I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the CPD25 seminar : Inclusive Staff Development: sharing knowledge across the library on 23/06/15, except that our own Samantha Halford and Derek Mackenzie would be presenting and, well, I do like to share…
A good range of academic institutions were represented and most of the attendees were responsible for staff training within their library service. It seemed that for many of them “staff training” was synonymous with “staff development” and was quite a structured programme managed by one person or team; quite different from here at City where we have staff training, and staff development is much more self-motivated , individualised and ad hoc .
The afternoon started with Samantha and Derek‘s Courses and Conferences Sharing Sessions at City University. Their main themes:
- Sharing knowledge within library teams; models of support & good practice.
- Culture of contribution. Staff Development Group.
- Recording training events; technical difficulties sharing feedback. Staff blog!
- Staff Feedback sessions; promoting a culture of sharing info, and developing other skills eg presentation.
- Challenges: timing, attendance, engagement and content. Haphazard nature of reporting back.
Next we had Chiara Barontini and Imogen Rooney with Staff training – the challenges of reaching daytime, evening and weekend staff at Birkbeck College. Obviously Birkbeck largely caters for evening and weekend courses, and their library service reflects this – it is open 24/7 – always with library staff, rather than just security personnel. This was a difficult choice but felt necessary to achieve consistency. Their main points:
- 1 hour staff training a week vital. Unsociable hours; so turnover quite high. Trying to maintain same level of service at all times; their main challenge.
- Include “well-being” in staff training sessions. Not just training in work tasks, but broadening outlook too.
- Evaluating training; feedback forms ( straight after training, and termly). Opportunity for staff to express what they’d like more/less of.
- Challenges: main one is timing/scheduling.
Our last presentation was from Kirsty Wallis and Kathryn Brazier: The University of Kent’s LibChats initiative and “innovation through discussion”. I found this particularly interesting as Kirsty and Kathryn were both junior staff members (like myself) who had been given alot of freedom and a very small budget (for tea & cake!) to create a way of sharing new ideas with the service, and stimulate discussion. They ran with it and came up with Libchats – after hours talks/presentations from information professionals that staff would find interesting and useful. They have managed to attract quite a number of speakers on a range of subjects eg Andrew Gray from the British Antartic Survey, and have attracted a good attendance from their colleagues. Their main points:
- Building community across the service including different grades.
- Reaching out to wider local and academic community and raising the library service’s profile.
- Investigating how best to record sessions as they have become so popular.
- Injecting fresh approaches and new ideas into the service.
- Challenges: maintaining quality of speakers, time, small budget eg travel expenses etc.
As with most workshops/courses, meeting others with similar but different experiences was the most rewarding part of the afternoon, and we had an opportunity to quiz the presenters as well as all contribute to the discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I may have learnt a thing or two as well…
Good things to share #4 KNOWLEDGE