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WiderNet Trains at Home Base

Responding to popular requests for advanced training in library IT and content creation, the WiderNet Project is expanding the number of programs offered at the University of Iowa.

This allows WiderNet to serve a wider audience, giving interested parties the option to train at their home institutions or travel to Iowa for specialized, hands-on training. 

Partnership Coordinator, Tomeka Petersen states, "the WiderNet staff is very excited to welcome trainees to Iowa City and the University of Iowa.  With trainees coming to our offices, many of us will have the opportunity to not only share our expertise but to share our Iowa cultural experiences.  Depending on the interests of the trainee and the purpose of the training, the University offers a wealth of resources."  

The concept of training at the University of Iowa campus is not a new one;  WiderNet has hosted over 50 visitors in the past ten years who have spent a combined total of 1,072 days in Iowa.   Since 2001 the WiderNet Project has conducted in-country ICT training programs for more than 4,500 administrators, technicians and librarians across the globe.  Over the past ten years it has had tremendous success in sending trainers abroad to share their ICT knowledge and has completed 280 training sessions and workshops abroad.  The WiderNet Project is now launching an expanded program of customized training sessions that it will conduct at home at its headquarters at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA. 

Training sessions can be tailored to specific needs and can range from two week to two months.  The courses usually consist of 20 hours a week of focused training and 20 hours a week of time devoted to research, assignments, and projects.  Providing training at the WiderNet Project offices has a number of advantages:  trainees will receive individual attention as they work one-on-one with numerous WiderNet staff members each day, trainees can work in the WiderNet Project lab where they have easy access to a wealth of equipment and software, the campus location facilitates access to University wide resources, and trainees receive intensive training in both the installation and use of the eGranary Digital Library.

A WiderNet training course differs from other ICT training courses in that it is designed and customized by the end users. Interested parties collaborate with WiderNet staff to create an intensive itinerary with focused goals. As an example, a “Professional Development in Digital Librarianship” course might include the following objectives:

1. Assess, expand and promote the existing library collection
2. Create and maintain an e-collection of locally-generated digital materials
3. Identify and develop new collections for addition to the library
4. Learn to manage the library user interface for proper resource management
5. Align resources and services more closely with user needs; assess user needs and their ability to find, identify and use a complete range of information

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