by Vicki Valleroy, Pacific Northwest Chapter, Competitive Intelligence Division
Recently Best Practices for Corporate Libraries was published, in which 57% of the authors were SLA members! As one of the authors of the chapter titled “Application of Technology & Change Management in Staff Development”, I would like to share some excerpts that touch on some essential future skills. Enjoy!
“Future skills include not only specialized skills but pivotal skills, such as project management and leadership. The requirements for Library Specialist and Librarian positions were reviewed to determine what education or specialized skills were to be extended to include more in-depth technical knowledge, content management and information management skills, in addition to expanded skills/knowledge about copyright, intellectual property, metrics, and process based management skills. Specialized skills are defined as tactical areas that are not unique across the company. Acquiring these skills are the responsibilities of the staff as they develop and share their career goals and aspirations with their managers.
As important as the skills themselves is the staff’s willingness to change. We researched change management principles and practices and chose those elements that we felt we could influence and/or control. We created programs or activities to address these issues. We attempted to augment our readiness to change by giving the staff adequate information, social support, participation in decision making, personal impact, and efficacy (an individual’s confidence in their ability to perform adequately in the new environment).
Due to the time needed to plan the approach and the implementation time needed, the staff development team took several years to address the issue of future skills and staff training. During the first year, we established the future skills needed for our new library delivery model. In the second year, the team addressed library specific competencies needed for new research and communication tools. The team restructured the training and self-development goals by targeting specific competencies to support the company’s skills initiative. A more focused approach to develop technical skills was needed to deliver services. Building on the Special Libraries Association’s innovative “23 Things” self-directed training program, the team developed the Core Competencies goal, which specifically targets staff applying and demonstrating skills in selected areas.”
As professionals, we need to encourage and support each other to take control of our own learning, to use available technology to optimize both interpersonal and professional competencies, and to put into use our ever changing lifelong learning skills.
Vicki began her professional career in health information management, developing future skills by supervising over 30 staff members on two campuses; coordinating the upgrade of computer software and hardware for medical records and coding; and participating in staff/management labor union negotiations.
After receiving her master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington, she joined Boeing Library Services. Currently she is co-leading the merging of the ViRT (Virtual Reference Team) and Research teams, and is particularly interested in using employee involvement best practices in developing high performance teams. Recently Vicki completed the Change Management certificate program offered through Pepperdine University. In 2009 she was honored with The Boeing Company’s (SSG) Shared Services Group Service Ambassador Award. She is actively involved in professional associations, locally and nationally, currently serving on the SLA 2012 Conference Planning Advisory Council. Vicki is a co-author of “The Application of Technology and Change Management in Staff Development” in the newly published book Best Practices in Corporate Libraries.