Creating a workshop

24Nov11

One of the reasons I left my previous firm was to take on new challenges. I wanted to create and deliver workshops, do more in-depth research, and develop a more aggressive current awareness program. I’ve made headway on the latter two, and now I’m working on a legal research refresher.

Last fall I took a course on engaging adult learners from the University of Toronto’s Professional Learning Centre. I’ll be using some of those strategies to create my program. I’m dealing with a diverse audience – lawyers from both the litigation side and the corporate/commercial side at my firm, so it will be a challenge just to make the material relevant to both groups. I’m also keeping it short, over a lunch hour (Rule #1 – offer food!).

When I first decided to enrol in the library technician program, I had no idea teaching would be in my career path. And yet, a lot of all types of library work is informal instruction. We help our clients use the catalogue, teach them alternate terms to guide them through the controlled vocabulary of subject headings, and show them how to use specialized equipment and databases. This is an extension of that kind of instruction – a more formal, structured course where I determine what outcomes I want to achieve, and consider how I’m going to accomplish them.

Like most people, I’m not crazy about public speaking, so I’ve tried to make this as painless as possible. First, my audience is known to me – lawyers at my firm – so I already have a rapport with them. They’re juniors, so I probably still know more than them. And I’ll be well prepared – knowing what I want to get across and how I’m going to do it. The first one is always the roughest anyway, no matter how well prepared I am. In a perverse way, I’m actually looking forward to this.

Who knows – one day I may have the nerve to deliver a keynote address!

~ Karen

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One Response to “Creating a workshop”

  1. 1 Fatima

    I have every belief that will happen. Just keep doing what your are doing and things will fall into place.



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