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Train Station

Brooklyn Public Library
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Innovation Leader: Lawrence Jennings, Director Human Resources, l.jenning@brooklynpubliclibrary.org

Problem Statement

In a library system geographically divided across one of New York’s largest boroughs, it was difficult to provide consistent training in an organized format. It was almost impossible to launch mandatory training and track its completion. The use of “live” facilitators and the inability to gather large numbers of staff in one place at one time was a hindrance to organizational learning. Statistical data on training efforts were unreliable and prevented Brooklyn Public Library from being able to quantify or measure the success of our training. These limitations prevented the organization from being able to set realistic professional development goals and align the organization around those goals. BPL needed a way to streamline its training accessibility, evaluation process, marketing, tracking, benchmarking and facilitation.

Innovation

Implementing a Learning Management System (LMS) was key and would resolve mounting concerns pertaining to our training consistency efforts. In essence, an LMS is a software application that automates the administration, tracking, and reporting of training events. It also centralizes and automates the administration of training; it provides employees with “self’ service” and “self-guided” or “self-paced” services; it assembles and delivers learning content rapidly; it consolidates training initiatives on a scalable web-based platform; it supports portability and ensures consistent training standards; it allows you to personalize (brand) the learning content and it enables knowledge sharing and re-use. More importantly, the LMS integrates with other enterprise applications used by Human Resources enabling management to measure the impact, effectiveness, and over all cost of training initiatives.

Progress

A Library Leadership Team was formed, tasked with the objective of researching various Learning Management Systems. Once the leadership team identified an LMS that was a good fit to the organization, a team was organized to move forward with the purchase and implementation of the LMS. Contests were created to promote the LMS, including a branding contest that garnered our LMS with the branded name “Train Station”. Train Station was officially launched in October 2009. Since its launch more than 90% of the organization has accessed Train Station. We have launched required training such as Sexual Harassment, and made professional development and personal development courses available to all staff. We are currently developing a crisis management training program for all staff which will be rolled out shortly. Train Station, a one-stop-shopping model, has streamlined learning and development efforts making it more efficient to launch programs that would otherwise be costly and time consuming. We now have a system that will quantify and measure training efforts allowing us to benchmark Brooklyn Public Library against similar organizations and set goals to advance the Library’s mission.