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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany. Management and Budget Division / The America Houses, a study of the U.S. Information Center in Germany
(1953)

IV. B. Program operations,   pp. 122-124 PDF (1.3 MB)


Page 124


Practically every America House director has emphasized the need for
in-service training of personnel. This is not surprising. The America
House type of operation is unique in Germany. Regardless of the native
ability, formal education, and experience of the German staff members,
they could not possibly be properly equipped to do the job expected of
them. They must learn as they do their work. Pious hope is not enough
to guarantee that they will learn the correct way. The America House
directors cannot be expected to handle in-service training alone --
most directors are the first to say that they, themselves, need in-
service training.
The three areas in which in-service training is most needed are
library, program direction, and audio-visual aids. Only 25 per cent of
the librarians have had formal library training. Even those who have
had this training cannot be expected to achieve the results hoped for
until they have hd the benefit of insight into the American philosopkV
and technique of providing services and of supporting broad program
activities.
There are, of course, other implications, but the fact that the rate
of monthly book circulation in the libraries ranges from a low of 18 per
cent up to 67 per cent of the collections indicates extreme poles which
greater personnel effectiveness could bring closer. A related condition
is found in the amount of manpowr utilized to generate book circulation.
The monthly man hours consmed among the Houses to circulate a thousand
books range from a low of 63 to a high of 421.
While not so dramatically indicated, the need for traiing of pro-
gram directors is as grat. In no other way can they be exected to
beca   indoctrinated with the objectives and methods of the Public Affairs
program. The Findings section likewise discloses many situations of
both program anTR1ecical shortcomings in the audio-visual aids program
which can be remedied by training.
Guidance from Headquarters and Regional Offices
The one consistent request made by the directors as the America
House program was discussed was more counsel, guidance, and visits from
the staff of headquarters and the regional offices. The two best means
of meeting this desire are through participation in program planning
and in in-service training.
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