SPEC Kit 323: Socializing New Hires  ·  27
Methods of training/orienting to the job vary widely by the need of the individual (say the person is fresh out of library
school so needs more involved orientation to librarianship and particular focus on this library). Some teams are highly
structured in terms of required training modules and time frames and other teams are very loose in terms of their
requirements, supervision, and job shadowing and in what is provided to individuals (little instruction; more on-the-job,
in-the-moment Q&A; little coaching or supervision). In the same way there is considerable variation in what is required
for output (one time requires up-to-date calendars and email and is rigorous about tracking output especially by data;
and others do not). Sometimes a buddy or colleague is assigned to assist or “familiarize” the new employee and
sometimes there is little attention to this or no one is available depending on workload. New employees are encouraged
to attend library-wide meetings or team reports as well as join in wellness activities or diversity workshops.
Most departments have some amount of socialization activities that they undertake with new staff. There is no
standardization of these programs so they vary considerably in terms of activities and the amount of time devoted to
Orientation: New Employee Breakfast. Meet colleagues from other departments. Meet university librarian. Libraries’
Faculty Advisory Board introduces new librarians at monthly faculty meetings (pastries/donuts, juice are served).
Mentoring Program: Each newly hired librarian is assigned a mentor for one year. Newly hired professional receives
coaching from colleagues in the employee’s department and from colleagues in other departments. Newly hired support
staff shadow one or more current employees.
Orientation is provided at the department level, and varies by department.
Purpose of new library professionals group is socialization and introduction to the culture, profession, and some skills
There is a formal orientation and training program for new reference librarians, but it is only for reference librarians.
There is a one-day orientation briefing that is offered to all new Library of Congress hires offered by the Human
Resources division. The Library Services Program is eight separate sessions over approximately five weeks.
These activities are also included for existing staff who have internally transferred to another library or unit. Staff
development opportunities is a whole separate category handled separately.
We are in the process of developing a centralized orientation session for all new hires, but we are still 4 to 6 months
from implementing it.
9. Please indicate whether the socialization programs/activities for new hires are standardized/group
events or individualized/one-on-one activities. Check all that apply. N=55
N Standardized
Orientation sessions 54 42 29
Staff development sessions 39 34 15
Formal mentoring program 27 10 21
Other pairing, such as job shadowing, coaching, etc. 22 2 21
Residency, fellowship, or similar program 7 2 5
Other activity 16 12 7
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