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George A. Smathers Libraries: Staff Development Plan

I. Policy:

The George A. Smathers Libraries provides and promotes a well balanced staff development program which includes a range of formal and informal activities that stimulate communication, improve morale, address professional issues and prepare staff for challenges in the workplace.

II. Date: January 23, 2006

III. The primary objective of a staff development program is to facilitate change by challenging the staff and contributing to a continuous learning process. The three components of the plan are: orientation, on the job training and development.

  1. Orientation provides a person with an overview of the university and library culture that assures an understanding of the policies and procedures necessary to function efficiently in the environment. Orientation should be addressed at all levels: the department, the library, and the university.
  2. On the job training imparts knowledge to perform effectively, teaches skills which translate knowledge into action, and provides the ability and the confidence needed to get the job done. On the job training is of fundamental importance to the new employee’s experience, and to the seasoned employee when new systems are introduced. Training should be comprehensive and commensurate with position description and objectives.
  3. Development expands concepts and general techniques, encouraging staff to take new approaches and risks in reaching solutions. It provides confidence in reassessing patterns of thinking and acting.

IV. A staff development program is only successful when it is flexible and adaptable to the changing environment. New programs and initiatives need to be considered and implemented on a continuous basis.

  1. The Library Staff Development Committee is appointed the Director Support Services.
  2. The Committee’s charge is to advise and assist the Libraries Human Resources Office with the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of a Staff Development Program and Curriculum.
    1. Advise and assist the Libraries Human Resources Office with identifying staff development/training needs.
    2. Advise and assist with prioritizing funding.
    3. Advise and assist with the development and planning of presentations.
    4. Conduct select presentations when appropriate.
    5. Assist with the evaluation of individual presentations and the program as a whole.
    6. Serve as a clearinghouse for feedback and suggestions from library staff.
    7. Assist the Staff Development Officer with identifying policies and procedures which need to be developed.
  3. Supervisors should identify factors which affect the effectiveness and efficiency in the unit which may be facilitated by a staff development/training session. It is expected that supervisors anticipate changes within the unit, either staff or procedural, which may influence morale and performance.
  4. The Staff Development Committee should initiate needs assessments to identify concern. The method of assessment can change according to immediate needs and is reviewed, administered and evaluated by the Committee.

V. A staff development/training need is identified as a result of a needs assessment, a meeting with a supervisor, the recommendation of the Staff Development Committee, or as result of organizational planning.

  1. The need identified is examined to determine if it is best addressed by a staff development/training activity.
  2. Learning objectives are established for the program.
  3. The program content is outlined.
  4. The source of program presentation/development is determined.
    1. A member of the library staff, the Staff Development Officer, or member of the Staff Development Committee.
    2. A representative of a University of Florida agency.
    3. A commercial source.
  5. The program is developed and presented.
    1. A training plan is developed.
    2. Learning strategies and facilities are identified.
    3. The budget is considered, if appropriate.
  6. A method of program evaluation is identified.
    1. Was the program/trainer effective?
    2. Was the content appropriate for the learning objectives and the trainees
    3. Did the participants learn from the program?
    4. Should the program be scheduled again, and if so, how often?

VI. Responsibility:

It is the responsibility of the Staff Development Officer to develop, implement and maintain the Staff Development Program with the assistance and cooperation of the Staff Development Committee, as directed by the Libraries Human Resources Officer and the Director for Support Services.

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