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Dec 06

Getting from A to B: development framework for developing librarians – Vanessa Warren – University of Tasmania

Vanessa is a liason librarian at the Launceston campus and works in collection development, research support, teaching and learning, reference services and strategic planning and an awful lot of improvisation.

In a reorganisation in 2007, all liason librarians were reclassified to take account of skills and levels of expertise, which could in turn prevent new graduates from applying for such positions. They introduced a framework that would enable new graduates to obtain such a position at a lower level and then graduate to the reclassified level.

Framework was separated into 3 distinct sections – direction which incorporated capability and performance criteria, how to get there which covered learning activities and types of evidence to be used to demonstrate that the learning had been achieved, what happened on the way reflected through discussion which was kept online and accessible to all stakeholders involved and open to their comments.

Changes in management left Vanessa in the lurch and the need for a mentor was overlooked, even though it had been needed. Her angst over the whole process was only overridden when she obtained an informal mentor and discovered how much she had achieved.

Framework was supposed to replace the normal HR reclassification process. However, when it came to reclassification, HR still required the old documentation. However, the framework gave all required content and this process was completed in a timely manner.

The framework has been useful to new librarians in getting established in their roles, but also as a refresher to experienced librarians in all the particulars of their roles. It is still developing as a framework and will continue to do so as new graduates move through the process.