without belonging to any one library!

23) Why should someone else follow in your shoes?

It’s a rewarding job. I love to have people contact me after hearing me speak or attending one of my classes to share a success story!

24) Sushi or hamburger?

Sushi – haven’t eaten a hamburger in over 10 years.

25) LSW or ALA?


26) What one person in the world do you want to have lunch with and why?

I’ll take any of the big open source names – so I can pick their brain and learn how they handle educating others about what open source is really all about.

27) What cell phone do you have and why?

Droid Eris baby!! Why? Because it’s open source! And it’s not the Blackberry Storm.

Responses from some of the rest of the group:

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