In-House Training

 

CCS libraries will be using a train-the-trainer model for the migration to Polaris. This means that CCS and Polaris will train several staff at each library, and libraries will be responsible for training all remaining staff who will interact with Polaris.

 

This page offers suggestions for how to accomplish this within your library and establishes key deadlines that all libraries will follow:

 

Dates and Deadlines:

 

Who should be trained?

All staff should be trained to have familiarity with and a basic working knowledge of Polaris, which includes three main components:

  • PowerPAC: the public online catalog

  • Leap: the web-based staff client, which will be used by public service staff (circulation, adult, youth, etc.)

  • Polaris Staff Client: the traditional staff client, which will primarily used by technical service staff

 

Libraries should determine which topics should be covered in each training session, depending on departmental workflow and responsibilities. The Polaris training agendas, found on the migration portal, can assist libraries in identifying different skills and tasks to be covered. CCS staff will provide sample training itineraries at the November train-the-trainer sessions.

 

How should libraries structure training?

To supplement Polaris-led and CCS training, libraries will lead internal training as well as provide opportunities for individual learning amongst staff. Each library has unique needs and internal structure, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to setting up in-house training. Libraries are required to:

  1. Evaluate internal needs and develop a training program and schedule for all staff who will use Polaris.

  2. Schedule and lead hands-on group training to accelerate learning and retention and increase engagement.

 

Providing multiple types of learning opportunities will be most beneficial for staff. In addition to hands-on group training, there are many different ways libraries can incorporate training throughout the next 6 months, including but not limited to:

  • Using weekly/monthly department meetings to lead training sessions

  • Providing learning opportunities or leading software demos during staff in-service days

  • Coordinating drop-in sessions to encourage staff to ask questions and explore the client

  • Leading cross-departmental training sessions for staff

  • Sharing CCS training materials, documentation and assignments

 

When will training take place?

As discussed above, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution or schedule. Polaris-led training begins in September, and CCS is working with libraries to ensure at least one staff member attends Advanced Circulation and Cataloging training prior to the end of the calendar year. CCS-led training will begin in November. Libraries should plan their training schedules based on:

 

  • Number of staff to be trained

  • Schedule of staff attending Polaris-led and CCS-led training

  • Other projects happening in the library.

 

Libraries should already be actively discussing and planning their in-house training. By December 1, library leads will be responsible for submitting a training schedule to CCS. This training schedule will include:

 

  • The number of staff who will be trained per department

  • The types of sessions staff will be coordinating

  • Estimated dates of training

 

Additional directions will be sent to library leads by October 6th.

 

Technical services staff are required to be trained prior to Serials and Acquisitions training, which begins February 9.  Public services staff (including Adult, Youth, Circulation, and IT) are required to attend training prior to March 1.  

 

Once staff have participated in formal training, libraries will need to provide additional instructions for independent learning to encourage staff to 1. Continue to build skills and confidence and 2. Detect potential errors or discrepancies in data. The learning process is continuous and one or two training sessions over several months will not give staff the time they need to fully understand the new tools.

 

Who will lead training?

Staff who attend the Polaris-led training at CCS are expected to assist their library lead with leading and organizing training for the remainder of the staff.  

 

What resources are available to help?

A good place to start is to review the Training Materials section of  the migration portal. This section includes training agendas for the Polaris-led training, as well as subject-specific powerpoint presentations created by Polaris:

 

 

Member Services has begun to draft tutorials and other training documentation. These will become available on the migration portal as they are completed, and shared in the weekly migration newsletter.

 

CCS will lead three sessions of a specialized “Train the Trainer” training for library staff in November. Each library is required to have two staff attend one full day session: the library lead and another staff member who will have training responsibilities.. During each session, we will cover:

 

  • Leap tour and introduction to basic Leap functions

  • Procedures & Policy

  • Database Configuration

  • Training guidelines

 

CCS will send an email to Library Leads with registration information by September 29.

 

What topics should be covering during in-library training?

Reviewing the Polaris agendas on the migration portal will give libraries an overview of the most important areas to cover. In addition, libraries should be actively discussing the following with staff:

 

  • Polaris Usernames:

In order to improve security, CCS is moving to individual usernames rather than shared or generic user names. Staff will required to log in to Polaris with their own username and password at the start of their shift. CCS has distributed new usernames and passwords to libraries as of September 19, so that staff can practice logging in to the test database with their new login information. Staff can review the factors behind the decision here.

 

  • Familiarity with Platforms:

Polaris has two staff clients, Leap (web-based) and Polaris. Public services and circulation staff will work primarily in Leap, while technical services staff will work in Polaris. This post outlines some of the functionality differences between the two.  

 

  • Policy Changes:

On July 26, Governing Board reviewed, discussed, and voted on the recommendations developed by the library staff advisory groups and the CCS implementation team. CCS- and Polaris-led training will review the relevant functionality for each change, and CCS documentation and procedures will cover these changes as well. Library staff training should incorporate these relevant changes.

 

  • Symphony to Polaris Changes:

Polaris is structured differently than Symphony. It’s important to introduce and discuss new terminology and configuration with staff. The Data Mapping portion of the web site walks staff through some of the many changes in configuration. Library leads and staff designated as trainers should review these pages and become familiar with the new structure.