Staff Development and Training Commitee Minutes
September 6, 2005
Present: Beth Woodard, Tom Teper, Susie Duncan, Zoe Revell, Diana Walter, Michael Norman, John
Weilbe, Lyn Petrie
Absent: Lisa Hinchliffe, Cindy Kelly, Sue Searing
A welcome was extended to Lyn Petrie, the newest member of the committee.
- The minutes of the last meeting were distributed and comments solicited.
- Beth updated the group on an additional budget request.
- The status of an acting coordinator during Beth’s sabbatical was discussed. It was agreed that
committee members will take turns acting as “hosts” for training functions so that the acting
person won’t have to function in this capacity. Additionally, it was discussed who might be asked
to chairs subgroups so that the acting person could rely on others to help. Student training: Mary
Laskowski or David Ward; Customer Service: Sue Searing; Supervisory training: Cindy Kelly;
Orientation: Cindy Kelly.
- The committee discussed how to carry out needs assessment this year. The group suggested that
groups can be asked for input, such as divisions and LSSC this spring, and that we can do focus
groups next fall, with another survey the year after that.
- John reminded Beth that the Experts list survey still needs to be distributed.
Time Management/Delegation sessions
Problems—more time to explain to someone else than to do it yourself; problem with letting go of
the quality; giving clear instructions: easier to delegate ongoing tasks than one-time only
projects; sometimes projects seem really easy until you get quite deep into it
Having students search missing items in the stacks
- follow up with vendor regarding product or service questions
- schedule a meeting or a room
- request clearances for Voyager for new hires
- documenting processes (like how to find something in Voyager acquisitions module), including
proofreading, finishing up and finalizing
- file management
- adding security strips to journals currently received
- Find all the business school rankings for the past 25 years (this project seemed simple in that
the student should have been able to go the same issue each year and photocopy it. In reality, it
was more complex. Sometimes it was in a special issue, it changed months, it split into graduate
and undergraduate rankings, the journal was in several locations, etc.)
- Work on a clean up report (but find out half way through it that some things weren’t
- Work on printouts of missing in transit reports (complicated to troubleshoot: check location in
stacks, in other libraries, etc.)
- Correspondence, routine or non-routine. (staff don’t always seem to know communication
standards, such as a letter or email need a greeting, and a closing, etc.)
- Hiring, supervising, training new student employees
- Circulation desk activities (pulling holds, call slips, turnstile counts, which are repetitive
tasks, and work with same set of students routinely)
NOTE: about ½ of the staff are public service employees, which are more akin to secretary and
receptionists, so that a certain portion of the day they are working a circulation or
reference/information desk where there job is to answer questions over the phone, in person, by
email, and sometimes by chat messaging services, but also with specific tasks to do.
- handling email (based on your nearness to quota, check all day long, or just ½ hour in the
morning and the afternoon, especially when some of it is related to routine aspects of work, some
is related to service activities for the professional association, etc.)
- balancing work and school (since many staff are also taking classes)
- Stacks of items to order (25 or more), which requires checking the catalog to see if the
library already owns, checking to see if the item is still in print, and who would provide it,
verifying ISBN and price, etc. Average of 12 minutes each, but some could take hours.
- handling a question about a bill for a lost book
- help a patron with a reference question
- directing another patron to the nearest restroom
- training a new student (who only overlaps with you for this one hour each week)
- answering questions from a patron who is SURE that they’ve returned a book. (this involves
checking the shelf; looking on the patron’s account; checking the library where the patron swears
they returned it, etc.)
The group liked the topic titles: Need More Time? Maybe not…Learn How to Get More Time Out of
the Time You Have
How to avoid getting back that which you gave away….delegating with ease