Basic Skill Levels for New Technology - Library Information System Technical Expertise Basic Guidelines

PSAG-PS developed the following guidelines in response to the fact that familiarity with the Library Information System technology varies from public service point to public service point. PSSC reviewed the guidelines at its 2/26/96 meeting and recommend ed that they be sent to public service unit heads for comment. These guidelines were finalized in April 1996.

It is hoped that these guidelines will help establish a consistent, minimum level of ability throughout the library system, although it is understood that units will need to establish local variations as appropriate.


In order to assure that library users receive a consistent level of technical assistance in using the Library Information System via the networked PCs, PSAG-PS recommends that all staff at public service points (e.g., circulation and reference) with ac cess to the Library Information System should have the basic technical skills listed here. A list of training resources is also provided.

There are three caveats:

  1. Minimum search strategy skills and skills related to the content of a given resource are outside the scope of this document, which focuses on technical assistance skills. Units may want to have discussions on these issues and set their own standards.
  2. Units may wish to require higher levels of technical skills for staff.
  3. As always, staffing levels may limit or enhance a unit's capacity to offer different levels of assistance. For example, a unit whose evening service staff comprises one staff member at the circulation desk may not be able to demonstrate how to open a n icon. Alternatively, a unit whose daytime service staff comprises several staff members may be able to demonstrate many features of the System.
Each unit has the discretion to decide whether or not these guidelines should aply to student staff.

All public service staff in units with access to the Library Information System should be able to:

  1. Open and close every application including CD-ROM applications.
  2. Download files: Follow/point to Library Information System Signs (available from Library Graphics Office) to open capture buffers for Gladis/Melvyl/NRLF/Socrates, i.e., host presenter sessions.
  3. Format diskettes: Follow/point to Library Information System Signs (available from Library Graphics Office).
  4. Locate CD-ROM and GLADIS/MELVYL documentation that is available within the home unit.
  5. Navigate the CD-ROM Network:
  6. Navigate the Web:
  7. Navigate InfoLib:

Training Resources
The following resources provide information on the mechanics of using the features of the Library Information System:

For Netscape and WWW Help:

Staff should call or email the HelpDesk when there are problems with the hardware, operating system (Windows) software or menu (SabreWare) software.

Staff should not refer patrons to the Systems HelpDesk, nor ask the HelpDesk questions about appropriate or basic use.

Staff questions about use of a particular application must be referred to knowledgeable users, which may include PC Experts, reference staff, or colleagues (in absence of a staff training and consulting service such as ISIS formerly provided).

Patrons with questions about non-library resources, such as email, should be referred to Workstation Support Services (IS&T) Labs and consultants.

Patrons with questions about CD-ROM applications should be referred to the owning unit of that particular CD-ROM or to the Web documentation for that resource.

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