This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, August 23, 1995

August 23, 1995 - staff day

This Friday, August 25, 1995, we'll be holding our third Staff Day. All Douglas Public Library District libraries will be closed. As in our first Staff Day, the time will be devoted to training workshops, presentations by other librarians in the state, and planning exercises.

Why a Staff Day? In brief, the library is closed just 10 days each year, and with four, full-service, seven-day-a-week libraries, the one-of-a-kind Louviers, and three "satellite libraries" in Douglas County elementary schools (Cherry Valley, Larkspur, and Roxborough) it takes something special to try to keep our roughly 100 employees in touch with each other.

At our first Staff Day, in 1992, we asked our employees to tell us their over-riding concerns for the future. What did the district really need to be working on? What would most directly effect their ability to serve the public well?

They told us: they wanted computer training. At that time, we were facing a local software update, and about to come on-line with ACLIN (the Access Colorado Library and Information Network). Since then, we've had THREE software upgrades, seen the addition of many new libraries and services on ACLIN, and (as anyone knows who reads this column) have experienced some recent, uh, challenges regarding the Internet.

In short, the training was a very smart idea, and thanks to a lot of hard work by our Circulation Supervisors and Missy Shock (the district's full-time Computer Trainer), virtually everyone on our staff is a lot more sophisticated about the wonderful world of automation.

Of course, the problem with computer training is that you're never done. About the time you've just about got something figured out, it gets "improved" into a whole new set of bugs.

But here's another nice thing about having a trainer around. Since Missy has created all these great training materials, why not share them with another group that has expressed a desire for additional training? Why not pass them on to the public?

Accordingly, we've scheduled some PATRON training sessions at our branches over the next several months. We are asking people to sign up for them in advance so we can guarantee some quality, "hands-on" training. If these sessions, called "Byte Back," are successful, we'll do more of them.

Here's the schedule (and note that we've scheduled them at various time of the day to allow for today's flexible work scheduling):

Philip S. Miller Library, August 30, 7-8 p.m.,, call 688-5157.

Parker Library, September 14, 1-2 p.m., call 841-3503.

Highlands Ranch, October 7, 9-10 a.m., call 791-7703

Oakes Mill, November 6, 7-8 p.m., call 799-4446.

So if you've always wanted to tickle some of the secrets out of our terminals, if you've always suspected that you're not searching for things as efficiently as you might, or if you just what to see what kind of training documentation we use in the district, I invite you to give us a call.

Not on Friday, though. We'll be open again for business on Saturday.

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