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Falkirk Council


How can I make a Learning Resource Centre more attractive to employees? We want to increase the use of this centre by encouraging more people to make use of the resources.

Has anyone got any ideas apart from mass emails and company bulletins?

Thanks in advance.

Orla Vernon

11 Responses

  1. Learning Centre

    Why not use the personal touch with learning and development officers doing mini presentations to staff as to what is on offer and how they can benefit (the what’s in it for me syndrome).

    You could also offer taster sessions so that employees can go along and see if they like what is on offer.

    Sandra Beale

  2. Answer the “what’s in it for me?” question
    Mass emails and company bulletins do not make learning resource centres more attractive.

    They DO make the existence of LRCs potentially more widely known.

    Picking up on sandra’s suggestions, as well as doing a “this is what we’ve got” presentation, find out what people’s personal development wishes are by asking them, and find out what their professional development needs are by asking their managers. Provide some of the answers to the “what’s in it for me” question.

    What opportunities exist for some kind of incentive, if not financial, what about points or “air miles” type schemes, or links to qualifications etc?

  3. Union Learning Reps Key to Successful Learning Centres
    Use your Union Learning Reps to promote the Centre.

    Union Learning Reps are trained to help and support colleagues who want to learn. They also promote learning within the organisation and are highly beneficial to company training departments.

    Contact your organisation’s recognised trade union for more information or look at the TUC website:

  4. Learning Resource Centres
    Firstly, try visiting other centres to spot good (and bad) approaches. In Falkirk you might try the CSA centre (situated on the Callendar Business Park). And for creative marketing you will be hard pressed to beat NHS Scotland’s approach.
    One classic tactic is to provide language tapes, books and packages. People typically use these prior to going on holiday but before you know it they will be using the learning centre for other, work-related things too. It is a relatively cheap way that seems to have worked in many organisations.
    Finally, think about the whole experience – from marketing and finding out what is on offer, through to signage, the look and feel of the facility, the quality and easy of access of the materials, and the support on offer. Sustained success relies on getting every link in the chain right.
    The best marketing comes from good personal experiences and from word of mouth. I wonder if someone might be encouraged to write an article for the office magazine about their experience – this is more personal than a bulletin. Or how about an open day (maybe inviting different people on different days to avoid being swamped).
    I hope this helps. Good luck!

  5. Have users do the promoting
    Ask each person who uses a resource to report one skill or benefit they received from the item then list those with the items. When it is clear that there are specific, practical benefits to the resources they become more attactive. You could also post that information on a company web site or physical bulletin board.

  6. make it a ‘want to do thing’

    I suspect that you will have a hugely diverse employee base, so you need to encourage everyone to just take a look – that’s probably the biggest hurdle. Cheap and cheerful holiday language CD’s are a good idea as already mentioned, also basic IT workbooks, even good autobiographies and hobby books can do the trick. Another thing on the noticeboard theme – try and buy in one or two new items each month and do a ‘new to the library’ poster.

    Have you tried a lunchtime or breakfast club?

    Welcome to give me a call – 01884 821870 – ask for Jacquie

  7. Something for free
    If you offer something (eg. Food or drink) you will be inundated with attendees. Continue this for a few months and then gradually taper it down (unless your budget can stand it).

  8. sell them the benefit?
    Hello Orla
    I wonder if you it would be possible for you to sell your collaegues the benefit of visiting the centre in some way. Could they be asked to pick something up from your area (perhaps a form that they will need as part of their appraisal or perhaps the training calendar to discuss with their line manager their future training needs)? That way it is in THEIR INTEREST to visit and to talk to you, giving you the chance to extoll the virtues of what you offer!
    Best of luck

  9. Ask the users.
    These comments suggest ways to try to trick or coerce people into using something that they don’t want.
    This will cause you to expend a great deal of energy with little result.

    Another answer is to put into the learning resource centre learning resources that the employees want to use.

    To find out what those resources are you will have to ask the employees.

    Nobody else can tell you what they want.

  10. Deeper Than Marketing
    I’ve been working with learning centres now for 11 years, with four of those spent supporting a large network within one of the major banks.

    Speaking honestly, I’ve never found that marketing per se has been the key to a successful learning resource centre. Marketing takes up time and budget with only short term results.

    As others have suggested, I’ve always believed that it’s the courses you offer the should “sell themselves”. If the content is aligned to the explicit needs of your people and the Council’s goals, then uptake will be facilitated. And from my own and others’ experience, offering “nice to have” (pesonal) resources, such as language courses, only had very short term benefit, unless the rest of the content was explicitly relevant to the staff.

    You also need to ensure that the learning centre is truly integrated into the training strategy and seen as one of the core delivery channels, alongside instructor-led training, etc.

    I used to run a one-day workshop entitled “Maximising the Use of Your Learning Resource Centre”. There was just a short session in the afternoon on marketing…most of the day was spent exploring other much deeper issues.

  11. try Bluegoose!
    We have worked with a creative communications agency called Bluegoose on employee engagement projects and can’t recommend them enough. Really enjoyable to work with and they have some great and practical ideas for communication issues. Their website is and Chris barrington is the man to speak to…good luck


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