If you are working on a workshop or training session design, sometimes you might need some inspiration or a specific exercise that fits the goal of your sessions. The library of facilitation resources was created for this purpose in SessionLab, giving you the following opportunities under one roof:
- Browse hundreds of publicly available facilitation methods – add any of them your session plans
- Add your own best methods for yourself
- Set up a private library for your team
Briefly, a library resource is any element or module that might be useful when designing a session plan. The point of the library is to collect potentially useful and/or frequently used building blocks for your sessions, so can easily browse and add blocks from the library to your session plans.
Note that the structure of library resources is identical to the structure of blocks in your sessions. This brings the benefit that you can add any block from the library to your sessions and vice versa.
The functionality of the library works both with public and private resources, and you can find both types of content there. By default, if you open the library, you can find hundreds of reviewed public facilitation methods there. Additionally, if you want to use the library to build up your own private knowledge base, you can add resources yourself, too.
If you go the ‘All Methods’ view in the library, there you see all resources (i.e. facilitation methods) you have access to, meaning all public methods and also your private ones.
The publicly available content in the library is coming both from renowned organisations or content providers in the facilitation, design and training industries who approved their content to be featured in the SessionLab public library (e.g. Hyper Island, Thiagi Group, International Association of Facilitators, Liberating Structures, MediaLab Amsterdam, Gamestorming) and from individuals who submitted their own resources in the library and made them publicly visible.
All content you create in the library is private by default and you can only intentionally set a library resource’s visibility to ‘public’ if you want that resource to be available to all other visitors of the library. You can find here more description about how to change the visibility of a library resource between public and private.
Find here more description about how to change the visibility of a library resource from private to public.
There are two ways to add content to the library: either adding an already created session block to the library from one of your sessions, or creating a resource directly in the library. You can find some more illustration about how to build up your Personal or Team library.
Different views help you to navigate in the library:
- All Methods: Contains all resources you have access to, including the public and your own private ones (including your private team library as well, if you are member of a team)
- My favourites: Lists all resources that you marked as favourite
- Team libraries (optional): If you are member of a team in SessionLab, you also get access to a private library for the team
- IAF Methods: Library view dedicated to the Methods Database of the International Association of Facilitators.
- Methods I created: Contains all methods that you created both on your Personal and Team workspaces, regardless if they are private or public. If you want to build up your own private personal library in SessionLab, this is the view that will show all your methods.
Each library view has a dedicated address (URL), so you can save or bookmark the specific library view you want to open.
The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and SessionLab partnered up to provide the Methods Database of IAF on a new, modern platform, by the library functionality of SessionLab. Find out more about the cooperation at here.
Part of the IAF Methods Library is public (accessible from the web, and visible in the All Methods view), while the other part is accessible only if you are a member of IAF and you connected your IAF and SessionLab accounts.
If you want to find resources for a specific topic, then you might filter the library by the category of the resource, or search with more specific keyword or tags.
Firstly, you can narrow down the list by the either one of the seven default categories of resources: you can do it by clicking on any of the icons in the library header. For example, if you are looking for resources for a teambuilding session, then just click on the ‘Team’ icon that will show all resources tagged as ‘team’ resources in the library.
If you want to remove the category filter that you just applied, then click again on the same icon, and you will again see all resource in the library. Note that as long as you see any of the category icons with colours, it means that the category filter is currently being used, so you only see a subset of all the library resources.
If you want to search more specifically, then you might use the Search bar and the Filter options. The Search bar allows you to search for any keyword, and it will provide all the library resources that contain your keyword in their description. The Search feature currently searches in the following fields of the library resources: Title, Tags, Description, Additional information, Goals, Materials, Instructions.
In case you want to do an eve more specific search, you might use the extra filtering option. If you click on the Filter button, you will be to filter methods by their length (minimum and maximum time recommended for the exercise), the recommended number of participants and tags. So for example, if you want to find an exercise that takes less than 30 minutes of time to perform, suitable for 10 to 20 participants, related to teamwork (tag) and has something to do with towers (keyword), then you might use the following filters:
Please note, that search and filter will always happen in the view that you have open. So if you are in the All Methods view, then you will search among all resources available to you, while if you are for example in the ‘Methods I created view’, then you search only among the resources you created.
You can easily add a library resource to your session by clicking on the ‘Use’ button in the library card.
The ‘Use’ button is also available on the detailed library card as well:
When you clicked on ‘Use’, you can select the session you want to add this resource to, and then it will appear as a block in your session in the Notes area.
If you added a library resource to your session, then first you need to reload your session to see the freshly added block in the Notes section. In case you are navigating back from the library to your sessions, then the easiest is to go your ‘Recent’ view on your dashboard, where you will see the target session (where you added this block) as the most recently modified session.
If you find any resource in the library that you would like to save for later, then you can mark it as Favourite. The resources you mark as Favourite will be added to your ‘My favorites’ view, so you can develop your own collection of favourite methods this way.
The SessionLab library is not a static database, but a dynamic library that grows by your contribution: new methods, reviews and ratings you add. In fact, sharing your opinion about the various different facilitation methods in the library helps most to other users to understand how to use a certain resource in practice. Especially, if you have used a resource yourself, your recording your feedback is a big help to the community.
You can do it both by assigning a 1 to 5-star rating to the method (where 5 star means the best), or commenting on the method. Both the rating and commenting functionality is available at the bottom of the library cards: