Providing Professional Development Opportunities to Staff in Tough Economic Times: A Guide for Administrators

Providing Professional Development Opportunities to Staff in Tough Economic Times: A Guide for Administrators

Kathleen L. Sacco (State University of New York at Fredonia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5780-9.ch085
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Libraries today have been feeling budget crunches due to decreases in funds and increases in materials costs and salaries of their employees. There are also pressures on libraries of all types to respond to new technologies and modes of knowledge acquisition. Because of these constant changes, library staff and administrators must work together to develop comprehensive, sustainable training programs that benefit both employees and the library as a whole. Administrators can foster this by developing their libraries into learning organizations. This chapter will outline how library administration can keep costs in check while providing a vibrant professional development program for their employees.
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Library administrators have pressures from various areas from both inside and outside the walls of the library. There are stresses on their organization due to new modes of knowledge acquisition, changes in technologies and standards in librarianship, and the expectations of the communities they belong to. Library budgets are also shrinking, and this enhances these strains on the entire organization. Libraries, however, need to respond to the constant changes through staff education and professional development, or the library will not be successful. Library staff should always be dedicated to responding to new technologies and techniques in library science. How can they be productive, however, when library budgets do not always allow them to participate in the various forms of professional development and show growth?

It is extremely important that library administration is aware of and encourage professional development opportunities for their staff. Being aware of what is out there allows you to be able to provide professional development in a manner that encourages professional growth for your staff and gives you the opportunity to budget properly for learning. This chapter will provide you with the background information that you will need to foster, create, and sustain a budget-friendly professional development program for your staff.

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