Library Council
University of Toronto Central Library System

Annual Report of the Staff Development Committee
January 16, 2004

Changes in membership:
The Committee extends its thanks and appreciation to its former committee member and Chair, Adrienne Thierry-Broad, for her many dedicated years as Chair of the Staff Development Committee.

We also thank Lari Langford, who has left the Committee, for her valued contribution to the Staff Development Committee over the past several years.

During the past year we welcomed Maureen Morin and Kim Gallant onto the Staff Development Committee.

Some of the year's highlights were:

Working in close collaboration with ITS and the Staff Development Committee, Linda Lewis, our trainer, designed a Windows XP course to address our particular library set-up.
Windows XP courses were offered in 3 modalities -formal courses, a follow-up question and answer session and a drop-in session. Evaluations of this course by attendees were excellent.

Student Orientation sessions are an annual occurrence in the autumn. This fall there was a record number of attendees - almost all new casual employees attended, as did several who had missed the previous orientation session. The Student Orientation website has been redesigned and updated, with many additional useful links added for students.  Reviews of the sessions and of the website were quite positive.

Health and Safety courses. A series of courses was offered such as Emergency procedures in the Library, Health and Safety for employees - Crisis Intervention, Ergonomics and CTS, and Back Care. The course "Due Diligence - Managing Health and Safety for Supervisors" attracted a large number of supervisors and, due to popular demand, was repeated.

Healthy Employees Month
A proposed healthy employee week grew into a month of activities in April. These included: talks/tours on the programs and facilities at Hart House and the Athletic Centre, stress-management workshops, group walks and runs, Pilates and Shiatsu massage demonstrations, EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) and the University's new Office of Health and Well-being sessions. Healthy snacks were provided in the administration area throughout the month.Those who attended provided positive feedback but attendance was disappointedly low. A follow-up survey identified some of the issues eg. the event was held during a busy month, events during the work day were problematic, etc.

The Committee will be considering options to determine whether this can become a more successful event.

Planning for Diversity Sessions
Much attention was focused on preliminary planning for sessions for the coming year. which would address issues surrounding diversity.

The Committee has been working with Jude Tate from Human Resources and Student Affairs. A pilot session was done with an expanded committee group.

Dealing With Irate Customers
The Committee continued to preview selected courses to see whether they would be worthwhile to offer to staff. This course was judged to be very good. The University is offering a version of it which will be explored.

Accessibility Information Session
This was a two - part session. Accessibility Services addressed matters relating to students with learning disabilities, mental health disabilities, hearing impairments, and low vision and how accommodations help them to achieve their academic goals.  Adaptive Technology Resource Centre staff demonstrated various adaptive technology software and hardware, showing how it assists students with disabilities.

Staff Recognition
The Committee continued to discuss ways to recognize staff for their efforts, eg.an event after 5 years of service. Another idea: UTLAS used to place photographs of staff in staff areas or other prominent places. These ideas will be pursued with the Great Library Service Group.

The Staff Development Committee continued to work collaboratively with other groups, in some cases helping to sponsor sessions, including:

Virtual Reference Service - with the Health Science Information Consortium, a screening and mini-conference.
Electronic Resource Sessions, "Enhancing your Reference Knowledge", with the Reference Department.
In collaboration with the Great Library Service Group, a Sirsi follow up survey was posted on the Staff Developmentt website. Results were analyzed and passed on to ITS.
In collaboration with the Great Library Service Group, an exhibition will be mounted this spring entitled "Staff picks for summer reading".

Focus for 2003-2004
Continue to provide relevant training/development opportunities for Library staff.
Design short, topic-specific surveys to get feedback and ideas.
In particular, complete the planning and offer diversity sessions.
Explore other approaches to "healthy employee" activities.
Continue to explore the topic of staff recognition.
Explore the possibility of expanding orientation for newly- appointed employees. This could include giving tours, starting a "buddy system," and sending out announcements about all new employees.

Committee Membership:
Chair: TBA
Ex-officio
Solange Silverberg
Veronica Chase
Appointed Librarians
Dan D'Agostino
Debbie Green
Administrative Staff
Kim Gallant
Professional/Managerial staff
Edith Sinclair
Unionized staff:
Dana Kuszelewski
Maureen Morin
Yvonne Ramcharan

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