the possibilities of horizontal career development and the changing roles of librarians

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The Possibilities of The Possibilities of Horizontal Career Horizontal Career Development and the Development and the Changing Roles of Changing Roles of Librarians Librarians 10th European Conference of Medical and Health Libraries Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 11th-16th of September 2006 Tuulevi Ovaska Kuopio University Library & Kuopio University Hospital Medical Library Kuopio, Finland

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Roles of librarians are changing. Whole concept of librarianship is changing. Are we – the libraries and librarians – in control of these changes? Could horizontal career development keep us in control? Could task rotation and job exchange be of use? What is their role in continuing professional development?

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  • 1. The Possibilities of Horizontal Career Development and the Changing Roles of Librarians 10th European Conference ofMedical and Health Libraries Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 11th-16th of September 2006 Tuulevi Ovaska Kuopio University Library & Kuopio University Hospital Medical Library Kuopio, Finland

2. Introduction

  • Roles of librarians are changing
  • Whole concept of librarianship is changing
  • Are we the libraries and librarians in control of these changes?
  • Couldhorizontal career developmentkeep us in control?
  • Couldtask rotation and job exchangebe of use?
  • What is their role in continuing professional development?

3. Key concepts

  • Horizontal career development
    • Career develops horizontally instead of vertically
    • Learning new tasks
    • Developing skills and know-how
    • Useful in our field where
      • Chances to move on upwards are limited
      • Chances of moving on and ahead horizontally offer a wide variety

4. Key concepts

  • Task rotation and job exchange
    • Extending expertise into something else or something more
    • Rotating and changing some, or all, of your tasks for a certain period of time, or for the present
    • In the same library, or with another library, even abroad

5. Values

  • Value: Customer orientation
    • The needs of our customers are the basis of our activities. Customer services are flexible, communicative, impartial, reliable and easily attainable.
  • Requires
    • Continuous learning and staying up-to-date
    • Understanding of the totality of the services
    • Highly motivated and skilful staffgood quality customer services

6. Values

  • Value: Excellence
    • Excellence means that we successfully combine the demands of the customers and expertise of the service providers. In the service process the expert can even top the customers hopes. Development is creative which means that new things are eagerly acknowledged and everyone is interested in developing their own actions and the actions of the work community.
  • Includes expertise
  • Requires creativity and interest

7. Values

  • Freedom of information
    • Kuopio University Library is open to all and a part the Finnish and the international library network. The collections and services are available to all those in need of information.
  • Requires
    • Knowing and understanding library network and its different actors

8. Values

  • Communality
    • In order to develop the library the staff members work together, co-operate, appreciate and respect each other, communicate openly, and are committed to their work. Interaction at work is active and sincere. Internal and external communication is active and well planned, and belongs to all staff members. Commitment to work is manifested as willingness to develop ones expertise and aspiration to act as a community.
  • Requires
    • Willingness to develop expertise
    • Knowing and appreciating colleagues work

9. Challenges

  • Attitudes of staff members, supervisors, and the library management
  • Common resistance to change
  • Practicalarrangement s
  • Payment
  • a survey to find out the attitudes of the staff members and the management of Kuopio University Library (N=28, 80 % of 35)

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Library administrators and department heads

  • Personally interested in exchange
  • Positive attitude to the rotation of the staff
  • Doubtful about the chances of the practical implementations

15. Changing organizational culture

  • People make up organizations
  • All change needs leadership, management and support
  • Organizational culture cannot be changed easily
  • Supervisors must have talent and skills to identify needs for staffing and to assess staff skills, abilities, and potential

16. 17. Benefits

  • Diversification of professional skills
  • Organizational flexibility
  • Spiritual and professional growth
  • Job enrichment
  • Working capacity
  • Contentment in work
  • Understanding and cooperation
  • Respect for each others work
  • New perspectives

18. 19. 20. Conclusions

  • Task rotation, job exchange, and international mobility arecompatible withthe values and in accordance with the strategyof Kuopio University Library
  • There is potential for:
      • internal task rotationin the library from three to six months at a time
      • international exchangefor short periods, less than three months

21. Conclusions

  • Important to develop professional skills in every way and at full stretch
  • Task rotation or job exchange one method, not the only way
  • A part of continuing professional developmentto supplement continuing education courses and other schooling
  • Libraries and their management must stay in charge of the changes in our profession
    • Motivated, skilled and enthusiastic library staff
    • Diversifying tasks and duties
    • Encouraging career mobility between health libraries