Many organizations have a budget set aside for training opportunities. Yet, few libraries can accurately assess training needs to ensure that funds are allocated toward the areas of greatest potential impact for short or long-term skill development.
Given the comprehensive service portfolios of many library organizations, numerous competencies and tools are essential for staff. These tools help sustain current services or design new ones.An ongoing stream of events, conferences, courses, and webinars are promoted to the library community weekly with coverage of library fundamentals such as cataloging or virtual reference alongside emerging topics such as marketing via social media or data literacies.
The needs of leaders, managers, and staff may be discussed yearly during the performance review cycle. Additionally, how the library overall is performing can be discussed during library evaluation. Yet, few libraries have a system in place to evaluate training needs on an ongoing basis to close any skill gaps across teams, departments, or the library as a whole.
Libraries risk wasting resources on professional development without closing skill gaps. Associations, conferences, vendors, and training providers offer an abundance of training events and experiences to choose from daily. Over a year, the hours and dollars spent on training opportunities for select staff may not cultivate the competencies most important to the library’s future.
With Skilltype, libraries possess tools to grasp current strengths and staff interests. These interests align with the library’s key skills. Instead of canvassing staff via email or surveys, a more direct approach exists. Each staff member can craft a unique profile. This profile outlines their skillset and areas for development or improvement. This information is updated in real-time as staff enter and leave the organization.
Skilltype Talent Audits offer leaders a comprehensive global view. This view can be localized to branches, departments, or teams. Supervisors can then identify team skills and potential gaps. These Talent Audits align with the library’s priorities. This alignment assists libraries in selecting skill sets to emphasize. They can then decide focus areas for the next quarter or calendar year, optimizing their spending.
Staff can view each library’s selected key skills using Skilltype’s Needs Assessment. This visibility allows them to make training requests aligned with their interests and career trajectory. These requests also consider team needs and library priorities. Supervisors, when evaluating or approving training requests, gain better insight. This ensures training budgets address a broader range of staff needs.
Skilltype’s Central Index of more than 11,000 library industry training resources and events connects library industry events to key skills and product experience, ensuring that library staff can take advantage of community-developed training or develop unique in-house training that complements available resources, reducing otherwise wasted time and effort.