Creating Our Future - Leading the Way!
Strategic Directions in Professional Development
Rutgers University Libraries

With the release of the report, An Investment in Learning: A Proposed Plan for Learning, Training, and Professional Development for the Rutgers University Libraries, the Libraries' community articulated its belief in learning as integral to the successful achievement of goals. The report described learning as a responsibility that is shared among all members of the Libraries' community. As we move into the new strategic plan for the Libraries, the Training and Learning Advisory Committee offers a professional development framework on which to build and grow.

Throughout 2003 and 2004, the Advisory Committee, in partnership with the Planning Committee [now the Planning and Coordinating Committee] offered the community a series of programs designed to build expanded knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the work of the Libraries-sharing the expanded use of technologies, placing the Libraries' projects and products in the larger context of both the larger university, and higher education in the 21st century. Throughout these series, and other individual programs over the past several years, we have established and cultivated partnerships within the Libraries, within the University, and the larger community to enhance the learnings derived from participation in these programs. We propose to continue this model: collaborating with both old and new partners to create a dynamic, vibrant learning environment. We call this model- Creating Our Future-Leading the Way! The model is constructed in three streams: Discovering, Energizing, and Celebrating. These streams are distinct while also closely related.

Possible "Leading the Way" Components for First Year of Libraries' Strategic Plan:

Discovering: We would propose inviting experts from outside the Libraries to join us in facilitating a dialogue around "Creating Library Leaders for the 21st Century-What It Takes to Lead!" [title 'borrowed' from this fall's LAMA National Institute in Palm Springs]. The presentations would be offered twice a year, with access to all three campuses via videoconferencing. Growing out of these initial presentations could be a continuing discussion series, promoting expanded communication across the community.

We propose to partner with the Center for Organizational Development and Leadership in a program series on Emotional Intelligence and its place in the professional workplace. During the series, individual participants would gain an understanding of their own EI, while together we could collaborate in developing ways to work together more effectively and mindfully, applying the principles of emotional intelligence to our work. This series would be offered on an ongoing basis to accommodate participation from all parts of the Libraries' community. This program series would be the first to link the Discovering and Energizing streams.

Energizing: The Advisory Committee is partnering with both UHR and the larger library training community in New Jersey to construct a "Super Supervisor" series that we would plan to debut in this first year of the plan. We will be creating a unique supervisory development series for everyone with supervisory responsibilities in the Rutgers University Libraries community.

We will also partner with the Planning and Coordinating Committee on a one-day presentation on mentoring for tenured librarians. We plan to invite experts from ARL and SCILS to support participants' developing a clear understanding of what mentoring is, and how mentoring could support the Libraries' successfully achieving intended goals. Programs in succeeding years could address other facets of mentoring, its applicability to a broader population within the Libraries.

Celebrating: To begin to develop a "portrait" of Rutgers University Libraries, we propose spotlighting individual libraries, to give them opportunities to "brag", to share their strengths, their functions and roles, to place them in the larger context of their campus. Example: spotlight John Cotton Dana Library-its Institute of Jazz Studies; its fine collection of art; its perceived function and role within the Newark campus. We could spotlight a library several times through the year, and weave these snapshots into the larger portrait of Rutgers University Libraries.

To bring more color and three-dimensionality to this emergent portrait, we propose having a Libraries' Creativity Fair, where we invite everyone in the community to bring in and share their creations-needlework, visual arts [photography, paintings, ceramics], music, performance, culinary treats, prose, poetry, film, multimedia.

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