Being a librarian isn’t just about restocking shelves and helping people find books. It’s a job that requires a whole host of skills, which is why a Masters Degree in Library Science is required and other courses exist to help keep skills fresh. Why is training so important, and what programs exist to help?
Why it Matters
Any workforce needs to be competent, confident, and motivated. For as obvious as that may seem, people far too often overlook the importance of this with respect to the librarian profession. Competency means making sure that librarians update their skills as new software and IT systems are introduced.
What’s more, if managers don’t train librarians to respond to organizational changes, it can be all too easy for them to slip into a sense of ennui. From there, they can become disengaged, which in turn can reduce the quality of their service to library customers.
Some managers institute reward programs, while others invite promising librarians to take part in a leadership program with an opportunity for advancement. Remember, library work doesn’t just mean helping people as a front desk librarian. It can involve all manner of different technical services and archival research. It is up to existing library managers and leaders to help develop new librarian talent, matching them to their ideal roles and motivating them to meet their potential.
How Librarians Train
There are plenty of programs available to help managers give librarians the support and training they need to succeed. Some academic libraries are part of larger organizations, such as universities and hospitals. If so, they may offer specialized training programs or assistance via their in-house IT experts.
In addition, there are a plethora of specialized training programs that offer help via online courses and regional seminars. These include the American Library Association, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Society of College, National and University Libraries, the North West Academic Libraries, and the Public Library Association.
Athletes, singers, dancers, artists, soldiers, doctors all need support and training, and librarians are no different. These resources and similar programs can ensure that newcomers are motivated and tenured librarians remain fresh and the best they can be.