Monday, December 05, 2005

How do you get people to come to training (and then use what they've learned)?

That can be a very interesting question, especially when it comes to providing training on aspects of a digitization project. People may avoid training until they feel more prepared to use what they are going to learn. However, the training will help them develop ideas and partners.

The problem is that going to one workshop is often not enough. When being training on digitization, people need to attend a series of workshops (or a multi-day event or a semester-long class). How do you get people to attend multiple workshops?

Then -- having been trained -- how to do you get people to use what they have learned?

The Southeastern NY Library Resources Council has a solution to these two problems. First, they offer a series of workshops with a special price of $100 per registration (one person or different people from the same institution). Those who do not want to participate in the entire series can attend individual workshops at a cost of $50.00 per workshop. Wow! So right off the bat, it makes sense to do the entire series.

Second, participating institutions are expected to contribute 30 digital objects from their collections to the Hudson River Valley Heritage program, which the Council is overseeing. This gets institutions over that hurdle of learning what digitization is and then feeling too overwhelmed to do anything. With this model, the institutions must do something. The hope is that the institutions will not just do 30, but will continue and do more (making their efforts not just a one-time event, but an ongoing program).

I'm sure other consortia might be doing something similar. If you know of any, please let me know.

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