SJPL Database Delight Training

About this Project

About This Project

This blog has been created by the Electronic Resources Team to encourage all San José Public Library staff to engage in self-paced training and experience each of our databases. The objectives of this program are to:

  • engage all library staff with our digital branch, including our databases
  • encourage staff for taking the initiative to complete the entire 13-Week Databases Delight training
  • provide the best possible customer service with these excellent resources

This is a self-discovery program which encourages staff to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and play with the resources.  Each of the 13 weeks there will be a different database featured.  A new post will be added to the blog with a description of that database, as well as a few sample questions to try to answer with that resource.  By digging into the resource and tackling sample questions, you’ll learn a lot!  There will be no classes or workshops offered to support this program. Instead, staff are encouraged to work together and share with each other their discoveries, techniques and ideas through the comments section of the blog posts for each week, and with each other through other face-to-face or electronic means.

Databases Delight utilizes the Learning 2.0 model, popularized by Helene Blowers.

Each week, follow these 5 easy steps to participate:

  1. Go to the main page of the Database Delight blog each Monday morning to review the post with information about the Database of the Week.  If you sign up for email or RSS notifications (which you can do in the right sidebar), you’ll get an alert reminding you of the new database each week.
  2. Read the entry about the Database of the Week and look at the sample questions.
  3. Then go to the SJPL Articles & Databases page to access the Database of the Week and look for the answers to the sample questions, or if you have your own questions from customers or from yourself, feel free to use those too!  Take some time to look around and see what else is there, and get comfortable with the database’s interface, search features, and contents.
  4. Go back to the Database Delight blog entry for that week and add a comment with your name and unit or branch, as well as any comments, questions, suggestions, or ideas you have about the database.  Feel free to let us know what you think about the resource, including if there are questions you think the resource should answer but doesn’t, or features you wish it had, or problems you had navigating around–anything!
  5. Submit your raffle entry for participating this week by going to the Flickr catalog of incentives and going to the page of the item you want to bid on.  Then just submit a comment with your name & the week you completed (e.g. “Lex Luthor, Week 2”) in the comments section on that item’s page. If you complete the entire program, you get an extra 5 entries to submit wherever you choose.
  6. You have from the Thursday the week starts until the following Sunday (10 days) to complete each week’s assignment and bid on the prize.  In order to count, bids must be made during the official week you completed the assignment for.   Below is a table of the start dates & due dates for each week.
Week Start Date Due Date
1 Thursday, April 1 Sunday, April 10
2 Thursday, April 8 Sunday, April 17
3 Thursday, April 15 Sunday, April 24
4 Thursday, April 22 Sunday, May 1
5 Thursday, April 29 Sunday, May 8
6 Thursday, May 6 Sunday, May 15
7 Thursday, May 13 Sunday, May 22
8 Thursday, May 20 Sunday, May 29
9 Thursday, May 27 Sunday, June 5
10 Thursday, June 3 Sunday, June 12
11 Thursday, June 10 Sunday, June 19
12 Thursday, June 17 Sunday, June 26
13 Thursday, June 24 Sunday, July 3

The 13 Delightful Databases

1. EBSCOhost Research Databases

2. World Book Student

3. SkillsCenter Resource Library

4. CustomGuide Online Software Training

5. Learning Express

6. Biography Reference Center

7. San Jose Mercury News SJPL

8  Sanborn Maps

9. Literary Reference Center

10. Consumer Health Complete

11. Novelist Plus

12. Rich’s Online Directory

13. Reference USA

The Incentives

  • Individual Incentives: Over 40 different Prizes or Prize Packs, as seen on the Flickr catalog of incentives.
  • Group “Database Awesomeness” Incentive: Pizza Party for entire branch or unit

As an incentive for participating in the San Jose Public Library’s Staff Databases Delight Training program, you have the chance to bid on one or more of these awesome prize packs!

You can win prize packs with names like the “No More Pirated Music Card,”The World and Local Travelers Pack,” “Cat Lovers Unite!,” the “Relax and Pamper Yourself Pack,” and the “Search Engine Love Triangle Prize Pack.”  And tons more!

In addition, there is a final “Database Awesomeness” incentive for the branch or unit with the highest percentage of participation and completion among all staff.  That branch or unit will win a pizza party…complete with side orders & beverages (because what’s pizza without fizzy drinks?).

Who Donated All of This?

Donations for Incentives were graciously made by the following SJPL staff members:

  • Ruth Barefoot
  • Adrian Barrientos
  • Kary Bloom
  • Joan Bowlby
  • Pam Crider
  • Carol daSilva
  • Gayle Davis
  • Brian Fowler
  • Sarah Houghton-Jan
  • Jane Light
  • Bianca McCauley
  • Tim Reif
  • Trina Richbourg
  • Sandra Stewart
  • Mana Tominaga
  • Molly Westmoreland
  • Gordon Yusko
  • and, of course, the ubiquitous Anonymous

The “Database Awesomeness” Pizza Party for the winning branch or unit is courtesy of the library.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are databases?

The Library Databases are the set of subscription online resources that we provide for our customers to use.  You can see a complete list on our public website under SJPL Articles & Databases.  Some of them are collections of periodical articles, others include book recommendations, while others have health information.  Databases are also sometimes known as electronic resources, eResources, online subscriptions, and many other names, none of which is very descriptive.

Is this program open to all SJPL staff or just some?
This program is open to ALL SJPL staff regardless of position and status (full and part time).

