What is GLEAN?
GLEAN, the Georgia Library Education Access Network, is a core component of Georgia Public Library Service’s continuing education and training program. It serves as a one-stop shop for library staff members to gain access to premium online resources to support their learning and development goals. The core platform of GLEAN is the cloud-based Skillport learning management system.
What is a learning management system?
First and foremost, GLEAN is a learning management system (LMS), so as a learner, you can browse and search for content to meet your learning goals, whether that is reinforcing core competencies, learning new skills, or grooming yourself to make the next step in your career. The system allows you to take learning at your leisure – stopping and starting as you see fit. It also allows you to customize your own learning plan to support any goals that you set for yourself, as well as gives you a complete history of your learning.
With GLEAN being a fully-functional LMS, it can also be used by individual public library systems as an in-house LMS, allowing a library system to manage many aspects of the library’s training function, such as class registrations and rosters, assigning mandatory courses to employees, running training reports, tracking training evaluations, etc.
What content can I expect to find in GLEAN?
The content in the GLEAN catalog consists of the following:
Skill Choice Complete Courseware Library: 3,000+ self-paced courses supporting business, desktop, and IT skills. This library also contains complete curricula to prepare you for leading certification exams, such as the Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Project Management Professional (PMP), and myriad Microsoft certifications to name a few.
Books 24×7: 22,000+ online books covering a range of topics related to business, desktop, and IT skills. The Books 24×7 platform has optimization for mobile viewing and with its supplemental collection of hundreds of DRM-free audio books and videos you can take your learning on the go.
inGenius: This social networking utility allows GLEAN users to rate/recommend content in the system’s catalog, leave comments, or engage each other in discussion about courses, books, videos, etc. inGenius activity is only viewable by GLEAN users.
Content just for libraries: GPLS’s director of continuing education works with library training providers and other state library agencies to aggregate content, such as webinar archives and self-paced courses, into the GLEAN catalog. The overarching goal is to bring relevant learning content for libraries into one system and make it discoverable to GLEAN users in a unified catalog.
Lynda.com: This intuitive, online portal gives learners access to more than 2,000 courses and 100,000 videos on a broad range of subjects, including business skills, photography, design, music and video, home computing, animation, and web design and development. Users with active GLEAN accounts can request access to Lynda.com. We do not provide access to Lynda.com as a standalone service.
As an ever-evolving learning portal, content and services may continually be added into the system. While we strive to make all content discoverable in a unified catalog, there are technical constraints that sometimes make this impossible. In such situations, the additional services (such as Lynda.com) will be linked from the GLEAN homepage.
Which GLEAN resources count for contact hours toward librarian certification renewal?
Many items in GLEAN count for CE hours for certification renewal. The items in the GLEAN catalog (georgialibraries.skillport.com) that count for CE hours are:
- Courses in the Course Curricula folder
- Classes you may have attended that are in the GPLS folder of the Instructor Led Training folder
- Online Courses and Webinar Archives in the Just for Libraries folder
Also, any course (not individual videos) you complete on Lynda.com count for contact hours. Finally, webinars listed on the GPLS CE calendar (http://georgialibraries.org/events/ce_calendar) count for CE hours.
Who is eligible to access GLEAN?
GLEAN is primarily intended for the staffs of Georgia’s public libraries. However, as the number of our access licenses permit, GLEAN will be open to:
- Employees of Georgia’s public library systems
- Employees of academic libraries that serve Georgia’s public, not-for-profit colleges and universities
- Employees of K-12 public school libraries in Georgia
- Employees of GALILEO
- Retired directors of Georgia’s public libraries
- MLIS students at Valdosta State University
Due to the tremendous demand for GLEAN and the finite number of licenses available, GPLS may have to limit or suspend requests for new accounts.
Why did GPLS implement GLEAN?
Georgia became a Webjunction partner state in 2008, and through this partnership, GPLS was able to introduce e-learning to libraries statewide. While we are grateful for Webjunction’s assistance in helping to establish e-learning as a viable means of staff training and continuing education in Georgia, we felt that we were ready to take our online CE and training program to new levels. Particularly, we were interested in:
- Providing a wider range of learning content so that library staff of varying skill levels could find relevant CE resources to reinforce core skills and develop new ones.
- Gaining full administrative control over an LMS so that GPLS could better manage its statewide CE and training program.
- Extending LMS functionality to individual library systems at no cost, saving these organizations tens of thousands of dollars and increasing efficiencies in their training functions.
- Establishing a platform that allows for increased communication, collaboration, and social learning within and between libraries.
- Allowing learners to carry their complete learning history with them if they moved from one library system in Georgia to another.
How are you paying for it?
GLEAN is brought to library staff members by Georgia Public Library Service with funding made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.