Succession Planning in Libraries: Lesley Farmer Presentation

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These slides are from the session "Succession Planning in Libraries", hosted by the Social Science Division, Military Libraries Division, and Government Information Divisions at the Special Libraries Association (SLA) meeting in Washington DC in June 2009.

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Succession Planning in Libraries: Lesley Farmer Presentation

  1. 1. What Makes a Successful Succession Plan? <ul><li>Dr. Lesley S. J. Farmer </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  2. 2. Introduction: <ul><li>Academic preparation is general. </li></ul><ul><li>First couple of years can be difficult for librarians. </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian’s expectations might not match realities of day-to-day work or mesh with site’s existing values and norms. </li></ul><ul><li>Successor planning is needed. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Supporting Theories: <ul><li>Competency Theory: skill acquisition, reflectivity, attribution theory, self-theories, self-efficacy </li></ul><ul><li>Change Theory: adult development, operant conditioning, feelings of loss/role development, Concerns-Based Adoption Model </li></ul><ul><li>Contingency Theory of Socialization: workplace learning, work role transition, stress factors, socialization, mentors </li></ul>
  4. 4. Findings: Reasons for Leaving <ul><li>feeling of isolation </li></ul><ul><li>More comfortable with prior job </li></ul><ul><li>feeling of lack of control and self-determination because of other people’s demands on library services </li></ul><ul><li>unrealistic job expectations, either because of heightened expectations raised in pre-service academic preparation or because of supervisor’s determination </li></ul>
  5. 5. Disposition Predictors for Success <ul><li>Extroverted or service-oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Self-confident risk-takers or at least open-minded </li></ul><ul><li>Life-long learners </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Good communicators and collaborators </li></ul><ul><li>Value intellectual challenge and autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Like reading and research processes </li></ul><ul><li>While having these pre-existing dispositions can facilitate beginning librarian experiences, some behaviors (e.g., independent learning skills, communication, collaboration) can be taught in pre-service programs. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Recommendations for Site Administrators <ul><li>Clarify job expectations, including budget issues </li></ul><ul><li>Be sensitive to first-year workload </li></ul><ul><li>Publicly recognize librarian’s efforts beyond identified job descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that all librarians, regardless of their tenure, have opportunities to network, to voice their needs, and to contribute to site’s mission based on their abilities </li></ul>
  7. 7. Professional Development Recommendations <ul><li>Provide professional development opportunities for new functions such as technology expert </li></ul><ul><li>Early professional development should have close transfer of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Provide function-expert mentors and opportunities to see librarianship best practice </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on social connections in second year </li></ul><ul><li>Foster a learning community; recognize collaborative planning / implementation </li></ul>

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