‘Small bites’ training for public librarians
EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) explores microlearning techniques in training video series

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Ramune Petuchoviate, EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) Manager, shares a series of training videos, made using microlearning methodology, for training public librarians and public library trainers.

During the most disruptive years of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020 - 2021), public libraries went into lockdown and had to find alternative ways of serving their communities. Those with computers and the internet could move services online, for example, by using social media. Use of digital technology proved to be so effective that even after libraries reopened their doors, some digital services continued. At the same time, more librarians began exploring e-learning channels and online resources to build their own knowledge and skills. This got the EIFL-PLIP team thinking about microlearning within the framework of our capacity building programme for public librarians and public library trainers.

What is microlearning?  

Microlearning – a relatively new approach in the e-learning field – is about breaking learning content into small chunks, or units, and creating learning resources focused on a specific practical issue or learning outcome - for example, how to write a project objective statement. The aim is to create a quick but complete learning experience that enables learners to grasp and apply knowledge immediately. The technique supports informal learning, where learners receive and use content when they need it, on devices and in formats (print, multimedia) of their choice. 

EIFL-PLIP’s  ‘Small Bites’ 

Guided by microlearning methodology, we have made four short video lessons. Each video incorporates PowerPoint slides with examples to illustrate the topic. To make the videos, we relied on members of the EIFL-PLIP team, with expertise in particular topics and technology skills, and learned by doing.

The topics selected for the EIFL-PLIP ‘Small Bites’ series of videos are drawn from our capacity building and train-the-trainers programme for  public libraries in Africa. The videos can be used by librarians to build their own knowledge and skills, or by trainers conducting training of public librarians. They are especially useful for public librarians who are providing digital skills training in their communities. 

Piloting the videos - what librarians say

We piloted the videos with public librarians from countries where EIFL-PLIP has conducted training. Here’s what the librarians said - 

  • “I like the clarity and duration of the videos. They are more practical.”
  • “They are clear to the dot.”
  • “The videos could be used by trainers before and after the training just as a guide and checklist. As they are very short, it is also possible to play them before the start of any library training so that participants can have insights, and check if the trainers miss some elements of the training process.”

More training videos will be released in 2023. Take a look at the videos - and help us to improve them by letting us have your feedback in the space provided under the videos on YouTube. For further information, contact plip@eifl.net 

Thanks to the very helpful team from Younginitiative.org, a Romanian NGO, who we met at the Occupy Library Conference (online) in 2021 and who have used microlearning methods to create learnings in leadership. A big thank you to Razvan Sassu and Oana Constantinescu for sharing your practical experience of using microlearning methodologies to develop training materials.