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Confrence Reports – Guam Confrence Reports

Continuing Education, Guam

Continuing education (CE) activities have provided great benefits to librarians and library technicians throughout the world, but only a few librarians on Guam and in Micronesia been able to take part. Many library workers on these remote islands have never attended a workshop. CE is especially important in the region because so many library staff have had no formal training. Teachers often work as school librarians; many civil service personnel take positions in the public, special, and even academic libraries. Almost all library technicians have received on–the–job training only.

In February 1991 Larry N. Osborne, Professor at the University of Hawaii’s School of Library and Information Studies, was invited by Chih Wang, Librarian of the University of Guam, to conduct a workshop — the first ever held on Guam. The event was formulated to help library professionals in Micronesia broaden their knowledge and improve their skills, and to provide an opportunity for information sharing. The workshop targeted all trained and non–trained librarians, library technicians, and University of Guam library personnel; it was also available to the general public.

Topics chosen were intended to give an overview of the field: a historic introduction to librarianship, acquisitions, organization of library materials, print and CD–ROM reference tools, computer applications, and professionalism. The workshop, entitled “Library Technology Update,” took place at the Guam Palace Hotel, on 6–9 January 1992. There were 85 participants, from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Japan, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. In addition, ten University of Guam librarians were present at times. Thirty–five of the participants were from school libraries, and 30 from academic libraries. There were 27 professional librarians and 52 library technicians.

An evaluation form with 16 questions was distributed, and returned by 55 (64.71 percent) persons. Ninety percent were satisfied with the preparation, instruction, site arrangement, and meal service of the workshop. In their remarks, some participants felt that they knew more about many of the subjects than the instructor presenting the workshop. Others responded that the subjects were too technical for the attendees. Several participants expected to have a smaller group with a chance for hands–on experience.

The question of what topics would be of particular interest to the participants in a future workshop elicited a variety of subject areas that are almost equivalent to those offered in the master’s program in library schools. They are summarized below:

1) Details on everything discussed in the workshop;
2) Detailed training on the application of computer hardware and software in libraries (15 responses);
3) A vendor workshop on various user–friendly circulation and cataloging software;
4) Any additional updates on library technology, particularly the topics related to schools;
5) Planning, selection, purchase, and maintenance of an automated system in libraries;
6) Using computers for storage and retrieval of information;
7) Various types of high–tech hardware/ software;
8) Training on data input and retrieval;
9) Demonstration of CD–ROMs and electronic databases (7 responses);
10) Using technology for library operations among the Pacific Rim libraries;
11) Training in online searching and cataloging (2 responses);
12) Training in networking of libraries on the Pacific islands; Networking among academic, public, and school libraries on Guam;
13) LC and Dewey Decimal Classification, original cataloging using MARC format (2 responses); and cataloging computer disks;
14) Organizing serials holdings, acquisitions techniques, and reference work;
15) Training on the use of audiovisual equipment;
16) Preservation and archival techniques;
17) Grant/proposal writing (2 responses) and sources of available grants;
18) Management, basic computing, bookkeeping, accounting, and marketing for libraries.

The large turnout and positive responses from the participants were satisfying to the planners, and suggested the need for systematic library training on Guam and throughout Micronesia. It is hoped that library educators and other professionals will be interested in coming to Guam in the future to fulfill the CE needs of the librarians and technicians in the region.

© 1992 Rosary College



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