Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Leveraging Multimedia at Millipore: We Continue to Learn New Ways to Improve Our Training Methods and Create More Efgective Training Materials, Keeping in Mind the Global Reach They Both Will Have

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Leveraging Multimedia at Millipore: We Continue to Learn New Ways to Improve Our Training Methods and Create More Efgective Training Materials, Keeping in Mind the Global Reach They Both Will Have

Article excerpt

Millipore Corp. -- a global company of 6,100 employees for which I serve as the science and patent information specialist--supplies products and expertise that span the research, development, and production stages in the life science research and biologic drug manufacturing fields. Millipore's corporate library, the information group, serves all divisions of Millipore and is located in one of our largest R&D facilities in Bedford, Mass.

Consisting of four full-time professional information specialists, the information group performs scientific and technical research and business and market research, publishes several current awareness products, offers document-retrieval services, and handles interlibrary lending. We assist with and complete in-depth research assignments, but we also offer an excellent choice of end-user products, and we offer training for those who want to do fact-finding on their own.

Ideally, we would like to offer classroom sessions in all of our facilities because we believe staff and participants benefit most in a setting where there is greater interpersonal interaction to foster connections that increase awareness and confidence on both sides. But like all information centers, we have budget and human-resource constraints. To overcome these obstacles, the information group offers training via classroom sessions, archived webbased training, and the use of web conferencing software and video conferencing equipment. We use Oracle iLearning as our learning management system to schedule and log training sessions; this allows us to manage all training from one central location. We use Macromedia Captivate v1 to record and create our archived sessions, and we use IBM Lotus Sametime to train through web conferencing. This article will discuss how we use these programs to provide employee training, locally and around the world.

Reaching Our Local Community

Using Classroom Instruction--To most effectively allocate our resources and to be able to continue to provide scientific and market research services for the global community, the information group generally limits classroom sessions to our New England facilities. Since our corporate headquarters and one of our major R&D centers are both located in Massachusetts, we're fortunate to be able to present live, instructor-led sessions to a large user population with only minimal travel time. We set limits on the number of plant sites that receive classroomstyle training to only those sites within a 2-hour drive from our office.

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We use PowerPoint presentations for these live, instructor-led sessions. The presentations contain product screen shots, which are updated as needed to ensure that they remain current. We tried using live product demonstrations, but we found that we were at the mercy of slow internet connections and down internet sites, which often caused the demonstrations to lose focus. With our PowerPoint presentations, we can be certain that we stay on track and cover all the information within the session.

We begin by examining the vendorprovided guides and search tips. After testing the vendor-recommended tips to determine their potential value to our employees, we create sample search strategies by drawing upon actual questions posed by our end users. We believe that our training has a greater impact when our customized research examples have the most meaning to our users.

Handling Local Logistics--When we train on our end-user products, we keep the training sessions short--about 15 minutes. This allows even time-strapped employees to participate. After completing the PowerPoint presentation, we are always prepared to demonstrate live searches if the attendees have the time.

Though many vendors supply tip sheets and brochures for their products, we've created our own materials for each type of session. …

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