Issues in training
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Issues in Training. Los Angeles Times Editorial Library Julia Franco Training & Communications [email protected] Structure of the L.A. Times. Tribune company Los Angeles Times Home –Downtown L.A. (Editorial library) 4 other editions (1 library in Orange County)

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Issues in Training

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Issues in training

Issues in Training

Los Angeles Times

Editorial Library

Julia Franco

Training & Communications

[email protected]

Structure of the l a times

Structure of the L.A. Times

  • Tribune company

  • Los Angeles Times

  • Home –Downtown L.A. (Editorial library)

  • 4 other editions (1 library in Orange County)

  • 9 domestic bureaus (1 library in Washington D.C.)

  • 23 foreign bureaus

Structure of the library

Structure of the Library

  • Main library, downtown Los Angeles

    • 8 News Research librarians, including manager

    • 1 special DC projects librarian

    • 1 obits researcher

    • 8 Archiving staff

    • 4 Resource Development staff

  • Branch library in Orange County

    • 1 librarian

  • Branch library in Washington D.C.

    • 1 librarian

Training initiative

Training initiative

  • To familiarize the editorial staff with the resources the library provides

  • To give the staff the tools to use the resources

  • Ensure that users can customize the resources to meet their needs

Who we teach

Who we teach

  • New newsroom hires

  • Metpros (Minority Editorial Training Program)

  • Interns

  • Magazine researchers (Journalism students, work for one or more academic semesters)

  • Foreign bureau reporters on ‘home leave’

  • Current newsroom staff as needed

  • Library staff

What we teach

What we teach

  • Efficient search and retrieval in:

    • TimesOnline (in-house archive of L.A. Times stories)

    • MediaSphere (in-house archive of images)

    • Subscription databases the library provides to newsroom desktops, such as, Leadership Directories

    • Proprietary databases created by the library Resource Development staff and the Times’ data analyst

    • Internet

  • Techniques for evaluating Internet resources

What we don t teach

What we don’t teach

  • Windows

  • PC programs (Excel, Access, Word)

  • Technology

  • Computational skills

  • Beat reporting

Assessing needs

Assessing needs

  • New users

  • Direct requests for help from users

  • Requests from supervisors or editors for staff training

  • Recommendations from librarians

  • New resources become available

Scheduled training

Scheduled training

  • ‘Brown Bag’ sessions

    Strictly demo, 1 hour, 6-10 participants

  • Hands-on sessions

    Interactive, 1- 1 ¾ hours, 9 participants

  • Formal training

    Combo interactive & demo, 2 hours, 12 –16 participants

  • One-on-one

    Foreign correspondents, personnel in other bureaus by phone

Brown bag

Brown Bag

  • Requires strategic planning because of time constraints

  • Informal nature means late arrivals and early departures, and distraction of lunch

  • Because of timing (way before deadline) and short duration, easiest to involve other librarians in

  • Good for ‘previewing’ a product

Hands on


  • Requires an outline of lesson plan, not rigid structure – to allow for experimentation

  • Requires solid knowledge on trainer’s part because questions will come out of left field

  • Requires finesse on trainer’s part to keep some participants from dominating the session

  • Best for full exploration of the subject/ resource/ database

  • Usually gets a more committed audience (willing to invest more than an hour)

Formal training

Formal training

  • Best for introducing new tools to a large group

  • Easiest to structure

  • Requires adhering to a schedule, which in turn requires having planned examples – no surprises from winging it

One on one training

One-on-one training

  • In person -- completely tailored to needs of the correspondent

  • By phone – based on what can be conveyed without visuals

    • Usually covers less ground because of the time it takes and the discomfort of working by phone

Unscheduled training

Unscheduled training

  • Phone calls for help

  • Drop-ins

  • Referrals from librarians

Training materials

Training Materials

  • Intranet increasingly becoming avenue of distribution

    • PDF’s

      • easily made, display nicely, and are good for printing out

    • Internal links to specific parts of vendor online Help pages

    • Links to documents on the server for specific resources

Training materials1

Training Materials

  • Hardcopy handouts

    • Created in-house

      • Instruction Guides

      • Information Guides

      • ‘Cheat sheets’

    • Vendor provided materials

Formatting training materials

Formatting Training Materials

  • Specific, step-by-step

  • Clear, no fuzzy masters

  • Straight lines, centered

  • All text legible

  • Where to get additional help, phone numbers

Step by step instruction guides

Step-by-step Instruction Guides

  • Walk through the searching process

  • Document each step

  • Illustrate where appropriate

    • Screen grabs

    • Arrows and text boxes

Information guides

Information Guides

  • Overview of product

  • Specifics of each component

  • Illustrations where appropriate

Cheat sheets

Cheat Sheets

  • Quick notes

  • Bullet points

  • Easy to read, keep hardcopy by computer

Being the trainer

Being the Trainer

  • If you have to incorporate training into your ‘real’ job

    • Try to take notes as you use a resource or database

    • Work on the documentation a little at a time

      Keep separate files on your computer for each tool you will teach so you can get to them easily

      Add to the instructions each time you use the tool yourself

      Note the questions that users (or other librarians) have about the tool

    • When possible, recruit help

      Contributions from colleagues for web resources

      How-to tips from colleagues

      Trade time with colleagues


Issues in training1

Issues in Training

Los Angeles Times

Editorial Library

Julia Franco

Training & Communications

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