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New Workforce Transformation Story: A Community of Practice around Leadership Development

image © Tom Sharlot

ARL has published the latest entry in its Workforce Transformation Stories column. Jill Mierke, director of human resources for the University of Saskatchewan Library, contributed the February essay, “Communities of Practice to Deepen Leadership Practice.”

Mierke describes the community of practice (CoP) that the University of Saskatchewan Library established three years ago as part of an effort to “build leadership competencies at all layers and levels of the organization.” She notes that the CoP provides a confidential, non-threatening, learning environment. The group uses a shared leadership approach for its own meetings, which gives each member opportunities to practice the skills they learn in the CoP. On top of that, Mierke has seen “CoP members taking their learnings and insights from CoP discussions and putting them into practice in the workplace.”

ARL hopes this column will enable library leaders to point to evidence of trends and general truths, and to support organizational change. Collectively we will build a shared understanding of what it means to work in a research library and what skills and competencies are required.

Potential topics might include:

  • How evolving pressures and priorities in higher education are changing library work
  • The library’s role in promoting new technologies
  • Techniques for the successful on-boarding and mentoring of new library staff
  • Unique staffing models through campus collaborations
  • Innovative ways to provide professional development opportunities
  • Effective annual evaluation and promotion review processes
  • Successful reorganizations and the resulting organizational synergies

If you are interested in contributing a story, contact Judy Ruttenberg at judy@arl.org.

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The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

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