Alexis M Waide

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MRG: Staff Development

These sources are for my ongoing Management Resource Guide (MRG) project for LIS 2700. The eighth topic is staff development.

Staff development was a more difficult topic to find relevant journal articles, especially in the professional management journals, surprisingly, thus my library journal article focuses on staff development and my management journal article focuses on change management.  Interestingly enough, staff development and change management are my dad’s areas of expertise but it’s not something I know a lot about, at least not in an academic sense.  Through him I’ve gained a more intuitive sense of these subject areas but it was helpful to read some scholarly literature about it.

Book chapter
Gordon, R.S. (2005). Managing Change. The Accidental Library Manager. (pp.183-201). Medford, New Jersey: Information Today, Inc.

Professional library journal article

Zauha, J. & Potter, G. (2009). Out west and down under: New geographies for staff development. Library Management, 30(8/9), 549-560.

This article was helpful because it looks at staff development strategies at two different university libraries of drastically different sizes in terms of collection, population served, and staff size.  The two universities are Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, and Montana State in Bozeman, MT.  Both libraries are dealing with different issues but here are some of the main points that emerged for me:

  • Evaluating key competencies so staff knows which skills are important and need to be updated periodically.
  • Creating a workforce plan aligned with the strategic plan.  In this case, it was Victoria University Library thus their plan was aligned with the University’s strategic plan but it included some initiatives relevant to all libraries such as structure, job titles and descriptions, recruitment, staff development, and cultural awareness.
  • Communication is absolutely, 100% critical.
  • Don’t segregate by departments, teams, or classified and faculty staff (or professional and paraprofessional staff in public libraries).  Everyone has something to learn, especially for multiple and/or diverging viewpoints.
  • Staff development plans and programs should always be guided by actual staff and organization needs.

Additional article:

Smith, S.D. & Galbraith, Q. (2011). Library Staff Development: How Book Clubs Can Be More Effective (and Less Expensive) than Traditional Trainings. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 18(2-3), 170-182. DOI: 10.1080/10691316.2011.577700

Professional management journal article

Jorgenson, H.H. (2009). Stop improvising change management! Strategy & Leadership, 37(2), 38-44.

This article presents a study of over 1500 organizations worldwide and how the handle change management.  The main takeaway for me is that change management works better when it happens in some kind of formalized way.  Consistency and structure seem to be the keywords for enacting successful change, and another important factor is having sponsorship from the management itself.  43% of projects with a professional change manager succeed while projects without one have 36% success rate.  A dedicated, professional change manager also will have greater success when using participatory leadership, i.e. empowering and delegating to subordinates within the organization will be more effective than the change manager making decisions on their own.

Library policies, procedures, and sites

  • Staff development plan workbook from the New Mexico State Library
  • Staff Development Committee from the University of Toronto Libraries.  Includes names and titles of staff involved, annual reports of the committee, and reports and summaries of different focus groups aiding in the planning process.
  • Staff Development and Engagement at the Albert S. Cook Library of Towson University.  Includes the highlights of the staff development plan and career/professional development.

Other resources


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  1. Pingback: Management Resource Guide: Introduction « Alexis Marlene Stapp

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