over the past few weeks i’ve been training our library staff on how to use the new (apparently whizz bang)library management system that we are about to go live with on Friday. the thing is, though, I have never actually used this system for real myself. but in theory i know all about it.
i’ve learnt a couple of things:
1. staff, knowing full well that I have never used the product, are willing to believe anything i say about it. when in doubt, make it up, as it eases the fear of the unknown.
2. I, knowing full well that I have never used the product, am willing to believe anything i say about it. self denial makes the world a happier place.
3. teaching 13yr old delinquents in japan has influenced my militant like training method (ie shut the fuck up and listen when i am speaking, raise your hand if you have any questions, be on time and don’t talk to the person sitting next to you)
4. there is no such thing as a perfect library management system
5. teaching requires patience and you really have to like the sound of your own voice.
6. you also have to be able to deal with your personal cringe factor when you throw in an *off the cuff* joke that you have actually used in every training session. ie “when you see a pop up box which says ‘a wizard requires attention’ it doesnt mean that someone in a harry potter costume is at the circ desk. it means that you need to shut down a screen before you can do anything else.”
in summary, systems training is not my thing and i deeply respect anyone who does it as a full time job, especially in traditionally non tech environments.