Digital Staff Trainings Tools for Rural Public Libraries in Georgia: Challenges, Trends, and Recommendations
For many public libraries, particularly those in rural areas, a lack of funding, staff time, and distance from training locations create barriers to providing training and development to their staff. While stud-ies exist on issues facing rural libraries and on the use of digital training tools in libraries, few studies have combined the two topics. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of digital staff training methods at rural public libraries and includes describing the formats and content of that training. The sampling method will target library administrators and trainers, reached through Georgia Public Library Service’s listservs for staff in these roles. Data was collected by means of an online survey consisting of multiple choice and open-ended questions, and was analyzed by content analysis according to themes revealed in an exploration of current literature. Responses to certain questions were categorized in ta-bles, and results were reported in a narrative describing themes and patterns that emerged from the da-ta. The results of the study will assist rural public library directors, training staff, and trustees in explor-ing the ways that digital training can be used to improve their services to patrons by providing staff with training and education opportunities that are otherwise restricted or unavailable due to distance, time, and financial constraints.