In a previous post, Why it’s Important to Train Library Staff, I discussed why training is important from the perspective of front-line staff. Before the arrival of the pandemic, technology increasingly found its way into existing and new library services. The past year has seen major increases in the use of new technologies as libraries are providing most of their programs virtually. From the perspective of management is it still necessary to provide staff development opportunities? Do organizations that have training strategies do better at achieving their goals? Librarians in the field are increasingly responding to these questions and they are providing direct links between achieving organizational objectives and creating continuing professional development plans.
For this post, librarians are defined as any staff members who work in the field of library science.
In the blog post, Is Training Necessary for Librarians, Barbara Brand discusses the important question of whether training is imperative in the library field. As an independent library consultant, Barbara states that “for any organization to be effective, staff need to be skilled and competent. Technology is now vital to the role with new platforms, applications and trends emerging regularly.” For libraries to continue to provide in-demand new services, management must develop a deliberate strategy of continuing education that acknowledges training is essential for library staff.
Leo Appleton also argues that “for an organization to be effective and able to deliver its intended outcomes, its workforce needs to be skilled, competent and confident.” A continual development program is important for staff motivation, morale, recognition, career and team development. The Director of Library Services states that:
For an organization to be effective and able to deliver its intended outcomes, its workforce needs to be skilled, competent and confident. Also, the nature of libraries, across all sectors, means that they are subject to continual change, especially in today’s digital information environment.
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Not surprisingly, the continued need to invest in technology training is clear and the post, Tech Landscape & Libraries 2021, identifies what specific areas will be important for future staff development. When libraries transition back to in-person services, promotion of physical and digital collections and developing community-focused outreach and programming will be the key to re-introducing our services to patrons. Virtual storytimes are here to stay but developing in-person programming with a strong focus on digital literacy and inclusion is an opportunity for librarians to strengthen the growing importance of measuring outcomes.