by Aimee Babcock-Ellis, Washington, DC Chapter, Advertising & Marketing, Chemistry, and Government Information Divisions
When I first started as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Maryland my supervisor, Mr. Allan Rough, told me about his first job as a librarian and why it was such a good learning experience for him. The manager who ran the school that he worked at had an open door policy and was interested in hearing about the new ideas people had. He was willing to try new ideas for a set period of time. It was a good learning experience for Mr. Rough, because he learned how to develop and implement new ideas. He also learned to be open to new initiatives and to take risks.
I believe that managers can help support their new (and seasoned) employees by being open to new ideas and taking time to listen to their colleagues. Ideas have to be discussed in order for them to fully develop. Open communication is key to having a harmonious and innovative work place. Discussing ideas amongst the staff may also allow seasoned employees to contribute some of their institutional knowledge on things that have or have not worked well in the past. Institutional knowledge is something new employees lack and can greatly benefit from.
Many new ideas come from attending conferences and other professional development activities. I know we are in tough financial times, so even if your organization cannot fund employees to attend events, allowing them the time off to go shows you support their development and encourage new ideas.
New employees often want to connect with other staffers who are new too. This is how I felt when I started my first professional job with the federal government and how the NewFeds committee came about. The NewFeds is a Federal Library Information Center Committee (FLICC) Working Group. We are building a community for those new to working for the federal government, specifically in libraries.
Aimee is a native of upstate NY living in the Washington DC metro area. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Communications from SUNY New Paltz and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Maryland at College Park. Aimee is a 2007 Spectrum Scholar and a 2010 Association of Research Libraries Career Enhancement Fellow.
Currently a librarian at a federal law enforcement agency, her work focuses on chemistry and pharmacology research, reorganizing the library’s intranet website, and creating a taxonomy of acronyms and abbreviations. Aimee is active in the DC Chapter of the Special Library Association, and co-author for the Chapter Notes bimonthly newsletter in the “Career Column”. In addition, she is involved with the Federal Armed Forces Librarians Roundtable, New Members Roundtable of the American Library Association (ALA), and the ALA Diversity Committee’s Research Grants Advisory Group. Read her full bio at http://about.me/aimeebe/bio