Managers of in-company Learning Resource Centres are often faced with two problems – how do I promote the service to staff? And how do I keep track of resources when they’re borrowed?
The answer to both questions is STAR – a learning resource centre management tool produced by Open Mind, the UK’s largest distributor of learning resources.
STAR allows an organisation to display on its intranet a catalogue of resources, which staff can search by criteria such as competency, behaviour, topic, title or medium. They can view product descriptions and comments by other users, create a shortlist or click on an icon to send a loan request to the administrator.
Using STAR, the administrator can process the loan, either booking the title out to the user or placing them on a waiting list. They can then track the resource, see when it’s overdue, send standard email reminders and also produce regular reports on usage and activity.
Alun Harvey, managing director of Open Mind, explained: “STAR is a combination of a shop window for the learning centre and a stock control system.
“At its heart is an intranet-based catalogue of the client’s learning resources. This is either provided by the client or developed for them by Open Mind, matching the resources to the client’s competency framework.”
“Our clients have found STAR to be particularly helpful where companies are merging,” said Harvey. “It enables the various learning centres to be efficiently amalgamated and harmonised within the new organisation – as well as easily identifying any gaps in learning resources relating to the new organisation’s competency framework.”
Clients also like the fact that they can buy the system outright, with no annual licence fees or ‘per user’ charges, and the catalogue is easily maintained and updated in-house by the administrator. The system can also be hosted externally if required.
For further details, contact Alun Harvey at Open Mind on 01491 411061 or alun[.]openmind-learning.co.uk
Notes for Editors:
The STAR system allows an organisation to display across its intranet a Directory of the Learning Resources available in its Learning Centre.
Users register themselves on the system, search for resources online via a number of criteria, create a shortlist and communicate with an Administrator to: request specific learning resources; put themselves on a waiting list if the resource is already on loan, or ask for further information.
The Administrator manages the system:
• processing loans - receiving requests, issuing resources, managing the waiting list, monitoring overdue items and sending out reminder emails.
• managing resources - adding new items, entering or editing details, indexing search criteria.
• managing users - defining user banding, nominating line managers, appointing departmental administrators, communicating via email and maintaining the noticeboard.
• producing reports - on users by department, most popular topics and titles, users on waiting lists, overdue resources and so on.
The system contains the client’s Directory of Resources. If required, Open Mind can build the client’s Directory of Resources, write product descriptions and index each resource against the client’s Competencies, Behaviours, Job Roles, Topics or other headings. Fees for this service are agreed separately.
STAR is supplied for outright purchase by the client at a basic price of £6,500 + VAT, with no annual licences and no additional charges for larger numbers of users. However, customising is available to suit individual client’s requirements.
STAR is easy to install on a corporate intranet or can be hosted externally, if preferred, for a monthly fee.
About Open Mind
Formed in 1991, Open Mind distributes and develops resources to help organisations to develop their people. As such, it provides customers with broad access to over 10,000 learning resources in all forms of delivery media and is frequently referred to by customers as the ‘Trainers’ Toyshop’.
These resources include:
• CD-ROMs & DVDs
• Online learning
• Audio tapes & CDs
• Games & activities
Topics covered include:
• Information technology
Open Mind also offers:
• Free independent advice on
• Selecting from over 10,000 titles from 100 publishers - in all media – on any business topic
• Selecting appropriate resources to fit clients’ budgets
• A free Preview Centre facility
• Practical help with establishing – or re-launching - managing and marketing a Learning Resource Centre (LRC)
• The STAR intranet-based Learning Centre Management System to manage LRCs
• An online directory of resources, allowing users to search and view on-screen details of over 5,500 titles on 200 topics from more than 100 publishers – and purchase securely online.