Information Skills Toolkit Page 1 of 2 Staff are trained to deliver Information Skills Why is staff training important? LIS staff are a vital part of the success of an Information Skills programme. Without well- informed and enthusiastic staff it could be more difficult to motivate students to undertake Information Skills training. People learn in different ways and it is important that staff are able to engage with students at a variety of levels to help them to develop their Information Skills. Information Skills programmes can provide extensive opportunities for LIS staff training and development. These may range from staff re-appraising their own knowledge of materials and skills which they want to pass on to students, such as searching techniques for a particular database; to developing a whole range of new skills, such as presentation skills, creating webpages and online packages in a VLE to teach Information Skills online. The fact that librarians can now gain membership of the Institute of Learning and Teaching on the same basis as academic staff is clear recognition of the part that teaching plays in their role. If LIS staff are not going to deliver Information Skills training direct to students they may be able to establish a role for themselves training those members of staff who will be responsible for its delivery. In the audit held as part of the Big Blue project respondents were asked to identify who training was delivered to. One of the most common responses to the 'other' question was staff. However, as the Big Blue project is concerned with Information Skills training for students the training of staff was not followed up, but this aspect could form the basis for future work. Who trains the trainers? The American Library Association has established the Information Literacy Institute whose remit is to support and train librarians and administrators in the development and delivery of Information Skills training. This remit includes the annually run Immersion course, described as "Four and-a-half-day programs that provide intensive information literacy training and education for instruction librarians". The Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) are currently debating the establishment of a similar organisation. The question of who trains librarians as educators is one that has been gaining more prominence in Australia and has been highlighted in a paper by Judith Peacock. Information Skills Toolkit Page 2 of 2 The respondents to a survey of library schools stated that issues such as curriculum design, learning styles and presentation skills tend not to be covered in the courses that they offer, although there are some exceptions to this. Given that Information Skills training is playing an increasing part in the role of librarians in all sectors, not just in the academic domain, there is a need to establish who will provide librarians with the requisite skills to undertake this type of work: library schools or employers? Additional information The following may be of interest: Mitchell, L. (2001). Teaching the teachers: the missing link in Information Skills training? SCONUL Newsletter, 23, pp.4-8. Peacock, J. (2000). Teaching skills for teaching librarians: postcards from the edge of the educational paradigm. COMLA Seminar 2000: User education for user empowerment. Christchurch, New Zealand, October 19-20, 2000. EduLib Project Funded by JISC as part of the eLib programme, the aim of Edulib is to enhance educational expertise and teaching skills in the higher education library and information services community .