How, as librarians, do we measure the impact of the staff development activities we pursue? This is a thorny issue which we are always trying to resolve in our Staff Development & Engagement Group. When people attend conferences they have to fill in a feedback form (although many forget to!), and they are invited to write about their experience in our SDEG newsletter. So we have opportunities to feedback to our colleagues, and share what we have learned – but measuring impact? If anyone has any bright ideas on this issue I’d love to hear them, as asking people six months later how their attendance at a training session has improved their work doesn’t usually yield any useful results (if any results at all!).
While discussing performance metrics and the like at our last meeting we also touched on the issue of personal professional achievements. Staff gain qualifications, present at conferences, and publish their work – but most of the time this passes almost unnoticed, except perhaps by a few colleagues or a line manager. Surely these are the kind of things that should also be shared and be celebrated – they are steps on the way to ‘high visibility’ librarianship – but there are times when the wider world of librarianship might know what you have done, and yet the person sat opposite you is unaware. Many of us don’t like to shout about our achievements, we are too modest/shy/embarrassed/don’t want to look like we are boasting/don’t think anyone will be interested etc etc.
For the next issue of our newsletter the focus will be on celebrating achievements, and most specifically on those who have published in the last year. A call out across the library service yielded several results (and of course we are still reliant on people letting us know), but hopefully we will be sharing details to a wider internal audience, and this may also encourage others to take steps to write up their projects too. We are also trying to track down those who have gained qualifications and won awards – so many people seem to hide their light under a bushel when they should be proud of what they have achieved – and we should be proud of our colleagues too.
My own publications can be found listed on academia.edu