IUG 2001 Conference Proceedings

Table of Contents

Session: O7

Training on a Shoestring: The Rocky Mountain Regional Innovative Users Group Experience

Coordinator/Presenter:
Ellen Greenblatt, University of Colorado at Denver

Presenters:
Pat Clark, University of Denver
John Culshaw, University of Colorado at Boulder
Stephanie Evers, Arapahoe Library District


History (John Culshaw)
Has been RMIUG facilitator since it started 3 years ago.
Group started as Colorado/New Mexico Regional IUG.
1998 set up a listserv to identify interest and held an organizational meeting --18 people showed up.
1999, they met again at Colorado Library Association in 1999 and at the National IUG.
Got bogged down in minutia and decided to shift focus from forming a user's group to addressing immediate concerns. Formed a Training Committee. Merged the activities of Organizing Committee and the Training Committee to for the Planning Committee. Very informal, don't charge for training workshops, meet in places that offer them facilities for free, and don't have a formal structure.

Initial Survey and Straw Polls (Pat Clark)
Started as member of the Training Committee (now a member of the Organizing Committee)
In June 1999, to get started, they put together a survey that they announced on various listservs. It sought to identify training needs and interests. In addition, they asked several other questions such as:


They also solicited host location sites.
In 2000 after three workshops, they did informal straw polls (again using the lists and the web site). This information was used to supplement information gathered on evaluation forms at the workshops, and to plan future sessions.

Overview of Past Workshops (Pat Clark)
There have been 5 workshops so far. These workshops are supplemental training, not a replacement for III training. At each workshop, attendees have been given packets, and most handouts and evaluation forms and summaries have been posted on the web. They have not charged for the workshops, the only fees have been to cover the cost of food served (if any).

Planning and Organization Process (Ellen Greenblatt)
The planning has been based on the following parameters:

Workshops are held three times per year based on availability of speakers and facilities, and most important to their group, the probability of weather. So far they have had workshops in the Spring, Summer, and Fall to avoid weather complications.

The Planning Committee usually meets two times before each meeting. At the first meeting, they set things in motion:

At the second meeting, they wrap things up. Most interactions are online via email. Preparation is broken down into manageable tasks. Each committee member is responsible for one or more tasks:

Assessment (Ellen Greenblatt)
Using evaluation forms handed out in the packets at each session, they evaluate:

Statistics (Stephanie Evers)
There have been a total of 195 attendees over four workshops. The breakdown by type of library has been:

The statistical breakdown for presenters has been as follows:

The have received 135 evaluation forms from four workshops. In the evaluation forms, they asked questions about:

RMIUG Web Site (Ellen Greenbelt for Minna Sellers)
(http://library.fortlewis.edu/~rmiug)

To create the web site, they looked at web sites for other regional user groups. Most of them had information on the group's organizational structure, how to sign up for the group, and links to the OPACS of members. They concluded that different groups had web sites based on different purposes. They based their web site on their central purpose, which is to present regionally shared training sessions. Posting materials on the web allows them to maximize access to this information as they are spread out in a large geographic area with large areas between urban centers.

On their web site, they have:

In the future, they would like to expand the web site to:

There were several questions about how to incorporate a geographically disperse area into a single user's group. There was a discussion about what would be more effective, to send the presenters or the information out to distant locations.


Reporter:
Margaret Tapper, University of California, Irvine