The Nevada Library Association has shown a long-standing interest in the education of librarians, although the expression of this interest has changed with the times. In the 1950's, three committees were established. The first was concerned with certification of public librarians. A formal, voluntary certification program was adopted in 1956, and a certification board was set up to administer it. Committees on library education and recruitment were also established. These two continued to function until the late 1960's, when they were abandoned after several years without a chair. A scholarship fund and a scholarship committee operated between 1963 and 1968. In the mid and late 1960's, the market for librarians declined, along with interest in promoting the career of librarianship. The chair of the certification board remained unfilled several years during the late 1960's and in 1970, it was dissolved and made a committee of PLAN/NALT.
In the early 1970's, interest had turned to continuing education for librarians. The personnel development committee was established as a standing committee in 1976 as a by-product of the WICHE-USOE Institute for Training in Staff Development 1975-76. At that time Ruth Donovan, chairperson, and Anne Amaral, member, were active in attempting to have library science included in the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education Student Exchange Program. Another project the committee inherited was a study of proposals previously made by other committees of the voluntary certification program. After considerable work by various members of NLA, this committee decided that this plan was unworkable on a statewide basis. When the PLAN/NALT bylaws were revised in 1978, the certification committee was dropped.
Some other projects of this committee have included: Statewide Training Needs Assessment -- questionnaires sent to library staff members to determine what they felt their continuing education needs to be; a series of sessions at the annual convention on state and local history; information on courses offered at UNLV, UNR, and the community colleges collected and published in the Nevada Libraries; success in getting library science included in the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education Student Exchange Program; collection of information on position specifications, descriptions, and titles for all Nevada libraries; assisted with series of regional credit courses for school librarians and aides taught by May Durham Roger, "Books and Reading for Children and Adults," April, 1977; presented a workshop on Management and Personnel Skills for librarians at the October, 1979 convention entitled, "Bosses Problems -Problem Bosses" to fill a need cited on the "Statewide Training Needs Assessment Survey of 1978-1979"; presented a pre-conference at the 1996 convention titled "Customer Service from 'Hello' to 'Come Again': Techniques & Tips for High Quality Communication in the Library."
In 1990 The Board of Trustees approved making the Personnel Development Chair its representative on the Ad Hoc Continuing Education Committee which is appointed by the State Librarian. Since all of the other members of the state committee serve three year terms, the NLA Bylaws were amended in 1995 to make the Personnel Development Committee chair a three year appointed office.
PURPOSE AND DUTIES
The purpose of the personnel development committee is to undertake activities appropriate to the improvement of library staff training opportunities, including:
The personnel development committee’s primary function is to assess the current needs of library personnel throughout the state periodically, and to undertake projects which will help meet those needs. This may include: