Training your staff on the ins and outs of Beanstack and your specific summer reading challenges is a crucial step for a successful summer. Staff buy-in can boost participation and ease of use across your community.
Ideally, train your staff after you create and publish your summer reading challenges and at least a few weeks before the challenges begin. Hit these key training points below and your team will be ready in no time!
1. Set up your site for training.
- Create staff accounts: Create at least one shared staff account for each library branch or department (depending on your library's size), or locate the login information for ones you already created. These accounts can be shared among staff members and can be logged in on multiple computers at the same time. You will also use them as the official accounts for your staff during summer reading, so be sure to save the username and password information and consider adding it to a cheat sheet for easy staff access.
2. Introduce your team to the reader experience.
- Create an account as a patron: Encourage staff members to sign themselves up as patrons through your site's landing page to experience the registration process firsthand and to participate in challenges along with your community. If they don't want to have their own accounts on Beanstack or perhaps already have one, they can instead set up some John or Jane Doe accounts. If they do, consider using a standard naming convention so you can easily locate and delete these later!
- Log reading and explore challenges (if available): Have staff enroll in challenges, log reading, reviews, and/or activities, try updating their password and reader information, add new readers to their account, request each other as friends, and explore any book lists or recommendations you have available for patrons.
You can also create a video walking staff through how to register and participate with your library specifically. Loom or Screencastify are easy screen-recording services you can try. Alternatively, we have a general “how-to” registration video you can share.
3. Introduce your team to the staff experience.
- Review staff essentials: We have a recorded staff essentials training you can share, and we're hosting a series of new trainings staff members can register for here. We also have a host of short training videos that cover the most important staff actions, which are available in your site's Beanstack Basics section or on the Helpdesk. Or you can use the recordings as a springboard to create your own library-specific training videos!
Whether you're using our trainings, creating your own videos, or providing real-time demonstrations, the most crucial staff actions to cover are:
- Practice staff essentials: Have your staff log in with the staff accounts you created to practice managing patron accounts. Give them ample time to practice common staff actions on test patron accounts and readers, as well as to ask questions. They can use the John or Jane Doe accounts they created at the beginning of training or you can create other testing accounts for their use. When they're done, you can delete the testing accounts so as not to skew your data.
4. Consider hosting a virtual training session. At the end of the day, whether you choose to train in-person or virtually, the most important thing is that your staff members know how to use Beanstack. If you are considering hosting a virtual training, we have a guide here on how to deliver one successfully!