Guest Blog by Donci Bardash
Montana State Library and the BTOP project are excited to be able to offer WebJunction Montana.
What is WebJunction Montana?
WebJunction is a learning community designed exclusively for libraries. Through WebJunction Montana, you will have direct access to technology training offered by the Montana State Library. Due to the fact that our funding for this project is one-time-only and limited in scope, initial WebJunction Montana content and resources will focus on technology-related subjects that assist library staff in supporting their public access computers. You will also be able to access training and informational materials from numerous BTOP community partners including the Supreme Court of Montana Self-Help Law Program, the Montana Department of Labor & Industry and more.
Managed by the BTOP Technology Trainer, Jennifer Birnel, WebJunction Montana will include resources identified in our published Public Computer Center Learning Targets. These learning targets are Montana-specific, and include topics ranging from basic computer set-up, to more advanced network management topics such as filtering, to accessing e-government resources such as Montana legal forms. If a patron needs assistance locating information on tenants’ rights, your library staff will know how to efficiently and accurately assist her.
Many of the tools you will find here are created locally by subject matter experts from Montana State Library, public libraries, and community partners across the state. The targets are thoughtfully organized by a person’s role within their library, ranging from trustee to network administrator.
Finally, librarians who become “premier” Montana sponsored members can enroll in WebJunction’s online, self-paced courses on a wide range of subjects impacting Montana libraries.
WebJunction Montana is a sharing community; the content is not limited to what is posted by State Library staff. We welcome and encourage our members to participate by posting comments, training resources, handouts, helpful links, and sample workshop curricula. The usefulness and value of WebJunction Montana will be in great part, dependent upon your participation.
How do I register?
Pre-registration is now open for all BTOP libraries. Beginning May 1st, open registration begins for all Montana library staff and community partners. There are two levels of WebJunction membership: Standard and Premier.
As a “standard” WebJunction member, Montana librarians have access to the entire WebJunction catalogue. This includes resources posted by Montana State Library, WebJunction webinars, as well as tools offered by other WebJunction partner states. To become a WebJunction Member:
- Go to www.webjunction.org
- In the upper right-hand corner click on “Sign in to WebJunction” to sign into an existing account or “Create an Account” if you are new to WebJunction
- Fill out the required information fields
If you are interested in taking WebJunction course offered through their learning management system (SkillSoft, LibraryU, self-paced courses), please apply to become a “premier” Montana sponsored member. These seats are limited, so please enroll as a premier member only if you are committed to a series of professional development for at least a 12-month period. To become a Premier WebJunction Montana member and gain access to the WebJunction course catalogue:
- Go to www.webjunction.org
- Click on the Our Partners tab, then click on Montana
- In the green box on the right of the screen click on “Request Course Access”
- Fill out the form and submit
WebJunction Overview Webinar
Webinars will be offered May 1st at 1:00 pm and May 3rd at 10:00 am. Both webinars will be archived for later viewing. We encourage librarians, as well as BTOP community partners, to attend to learn more about the resources offered, how to navigate the site, and how to participate by uploading documents and joining discussion groups.
For details, visit: http://msl.mt.gov/calendar.
Throughout April and May, WebJunction Montana will feature legal resources in recognition of Law Day and Law in the Library activities. This will include a series of webinars co-sponsored by Montana Legal Services Association, The Supreme Court of Montana, The State Law Library of Montana, and The State Bar of Montana. For details, visit: http://msl.mt.gov/calendar.
April 5th at 11:00 am How to Help Your Patrons Fix Their Legal Problems
Christine Mandiloff provided a tour of Montana Legal Services Association resources and guidance on how to best answer law-related questions posed by patrons.
April 19th at 11:00 am Court Help Program
Erin Farris of the Court Help Program will describe services currently available, including service locations, hours, and local program contacts. Erin is eager to discuss how libraries can best collaborate with self-help resources in your community.
April 25th at 11:00 am Celebrate Law at the Library 2012: Part 1 – Organizing and Publicizing an Event
Janice Frankino Doggett, Equal Justice Coordinator of the State Bar of Montana; Brooke Redden, Special Projects Coordinator of the State Bar; and Mick Reed, VISTA for the State Bar and the Montana Supreme Court’s Commission on Self-Represented Litigants will present tools and support for planning and conducting a local program during Law Week.
May 2nd at 11:00 am Celebrate Law at the Library 2012: Part 2 – Legal Resources in Montana
Susan Lupton of the State Law Library will provide an overview of The Law in Montana, as well as tips for legal research.
Q: Do I register one account for my library so that all staff share one account?
A: Each individual should register as a member separately.
Q: How long will this resource be available to Montana librarians?
A: WebJunction is provided through the BTOP program for two years. The MSL will evaluate participation prior to that and determine if there is sufficient interest and available funding to continue the program.
Q: Can school libraries participate?
A: Yes. All library staff, library students, and community partners are encouraged to participate in WebJunction.
Q: I don’t plan to take a LibraryU course for several months, should I sign up for a premiere account now to be sure I will have a spot when I’m ready?
A: We recommend that you not sign-up for a premiere account until you are prepared to begin coursework. Inactive members may be removed in order to make space for others.
Q: Are recorded Webinars eligible for CE Credit?
A: CE credit from the MSL applies to recorded Webinars, but OPI credit is not available for recorded (or live) Webinars at this time.
Q: Will WebJunction Montana feature resources from other community partners besides the legal community?
A: Yes; over time, additional content will be added as the site continues to be built.
Q: I don’t work at a BTOP library. Can I go ahead and request membership early?
A: Yes, but non-BTOP members will not be reviewed and approved until May. Your request will go into a pending file until that time.