The level of technical expertise needed by your volunteer trainers depends on a number of factors, including the type of collection you’ll be working on, the type of processing you’ll be performing, and the amount of time you’ll have for pre-workshop training with these volunteers. Think this through fully prior to sending out your call for trainers — it’s important to communicate if you need people with years of film handling experience, content cataloging experience, or the ability to confidently and correctly identify many video formats. Beyond factors of technical knowledge, the best experience for this type of work is the ability to problem solve and think quickly on one’s feet. In many cases you may know the majority of your volunteer trainers from other professional or conference experiences — if this is the case, try to match people into small groups putting those trainers with the most technical and managerial experience with the trainers who might benefit from observing a more experienced person or having someone nearby to ask questions if needed.
[this may not be needed, just dumping it for the moment in this spot: If the workshop is done in conjunction with the AMIA conference, the AMIA-L list can be used. A ‘save the date’ should be posted at least two months ahead, as attendees may make their flight and lodging arrangements early. (Posting a ‘save the date’ prior to the deadline for early conference registration is a good idea.)
A month ahead of the conference, post again with specific sign-up information.]
Beyond being very communicative about the experience needed by your trainers, it is also important to convey your goals for the day very clearly to your potential volunteers so they can determine whether or not they will get something out of the experience, and also enjoy it! You are expecting your trainers to work with, teach, and essentially help you manage another group of volunteers. Be clear about this. Also, work out an idea of the workshop schedule and include that with your call for volunteers. Will you provide lunch? If so, be sure to check if your volunteers have any special dietary needs. If your workshop is being held in conjunction with a professional conference, keep in mind that many institutions require employees to plan our their travel many, many months in advance, so the announcement of the workshop should be early enough that people can plan to arrive a day early if necessary.
[link to sample call for volunteers]
[link to sample sign up sheets]