In today’s rapidly changing information landscape, continual learning is essential for information professionals. Not only do librarians need to know what is available and how to find it, it’s important to also understand how to administer new search interfaces and library services platforms. With most library staff juggling multiple responsibilities, employees move from task to task throughout the workday, making the prioritization of their skills development more difficult. This is especially true if there are limited options to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.  

In early 2020, EBSCO Information Services’ Customer Training Services launched an initiative to enhance the learning experience for customers who use EBSCO products and services. Later that year, we launched EBSCO Academy, an online learning environment connected to our product support site, EBSCO Connect. When we began planning EBSCO Academy, we wanted to ensure we were executing on the needs of our customers. We conducted an assessment to survey our customers’ needs and understand their priorities. What we found ranged from providing the opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge of products and services, to tips on integrating resources and how to promote them to their library users, as well as providing awareness of new features or services that have not yet been released. Most customers responded that they wanted this to be provided through self-paced, video learning paths in addition to the already valued access to instructor-led courses and recordings.  

The self-paced, video learning paths –– now called eLearning Paths –– are structured to provide guided instruction. For example, the path for EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS) begins with a general introduction to EDS, then walks the viewer through a user’s search experience, exploring navigation and access points, and providing an overview working with the search results. Another video provides an overview on administration and usage reports with EBSCOadmin. This course is designed to onboard new library staff members, giving them a strong foundational knowledge of the administrative functionality underlying their EBSCO resources

With most library staff juggling multiple responsibilities employees move from task to task throughout the workday, making the prioritization of their skills development more difficult. This is especially true if there are limited options to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.

But what we found is that our customers did not just want a solid course structure. They needed the courses we offered to be flexible and easy to access. To meet those needs, we designed learning paths that customers can personalize to meet specific goals. Our eLearning Paths allow users to start a course wherever needed, then allows them to move to a new section within that same course or continue to a new course. This allows customers to control and customize their learning experience. After completing all required course activities within a path, customers earn a micro-credential, attesting to the completion of their coursework. 

In addition to eLearning Paths, customers with an EBSCO Connect account can save progress, share videos via email or social, subscribe to content updates, as well as access registration for live, instructor-led courses and recorded training sessions.  

The goal of EBSCO Academy and EBSCO’s Training Services is to empower customers to increase their knowledge and benefit from the technologies necessary to succeed in using, promoting, and administering EBSCO products and services. We recently completed our first full year of EBSCO Academy and with more than 300 videos now available, we are pleased to have helped our customers learn more about the products and services they purchase from us.