12  ·  Survey Results:  Executive Summary
Research libraries and archives increasingly focus
on effective socialization for all new hires. Fifty-two
institutions (91%) reported that their programs and
activities are designed for all newly hired, paid em-
ployees. Orientation sessions and related resources
are the most widely reported and are typically offered
to all new hires. Forty-seven of the 51 respondents that
use orientation checklists specifically report using
them for all new hires.
While the majority of respondents offer some so-
cialization activities for all newly hired, paid employ-
ees, certain programs are much more likely at this
time to be offered to librarians only. For example, 28
organizations (50%) indicated that they offer formal
mentoring programs; of those, 22 report that mentor-
ing programs are designed specifically for librarians
and only six provide formal mentoring for all new
hires. Respondents describe specific approaches (for-
mal and informal) to facilitate mentoring for librar-
ians. Examples include a “buddy” system to facilitate
social networking, peer mentoring, and assigning li-
brary faculty mentors to guide new librarians through
the tenure process.
Research libraries and archives use a variety of
methods and approaches for socializing new hires.
Thirty-eight respondents (68%) reported using staff
development sessions to enhance the socialization
process, while 22 organizations (39%) report using
a pairing system (other than mentoring) to facilitate
job shadowing or coaching. Only seven institutions
(13%) report offering a residency, fellowship, or simi-
lar program. Twenty respondents (36%) report using
other methods and approaches for all new hires, and/
or for specific categories of staff. Selected examples of
activities for all new hires include library tours, lunch
and/or coffee with administrators and/or peers, and
meet and greet events. Selected examples of activities
for librarians include faculty committee meetings,
informal meetings for untenured faculty, and a “new
librarians’ roundtable.”
Responding institutions also offer socialization
programs as standardized, group events and/or as in-
dividualized, one-on-one activities and sometimes of-
fer programs both ways. For example, 21 respondents
offer individualized job shadowing and/or coaching
(only two respondents describe job shadowing and/
or coaching as standardized activities). On the other
hand, more often than not, orientation and staff de-
velopment sessions are standardized offerings; the
reverse is the case for formal mentoring programs,
which are much more likely to be individualized. It is
of note that in all cases some libraries offer a specific
program in both ways.
Respondents reported that their libraries also pro-
vide (and are currently developing) a variety of re-
sources to support socialization programs and related
activities. Examples include orientation checklists;
policy manuals; brochures; training documents on
topics such as collection development and instruc-
tion; audiovisual materials (such as a welcome video
from the Dean of Libraries); welcome packets and
notebooks; and electronic sources (such as a Wiki list-
ing various procedures and policies). While selected
materials (such as faculty handbooks) are targeted to
librarians, respondents indicated that socialization
resources are generally developed and offered for
all new hires. Responding institutions noted that re-
sources such as faculty handbooks and policy manu-
als are increasingly available online (replacing physi-
cal copies).
Designing and Coordinating Socialization
Programs/Activities
Design and coordination of socialization activities
are generally a shared effort, with complementary
responsibilities. For all categories of staff, the imme-
diate supervisor plays the key role in coordination of
socialization activities, and the HR/Personnel Officer
follows closely. Although the immediate supervisor
has a similar level of responsibility in program design
for other professional staff and support staff, the HR/
Personnel Officer has a notably stronger role in the
design of socialization programs for librarians (23
responses for the HR/Personnel Officer, as compared
to only six responses for the immediate supervisor).
Noteworthy are how frequently library commit-
tees have responsibility for socialization, especially
for librarians (16 institutions), and how varied the
committees are. The importance of preparation/sup-
port for tenure or continuing status responsibilities
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