SPEC Kit 323: Socializing New Hires  ·  47
archival challenges, issues, and practices. In collaboration with their supervisor, participants select a mentor within the
first 60 days on the job. This person helps the participant learn the ropes of the office and agency by providing their
guidance and perspective. Although participants receive an ADP guide once they join the program, a website has been
created with information on the program. A wiki is also being used to encourage participants to network with each
other between training classes and share their developmental experiences and knowledge. An ADP coordinator provides
regular communication to the ADP participants and their supervisors, either via email or conference calls/webinars.
The department head or supervisor plays a very important role. Providing opportunities for people from different units to
interact is very important to build a shared community interest, which translates to excellent library support for students
and faculty. Develops appreciation of how others in the Libraries support faculty and students.
The libraries maintain a separate set of programs for student assistants. These activities include departmental
orientation/training activities and system-wide programs and events designed to demonstrate appreciation and to
enhance the students’ commitment to the organization.
The library does have an informal mentoring group that provides one-on-one matching of new librarians with more
senior librarians. The mentoring group also sponsors informal discussion groups, to which new librarians and staff
seeking library degrees are encouraged to attend. Topics for discussion may include portfolio reviews, career challenges
for new professionals, networking and training opportunities outside of the workplace.
The New Employees Orientation Program (NEOP) was developed and implemented in 2009. Since July 2009, due to
budget cuts and a 12-month, campus-wide hiring freeze, we have hired very few new staff. We have also undergone
some leadership and organizational changes. Therefore, we will need to revise the content of NEOP before we resume
the group sessions.
The New Librarian and Library Professionals Group was formed in 2008. Some have rotated off, others have joined. It is
about socialization and enculturation. The associate dean solicits agenda items from the group, but also contributes to
the agenda and includes topics such as “library politics,” how to work in teams, leadership, communication issues, and
so forth.
The staffing dedicated to our library personnel services has been stretched very thin during the period covered by this
survey. Due to hiring freezes since the fall of 2008, a support staff (admin assistant) position has been vacant and frozen
for over two years, and an administrative coordinator position that became vacant some time ago remains vacant. We
have never had a position dedicated solely to staff development, unfortunately. At present, that basically leaves me (the
library’s personnel officer) to oversee and handle all the personnel actions including searches and hiring, performance
reviews, librarian contract renewals, attendance and payroll matters, absence and FMLA matters, disciplinary matters,
conflict resolution, arrivals and departures. Thus, regrettably, over time, there has been very little ability to develop the
number and types of orientation and outreach activities for new hires that we would have wished.
The university specifically mandates mentoring programs for faculty to assist in their development. This is a university
priority.
The Library’s HR director believes socialization is most successful when it is informal and not required.
We have developed several avenues for socializing new hires. Including training of supervisors, assigning mentors,
better-organized on-boarding practices, and clearly articulated goals communicated to the new hire.
While it is unfortunate that the library does not have any formal socialization activities for other new hires, the university
has a mandatory day-long orientation to help new hires get started at Kent State. Most supervisors take new hires under
their wings the first several weeks and months to make certain the person is comfortable in the work place and feels a
part of the unit.
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