Empowering Your Library: Training and Professional Development, A Library Imperative!

By Patrick Lo.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Major changes in libraries in recent years have resulted in the need for new or expanded skills and abilities; these changes include the implementation of new technologies such as computer-based cataloguing, automated circulation systems, and online access to machine-readable bibliographic databases, and the development and formalization of personnel policies and procedures (strongly influenced by the university affirmative action/equal opportunity employment plans). Increased students expectation and demands have also kept all media centre and library staff challenged, and working longer hours. In the past, staff development and in-house training of any type were merely considered luxuries in many libraries. Previously, although library administrators generally agreed that continuing education, staff development and training were essential goals of any organization, but in reality, staff development and training programmes were perceived by both staff and administration as a self contained unit to separate entity, rather than an integral part of library activities and the development of every individual in the organization. It is only until the recent decade that staff development and training have received increasing emphasis, as is indicated by the numerous articles, conference papers, and committee discussions on the tropic. Nowadays, even library staffing patterns have been further complicated by the need to adapt to the proliferation and infusion of many more new technologies, as technology becomes increasingly complex, it requires more expertise to plan, install, and maintain it. Faced with the prospect of extinction, most librarians have chosen to redefine their roles, their mission, and their profession. In so doing, they have all but given up performing the traditional process work of the library that characterized the role of librarians a generation ago. Against a backdrop of rapid changes in society in general and academic libraries in particular, library staffs have developed a broader and deeper knowledge of their environments. Particularly important in this changing scene has been the staff development and job training, where more staff members participate in library concerns outside their particular units. This paper explores the purpose and the need for professional development staff training and job-related training for academic libraries, and librarians, investigating the following:

(a) What are the purposes and the needs for staff training and development for academic librarians?

(b) What are the differences between staff development and training?

(c)What other benefits does training bring to the overall healthy and growth of an organization?

(d) How should academic libraries identify and access training and development needs?

This paper also documents a successful example of a very succesful cooperative cataloguing training programme, launched recently by an academic library community.

Keywords: Library Education (Continuing Education), Library Personnel Management, Library Employees -- In-Service Training, Librarians -- In-Service Training, Librarians -- Career Development

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 12, pp.41-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 584.922KB).

Dr. Patrick Lo

Post-Graduate Student (EdD), Current Student, University of Bristol, UK

Mr. Lo is currently a candidate of Doctor of Education (EdD), at Bristol University (UK). He has a Master of Arts in Design Management (MA) from Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2004), a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from McGill University (Canada; 1994), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Mount Allison University, (Canada; 1992). Mr Lo is efficient in: Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese (Putunghua), English and German. 1996-2007, Mr Lo was seving as Cataloguing Librarian at Lingnan University Library (Hong Kong). 2003-06, Mr. Lo was also serving as the Coordinator of the Library as Cultural Centre activities at Lingnan University Library. Mr. Lo’s professional affiliations include the following: 1. 1999-2006 - Secretary of JULAC-HKCAN (Hong Kong Chinese Name Authority) Workgroup. 2. 2003-2006 - Representative of Lingnan University Library (Hong Kong) for the Hong Kong JULAC-BSC (Bibliographic Services Committee). 3. 2004 - present - Member of CALIS (China Academic Library and Information System) Unicat Expert Group. Mr. Lo has presented close to 40 research papers and project reports focusing on humanities, education, and library science at different local and international workgroup meetings, seminars, conferences, including: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Japan, United States, Korea, and Sweden; including presenting at: 1. The Library of Congress (U.S.), 2. Austrian National Library (Vienna), 3. University of Vienna, 4. National Library of France (Paris), 5. National Institute of Informatics (Japan), etc. Mr. Lo’s recent professional activity includes presenting “Using Outsource Data of Digital Resources in Creating Our Own Bibliographic Records: Lingnan University Library’s Experience in Converting Naxos Music Library and Spoken Word Library Online Titles to MARC Records” at the 72nd IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) Conference in Seoul, Korea, in August 2006: http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla72/papers/123-Tam_Lo-en.pdf Mr. Lo’s research interests include: latest developments of Metadata, Chinese authority works, and cataloguing among Chinese libraries in Asia and North America; exploring potentials for resources sharing among Chinese libraries in Asia; future development and enhancement of bibliographic records; users’ interaction with the online catalogue; Western classical music, especially Italian operas, vocal music of German Post-Romantic period, Lieder (German art songs), etc. Award(s): Most Active Presenter Award of HKIUG (Hong Kong Innovative Users Group) Annual Meeting in December 2006. Recent Activity: serving as Reporter of Recent Serials Publications in China of Fontes Artis Musicae Journal.

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