Staff Development is a Shared Responsibility

What we know is less important than our capacity to continue to learn more.

                                                                        ~ George Siemans, Educator & Researcher

Today’s public libraries require an educated, knowledgeable, and skilled staff, capable of learning and adapting to a constantly changing landscape. It is essential that managers budget for and actively pursue training and development opportunities that build their staff’s capacity to:  

  • Stay current with service demands and technology.
  • Deliver quality library service.
  • Position the library as a key player in the community. 

Library work is complex and constantly evolving.  It is crucial that libraries invest in continuous staff development. 

At the same time, it is every staff member’s responsibility to take charge of his or her own learning and development.  If you work in a public library, your success is dependent upon your willingness and commitment to stay current and be a self-directed learner. You are in the best position to know what you need to learn and where you need to develop. It is your responsibility to set and manage learning goals that address gaps in your skills and knowledge and/or advance you in the direction of career aspirations. While this work needs to be done in consultation with your manager or supervisor, it is, ultimately, your responsibility. Only you can decide you will learn.    

According to Daniel Pink, best-selling author of Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, most of us are motivated by three intrinsic needs: 

  • The need for purpose.
  • The need for autonomy.
  • The need for mastery.

It is this need for mastery that motivates us to learn new skills and abilities that make us better at what we do. Check out this entertaining and informative TED talk with Daniel Pink.

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