Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Talking up LSSC...

Today, Sylvia Bowers continues talking about balancing work, life, and classwork while completing LSSC - Library Support Staff Certification.

What help do you wish you had while taking these courses (like group support)?

It may be that I wish I had more group support, but it seems that this is something I am more willing to provide for others than seek for myself. The number of people enrolled in the LSSC program is fairly small right now, so I’m not sure it’s easy to find other participants outside of classes. Classes typically have a discussion board so that the students can interact with each other and share ideas and questions. But, since I’ve started doing the support staff certification, I have been able to share information about the program with my co-workers, I have given two presentations about it at conventions to encourage others and I’ve written about it. I do this sharing willingly and humbly, because it is meeting such a need in my life. I project I have twenty or so more working years ahead of me and I have decided this is a worthwhile investment for me.

Are any of you in the LSSC program? Let us know how it's going!

Friday, January 20, 2012

How to use what you learn in LSSC

Another post from Sylvia in our continuing series about LSSC - Library Support Staff Certification. Sylvia works for Baker County Library District managing the magazine and newspaper collections.

What helps you the most in completing your classwork in the LSSC program?

Working from home: I mentioned that I work from home and this is possible because our IT manager made a house call; he helped me set up my home pc for internet access and appropriate programs that would support my support staff training. The expense for equipment and the internet connection, of course, has been my own, but the library I work for supported me by allowing the technology manager to do that, and I am grateful.

My co-worker’s creative support: As much as possible, I look for opportunities to integrate my class assignments with my daily responsibilities at work, or I turn class projects into an opportunity for on-the-job training. My co-workers help me find opportunities. For example, for one class project I was able to learn all about the online and in-library resources we had for genealogy research. Myself and a co-worker attended “Family History Days”, where I gave a power point presentation I’d prepared on that topic and she put together an informational booth. This presentation led to another opportunity for a similar presentation at another local genealogy conference, as well as sharing the information at an all-staff training day. I needed help from more knowledgeable staff to create the presentation because I needed to learn about the resources for myself, I shared the information with the community and passed the information on to other staff who hadn’t yet had the opportunity to learn about these resources.

Thanks once again, Sylvia. Are you taking classes and working? Let us know how it's going for you by commenting below.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Balancing life, work, and school. What works for you?

Sylvia Bowers answers another question for us about her experience with LSSC - Library Support Staff Certification.

What techniques have you learned in order to balance your work/school/home life?

I try to schedule no more than 2-hours per day during the week to do general classwork; this usually falls between 8pm to 10pm after my household has quieted down and I can focus. I block larger sections of time on the weekends to work on bigger class projects. If I’m feeling pressured to get my assignments done in too little time, I will schedule a couple vacation hours to accommodate the extra time needed to do a good job. I have only had to do this two to three times. Also, a couple of the instructors have stated up front in their syllabus the amount of time they expect to be spent on classwork and assignments. The class I am taking right now, Adult Readers’ Advisory, specified that students should be able to complete classwork and assignments in 7 to 10 hours per week. I try to use this as a guideline, so I’m not spending more time than is expected. If an instructor has not stated their time expectations then I will simply ask and this then gives a good baseline from which to plan.

The absolutely most useful thing I did when I first started taking classes was to connect to the internet at home so I could do my classwork from home. I found, though, that I was still spending too much time isolated from my family, so I got a laptop. With a laptop I can sit in the living room with my family while they’re reading or visiting and I can do my classwork. It usually takes longer to do my work because there are interruptions, but that’s okay, because this setup meets my emotional need to spend time with my family in the evening.

Thanks, Sylvia. Do you have any questions or comments for Sylvia? Just click on the link below!