Analysis of Job Responsibilities of Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Human Resource Professionals

Analysis of Job Responsibilities of Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Human Resource Professionals

Gina R. Costello (Louisiana State University, USA) and Alice Daugherty (Louisiana State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-601-8.ch001
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter was to convey the results of an exploratory survey given to human resource professionals working within the 123 institutional members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The objective was to further define the role of human resource professionals in ARL libraries and reveal the nature and extent of human resource support for faculty and staff at ARL libraries. Respondents were recruited through email and asked to characterize their human resource functions by answering 35 open-ended and closed survey questions via an online proprietary survey tool. The response rate was 30% and provided data for the researchers to examine the experience level and education of human resource professionals, the role these individuals play in the day-to-day library operations, and the extent of interaction with the university human resource department.
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Background

The tasks of academic library human resource personnel are similar to human resource departments at the university level; human resource personnel at many levels are familiar with employment laws, engage in hiring practices, participate in evaluations and performance appraisals, deal with conflict resolutions, offer training and professional development, recruit and train new hires and work with diversity initiatives, among other tasks. Even with the depth of responsibilities held by academic library human resource personnel there is a lack of literature supporting their function and duties.

Library human resource professionals are effective and strategic elements in change management. Library employees in the new millennium are seeking change from hierarchical styles of administration, casual styles of training, unspoken policies, the overuse of stagnant committees, and other attributes that lead to an organization’s character. Generally, employees want a clear focus of leadership goals and guidelines. The human resource representative is in a good position to mediate ideas and goals between all levels of administration and staff through assessment and accountability whereby identifying needed process changes and reinforcing behavioral changes (Kreitz, 2008, p. 104).

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