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KULSS Staff Development

KULSS Staff Development: Background

The KU Libraries Support Staff Executive Board (KULSS Exec) began thinking about a professional development workshop geared towards library Support Staff in the summer of 2006.  This idea arose from the lack of a Staff Development committee in the libraries and the delay in forming an IS wide staff development committee.  Since at that time it was unknown when the IS wide committee would be formed and begin work, the KULSS-Exec began to brainstorm ideas for hosting our own staff development workshop.  The goal of the workshop is to help staff feel more valued, be more confident in the work they do, and gain skills that will support their commitment to the KU Libraries.

When planning the workshop, KULSS-Exec researched other libraries who promote staff development opportunities such as training and workshops to support staff.  Auburn University’s staff development workshop was the inspiration for our workshop.  In addition, Auburn has developed and implemented a library career ladder.  Like many libraries, support staff roles were expanding to include more duties.  Auburn developed a career ladder with coursework requirements that allow for advancement within the library without changing jobs.  Positive outcomes of the career ladder include improved morale and job satisfaction, enhanced quality of the workforce, and more camaraderie between staff in different areas of the library.  The job performance at a higher level makes for a stronger, happier, more flexible workforce.

A 2004 article from Colorado Libraries describes the planning process for a staff development program at Colorado State University.  Requests for staff development sessions are “practical for the workplace, will enhance the productivity of the work environment, or will address a major change or focus in the work organization” (Jaramillo, 2004).  This article also stresses the importance of having administrative support in any staff development efforts.  When the administration stresses the importance of staff development opportunities, all levels of staff will perceive the efforts as important as well.

The KU Libraries Support Staff Workshop, held in 2007, included sessions that are practical in the workplace as well as enhancing to the productivity of the work environment.  There were also sessions geared towards improving morale, job satisfaction, and personal growth. The Libraries Administration has given their support for KULSS to hold similar workshop every other year. In the alternate years, a guest speaker will be brought in for a short session dealing with some aspect of staff development.Our first KULSS Guest Speaker eventwas held March 19th, 2008.

KULSS Staff Development Workshops


(Half-Day Workshop on Introversion/Extroversion presented by Kathleen Ames-Oliver, KU/HREO)


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