Creating Challenges

When I worked in the Hawaii State Public Library System as manager of the Molokai Branch, the community “newspaper” was a wall of 3×5 cards on the outside of the Post Office. There was no home mail delivery (nor business delivery, either,) so everyone had to make the trip into Kaunakakai at some point in order to buy groceries and pick up their mail. The Post Office was the perfect place to post news of births, birthday parties, softball league schedules, yard sales, babysitting requests and offers, reminders to vote, library programs … and deaths.

Reading the Post Office wall was how I learned that Maui Community College sent instructors over during the spring and fall semesters to teach continuing-ed courses. Over several years, I took IBM BASIC, Human Relations in Business, Personal Income Tax Preparation, Beginning Accounting, and Introduction to Economics. Nowhere else I have worked has there been such affordable classes for working people.

California also has rich continuing-ed opportunities for library employees via Info People, and I have taken my share of their courses. They have helped me keep up to date with new library technology, new ideas in e-reader support, new ways of looking at a reference collection and measuring its use. I’ve taken many of their how-to classes as well: how to design public computer classes, how to create screencasts, how to negotiate vendor contracts, how to catalog software.

It’s been a while since I’ve taken a course that I know will challenge me because it’s in an area I DON’T deal with every day. That’s why I jumped at the chance to take a series of courses made available by Sacramento City College that will lead to certification in online instruction. I can’t wait till the March 31st starting date!


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