The Maryland Library Partnership, a nonprofit cooperative of public libraries, and IsoDynamic, custom developers of dynamic e-learning courseware, announce the release of an e-learning course designed to improve customer service by library staff within the State of Maryland. “We are really developing a new generation of reference interview training” says Gail Griffith, deputy director at Carroll County Public Library and representative for the Maryland Library Partnership.

“We are breathing new life into a course that we have been giving and evolving over the last 20 years.” The e-learning course will be used as a critical piece of a blended learning experience that will also include classroom training. It will also be available as a stand-alone course to refresh the communications skills of all library staff. “The e-learning course will do a great job of teaching communication concepts and allowing students to practice via simulation in a low-risk environment. It will provide great preparation for the classroom training, where we can spend our time practicing and developing customer service and communication skills in live situations with real people.”

The course is a highly interactive and engaging experience that leverages online technologies, including games, simulations, and animations. Following introduction in Maryland, plans are to make it more widely available.

Maryland's public libraries serve about 2.5 million residents. They are known for innovative uses of technology to extend their services, and have pioneered the use of e-learning for library staff.