How long do I have to complete the program?
The program kicks off on April Fool’s Day–Thursday, April 1st, 2010 and officially wraps up 13 weeks later on Thursday, July 1st, 2010.  Each week that staff complete the program they will be eligible to enter into the raffle for the item of their choice.  The work for each week must be completed during that week.

How do I track my progress for Databases Delight?
Each staff member that chooses to participate in this program should keep track of weekly participation, and enter the raffles accordingly.  Branch & Unit Managers will be asked to compile a list of how many staff participated in the program, and for how many weeks.

How does the raffle work?

For every week you complete the training, you can throw in one raffle entry for the item of your choice.  If you complete the entire training series you’ll get 5 (count ‘em—5!) bonus entries to place wherever you wish (good for those last minute ballot box stuffing moments).

How do I enter the raffle for each week?

Just enter your name and the week you completed, e.g. “Lex Luthor, Week 2” in the comments section of the photo page for the item you want to win.  Please enter this during the Week you participated.

How do you choose a winner?

A random winner will be chosen from everyone that bids on a particular item.  An online randomizer (Random Number Generator) will be used to select the number of the comment that is the winner.  In the case of the three items with more than one available (blue USB drives, green USB drives, and Camera Cinema gift cards), we’ll choose a winner for each separate item from the pool of bidders.

How do I get a good idea of what incentives are available?

Browse through the diverse amount of items available on the Library’s Flickr site.  We’ve set up a Set of photos specifically for the raffle.  Read the comically amusing descriptions, laugh out loud (its own reward really), and make notes of which items you want to bid on.

What bidding rules are there?

Multiple bids on one item are allowed, and if any item receives no bids, then we will randomly select one of you lovely training participants to receive that poor, unwanted gift!  Individuals may potentially win the raffle on more than one prize.

If I’m not a SJPL staff member, can I still participate?
Yes, please do!  We welcome participants from other libraries to join in the learning process and follow along, especially if you share in the EBSCO suite of public library databases.  You will need access to the actual databases to participate, so staff from EBSCO libraries or library-card-holders of EBSCO libraries will find this program most helpful.  Remember, however, that the raffle incentives and pizza party are for SJPL staff.

Will there be any training classes offered to show staff how to do this?
No, this is a self-directed learning program. If you feel you need assistance with a particular question or database, you are encouraged to ask your co-worker librarians at your unit or branch, who are a fabulous resource.

I’ve seen the list of the 13 Databases on the website, but what do I do next?
Each week, a new blog post will be added to the Database Delight blog with details about the featured database and discovery exercises for that week. This week-by-week approach allows participants to focus each week on a different database without feeling overwhelmed by the whole list.

What if I need help?
Since this program is self-directed and is being completed by many staff members throughout the system simultaneously, you are encouraged to work with colleagues along your discovery journey.  Technical questions can be directed to Digital Futures Manager Sarah Houghton-Jan.

When will the raffle drawings take place?
The drawings for the raffle incentives will take place the week of June 14th, after the last week’s work is completed. In order to get the full credit for your participation, make sure you have entered for all of your eligible weeks (plus the extra 5 for completing the whole class) by the end of the day on June 14th.

Have a question not answered above?

Enter your question into the comments form below.

21 Responses to "About this Project"

[...] Database Delight Training About Database Delight Home About This Project The 13 Delightful Databases The Incentives Who Donated All of This? Frequently Asked [...]

[...] If you want to learn more about how it works and what we’re doing, check out our “About this Project” page. [...]

Great idea

This is great! I enjoyed the option of listening to articles in “Science News For Kids”. You can choose to listen to an American, British or Australian accent!

I posted earlier, but I guess things changed, so I’m posting again. I think that the database review program is a great idea. If I were to make a suggestion, we should make it a regular program. It would keep us all up to date and well practiced. It does not have to be weekly, but a monthly review of a spotlight database would keep us all up to date.

Database Delight is a great idea.

I wish that I had read this page first instead of the first week’s blog because it now makes more sense.

Excellent idea! Self-guided training is easier to fit in around my workflow than a class. Looking forward to better understanding what’s in all of these databases and I agree with Orest’s comment above.

The database is really useful, and it is what students need.

What if we’re away on vacation for one of the weeks?

[...] 13 weeks, we’ll look at 13 databases. Yes, your math is correct! That’s one per week. All staff are invited to participate in this [...]

I had a difficult time with this website. The link told me to go to SJPL articles and database, and when I clicked on to it, I was expecting the EBSCO site. It didn’t come. I didn’t know what to do next, so I typed a topic under search the database but this query yielded thousands of entries, not at all related to my topic.

Although I work for the library, I’m not a librarian. So from an employee standpoint, I wanted to take the survey, but got held up from the very beginning.

This is a great idea. I have tried to get a staff development programme going on our databases for the last couple of years, but it has always ground to a halt because I ran out of time to do the prep. This is much simpler and the opportunity for comments on a blog will help part time staff and lone workers on other sites feel more involved.

I just wish I’d got to my rss feed a bit earlier to give me time to set everything up for the start of the summer term on Monday!

PS I have great memories of San Jose from coming to a choir festival a few years ago.

The Database with all the information is very useful. Great idea.

Much easier than I expected. With so many possibilities, I only wish I had a better imagination!

A very simple and useful tool. Very direct.

friendly UI, so helpful. Great !!!!

I am glad to be a part of Database Delight. Thank you!

This training is awesome!

a refresher once in a while would be a great way to brush up our knowledge using databases.

Some of the staff at EN were wondering if, once they finish week 13, they can make the additional 5 bids or do they have to wait for someone to tell them it’s okay to do so?

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