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Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Nonprofit Trainers
Lori Reed and Paul Signorelli
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1082-5
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $57.00
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This title is also available for purchase as an e-book or as a print/e-book bundle.

176 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1082-5
Year Published: 2011
AP Categories: A, C, I

Listen to a podcast about the book, and read an article by Paul Signorelli from American Libraries and a sample of the book now!

The best kind of learning is that which never ends—and a culture of training means that staff will be more flexible and responsive to new ideas and strategies, imperative in today’s libraries. In this practical resource, leading workplace trainers Reed and Signorelli offer guidance on improving the effectiveness of training programs. Their book takes readers through the entire process of developing, implementing, and sustaining training programs and communities of learning, in order to
  • Empower individuals to become leaders and teachers by cultivating a culture of ongoing learning
  • Connect library staff and users to information resources so they can effectively use them to their benefit
  • Develop skills among both managers and workers for practicing continuous formal and informal training
Using real-life examples of trainers who serve as leaders within libraries and their communities, this book sheds light on an underappreciated but important component of library operations.

Check out this book’s Web Extra now!

Table of Contents


1    In the Beginning: Getting to the Table
2    Collaboration: Creating a Community of Learning
3    Trainers as Internal Consultants and Facilitators of Change
4    Preparing to Deliver: From Initial Idea to Moment of Delivery
5    In the Middle: Trainers as Leaders in the Classroom
6    When Learning Happens: Supporting Learners after Class
7    Learning from Success and Failure: The Importance of Effective Evaluations
8    Master Trainers, Master Learners: Training the Trainers
9    The End Is the Beginning: Leadership and Learning in an Onsite-Online World

Appendix: Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Employee Learning and Development Curriculum

About the Authors

Lori Reed is the Employee Learning & Development Coordinator for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, where she plans and oversees the learning and development of over 550 employees at 23 libraries. With over 15 years of experience in the workplace learning and development field, Lori is a North Carolina Master Trainer, certified Synchronous Learning Expert, and was named a 2009 Library Journal “Mover & Shaker.”

Paul Signorelli has more than 20 years of experience as a learning leader for libraries and other organizations and businesses. As Director of Staff Training (six years) and Volunteer Services (14 years) for the San Francisco Public Library system, he created, implemented, and managed numerous training plans. He continues to serve as a writertraineronsite and online presenter, and consultant for a variety of organizations and remains active in the American Library Association (designing and facilitating online courses through ALA Editions); in the Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD, the American Society for Training & Development); and with the New Media Consortium, where he serves as an advisory board/expert panel member for Horizon Project reports exploring educational technology trends, challenges, and developments and as a senior contributor to the NMC blog exploring innovations in educational technology. He can be reached at, through his website (, and through his Building Creative Bridges blog.


"Librarianship is a career that requires lifelong learning. This book discusses the role of the trainer as internal consultant and change agent ... the authors talk about their own situations and share the comments of their counterparts."

"Through extensive interviews with successful trainers, the authors weave a combination of stories and strategies with useful tips and valuable insights ... a book full of excellent advice, well organized, and worth the read."
--Colorado Libraries

"Understanding how to accomplish a task is best learned by visiting with and learning from experienced individuals. Lori Reed and Paul Signorelli use the knowledge and experiences of their colleagues as the foundation for their handbook on how best to conduct staff training and development within various library settings as well as in nonprofit organizations in general. Both authors have served as training professionals in public libraries, and much of this book’s substance stems from their own experiences in managing the seemingly endless array of training functions happening in libraries across the country ... the concepts can be easily translated for successful use in an academic library setting and even in organizations other than libraries."
--Reference & User Services Quarterly

"Introduces a thoroughly modern 21st century approach to and goes beyond anything currently on offer ... a very readable synthesis of work, play and learning and a great source of new ideas and new interpretations of old ideas in the training field. Do we need yet another book on workplace training? Yes, we do, and it is this one."
--Australian Library Journal

"This book is for any organization serious about nurturing its workforce in training,coaching, mentoring or encouraging staff to deliver programs to their best potential."

"Lori Reed and Paul Signorelli have put together a very usable piece of work aimed at defining and exploring the concept of trainer-teacher-learners within librarianship."
--Journal of Hospital Librarianship

"Recommended for individuals who must improve their training skills and for those who are tasked with developing, implementing, and sustaining training programs."
--Internet Reference Services Quarterly

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