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Nevada Library Association Handbook

Board of Trustees
Appointed Officers & Standing Committees

 

Personnel Development Committee

 

HISTORY
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.

OFFICERS


PURPOSE AND DUTIES
The purpose of the personnel development committee is to undertake activities appropriate to the improvement of library staff training opportunities, including:

 

  1. To organize and assist with the planning of workshops at annual convention or to meet regional needs if requested to do so by regional groups;
  2. To serve as a clearinghouse of information on training and educational opportunities within the state;
  3. To periodically survey training needs of personnel in libraries in our state;
  4. To encourage administrators to provide training opportunities for their workers.
  5. The personnel development chairperson also serves as a member of the State's continuing education committee, an ad hoc committee appointed by the State librarian.
  6. As a member of the Ad Hoc Continuing Education committee, the personnel development chairperson represents NLA's interests and priorities for continuing education, reports the Committee's activities to the Board, and coordinates joint activities of the Committee and NLA.

 

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:

  1. Surveys of library personnel;
  2. Communication of the results of such surveys to the appropriate groups for implementation;
  3. Implementation of training activities, particularly in the area of management, personnel administration, interpersonal communications, and so forth;
  4. Overseeing in coordination with the government relations committee of legislative or administrative action on library personnel issues;
  5. The study of issues affecting continuing education of library personal and the presentation of proposals or plans to the NLA board of trustees.

 

  1. The chairperson interprets the instructions of the board of trustees to the committee.
  2. The chairperson supervises the work of the committee in fulfilling its responsibilities.
  3. The chairperson calls a business meeting of the committee at the annual conference. Other meetings are called as needed, sometimes on a regional sub-committee basis; other business may be transacted by mail or phone.
  4. The personnel development committee sponsors a program at the annual convention each year, concentrating on the areas of management, personnel administration, interpersonal communication, etc.