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Library & Information Technology (IT) Services

Marija Kopljar, Andrea Horic, and Davorka Granic, librarians from the University of Zagreb law and medical faculties, train at Sabre’s Cambridge offices.
Sabre initiated its Information Technology Workshops in mid-1998 with the goal of making professionals from newly democratic countries aware of the full variety of information sources available to them. With their emphasis on access to on-line sources of information, the training workshops are a perfect complement to Sabre’s book programs.

As ever-increasing amounts and types of informa-tion are available in electronic formats, it is essen-tial for trainees to be able to use these resources and evaluate their sources and content. Judging by the volume and type of inquiries about Sabre’s Training Workshops coming from countries in transition, people working at the grassroots level clearly recognize their need for accurate information resources and customized training.

Information Technology Workshops

On November 19, 1998, Sabre hosted an open house to introduce its Information Technology (IT) Training Center. Dr. Helena Pavic, president of Croatian partner Sabre-Zagreb, performed the ribbon-cutting. The celebration was an opportunity for guests to see the training room, which houses networked Pentium II computers linked to the Internet via a dedicated leased line. Over the course of 1998, trainees and interns from five countries worked closely with Sabre’s trainer on ways to integrate technology into their professional activities.

Sabre’s Training Expertise

Sabre’s full-time staff includes a trainer who also holds a Master’s in Library Science. By keeping abreast of technological changes and industry trends in the information sciences, the Librarian/Trainer ensures that the workshops reflect the latest developments in information resources. As needed, specialized training consultants are drawn from the larger New England educational community. The training team also includes a Marketing and Training Coordinator, who works with the Librarian/Trainer to ensure that participants’ needs are met both before they arrive and during their stay.

Sabre warehouse supervisor Rafael Morales (left) gives Sabre intern Jigjidsuren Nanjidjamts a tour of the Clinton warehouse.
Sabre’s staff trains participants in the use of Internet-related tools, including e-mail and electronic information sources such as CD-ROMs. Sabre’s in-depth knowledge of information resources allows the team to assess each participant’s skills and create a customized program of Internet-related training. The trainers draw on information provided by Sabre’s network of overseas partners to understand the issues most relevant to trainees, including specific infrastructure issues in each country and region. The flexible nature of the workshops allows the trainers to accommodate various learning styles and match the pace of training to the trainees’ skill level.

Site visits with professional counterparts in the Boston area are another important aspect of the training program. The site visits give trainees the opportunity to see for themselves how technology is integrated into a democratic and market-based system. In addition, participants make contacts that may lead to collaborative projects or further training and educational opportunities.

The Sabre training staff is available not only throughout the training period, but also by e-mail to respond to issues that participants may face subsequently. Sabre provides a variety of follow-on services, including donations of appropriate technical books. In countries where the Foundation has an ongoing program, these donations can be sizable.

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