ILA Best Practices

Archive for the ‘STAFF TRAINING’ Category

1.     Have the staff members at all levels share what they appreciate about each other in very specific ways. In small groups, have staff discuss the things that others do that make life and work easier for them.  Be sure to record these comments and post them afterwards. Be sure that feedback gets back to others.

2.     Have people talk about what they like about working at the library and why they have made this their work. What is working for them right now?  Have people share what’s working for the patron and what successes have occurred this year?  Also discuss the challenges they may face in the future.

3.     Discuss in an involved way what the future direction for the library should be in programs, services, processes, facility, human resources etc.

4.     Identify what are the future trends in facility, programs, technology, and materials.  Bring a local author to talk about books.

5.     Provide opportunities for leaders from the community to address what they see are the critical issues they are facing and how those could be helped by the library.

6.     Provide for an open exchange of information between the staff, board, and leaders.  Bringing a moderator may help here.

7.     Teach a few vital skills necessary for the library to be a success (learning about a new technology, handling patron complaints, dealing with teens etc.)

8.     Be sure to follow-up on questions, concerns, ideas and/or suggestions for change that are mentioned.

9.     Provide opportunities for staff skits on a day in the life of your department or your most unusual reference or patron request.

10.  Do let the staff know that they are appreciated and solicit their feedback on how the day went.  Thank all those who helped with the day.


Dan Wiseman, Managing Partner
Wiseman Consulting and Training Inc.
133 W. Palatine Rd. Suite 202
Palatine, IL 60067
847-221-5197 (Home Office)
847-902-9034 (Dan Cell)



The bloggers at Harvard Business Review provide best practices for managers in a variety of settings.   Topics covered include feedback, networking, new hires, team players, and what to do when you’ve made a mistake.

Our team meeting brings together all staff working in the building at a given time. Each person can participate to say what they are currently working on or share something else. Each meeting is about 5 minutes in length and is held in the Lobby with visibility lines to all public service desks and adjacent to phone. We’ve been using this practice for a little over two years. This is in addition to weekly meetings with the managers and twice per year in-service workshops for staff. Submitted by Liz Fitzgerald and Katy Vojtech, Team Administrators, Glenside Public Library District

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