Katie Rahman, Systems Librarian in the Wyoming State Library’s WYLD Office, presented, “Using Webinars as a Tool for BLUEcloud Analytics Training” at the Customers of SirsiDynix Users Group (COSUGI) national conference in late March in Minneapolis.
Over the course of 2017 and 2018, all libraries in the WYLD network needed to transition to a next generation program for data analysis and reporting, called BLUEcloud Analytics. With a big transition like this, training was needed statewide, but that presented its own challenges. The WYLD consortium has more than 100 libraries, making it difficult to reach everyone who needed to learn Analytics. Not to mention, travel in Wyoming for on-site training means long distances and uncertain weather. Clearly an alternative was needed, so the WYLD office turned to webinars.
“Webinars are a good alternative for large states to reach a lot of people without having to have a lot of travel expense and time,” Katie said. “It helps with scheduling, too. A lot of times local libraries have a hard time finding a time and day when all the staff who need training can be there. With webinars, we can schedule two or three sessions at different times to make sure everyone can attend and provide recorded versions for access at any time.”
Webinars began in July 2018, starting with a “Beginning Analytics” session. As the training webinars progressed, the WYLD office assessed what other topics were most needed to plan additional sessions and training materials and responded with regularly scheduled monthly webinars.
The program in Minneapolis was Katie’s first experience as a presenter at COSUGI, and she found many there were interested in the topic. “A lot of people right now are transitioning to Analytics from older programs,” she said, “and they’re just trying to find the best way to train people. In particular, consortia over long distances can’t do on-site training for each individual place and can’t rely on other libraries going to a central spot. Consortia in other states are looking for ways to train people without physically going to their libraries.”
Katie also presented a 10-minute “lightning round” on BLUEcloud Analytics with other attendees at the conference. Desiree Saunders, WYLD Program Manager, participated in a “Succession Planning” panel discussion with librarians from California and Texas. Also attending COSUGI were Bobbi Thorpe from the WYLD Office and Kate Mutch from Natrona County Public Library as WYLD Network representative.