How To Reduce Scrap Learning In Training: Take It From Librarians, We Know Scrap When We See It


March 01, 2016

By Emily Schaber

When it comes to our collections, great public librarians are like great Instructional Designers: We keep them current, relevant, appealing, and responsive to our communities. Keeping our collections useful and looking good means we have to get rid of things though. That’s right: Public libraries throw books away. Here is how to reduce scrap learning in your training.


Scrap's Customer Component

In Learning and Development, our customers are our learners and the businesses whose outcomes our training has to optimize. As business needs change, Instructional Designers must adapt their content, methods, and objectives, in response.

I may be biased, but I don’t know who understands changes in customer needs better than librarians do. Google has not replaced us though, and here’s why: We are working hard all the time to keep up with and, ideally, stay ahead of our customers’ needs.

How, you ask? You can bet we’ve got a nice, neat, organized system for that too. Project Outcome, for example, is a research and data-informed initiative of the Public Library Association that guides public libraries across the country in using patron surveys to measure and analyze results from their programs and services in Civic/Community Engagement, Digital Inclusion, Early Childhood Literacy, Economic Development, Education/Lifelong Learning, Job Skills, and Summer Reading.

We are methodical and purposeful and, boy, do we like things orderly. If you’ve heard the rumors though that librarians are out and about town, asking their customers how they can best support them, the rumors are true. We have common goals with you, Instructional Designers and eLearning professionals. Come on in and meet us. Or, better yet, find us embedded in your community.

A caveat: Hands off those banned books though. If you think we’re weeding out Slaughterhouse-Five, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, or And Tango Makes Three, umm, no.

CLICK HERE to read the full eLearning Industry article.