As an academic health science librarian who started a new job during the pandemic, I realize the importance of onboarding. As I once wrote, “Onboarding is a continuous process of bringing a person into the culture of your institution. Orientation is usually a one- or two-day event that introduces a new employee to the university or college, and it is also a way to make new people feel welcomed. I think of orientation as being the foundation of a person’s onboarding.” Now more than ever, it’s time to make sure that your library has an onboarding process.
Your Library Needs an Onboarding Process
Most institutions have their own onboarding, which is excellent! As a new employee, you should know what your college or university has to offer you. The problem comes in when the library does not have its own onboarding procedures or practices. How can the new person really know what to expect? Or who to go to when they have a question or concern? Therefore, creating the resources needed for new employees can be vital to their welcome to the library. I have seen academic libraries use Springshare LibGuides as their platform for their onboarding materials. The materials that I had at my last two jobs were paper documents which I kept at my desk throughout my time at the libraries. Therefore, thinking about how the onboarding materials will be accessible to the new employee is part of the first steps to creating onboarding practices.
If you have onboarding policies in place, that is excellent, but remember to update them and get input from the new person about their onboarding experience. There are some great resources out there and provided by Infobase. Onboarding is a continuous process for new employees so that they can understand the culture of the library. Therefore, if you need some resources on how to start an onboarding process, these are some that I found that pertain to academic libraries.
- We Are Happy to Be Here: The Onboarding Experience in Academic Libraries
- Developing and Implementing an Onboarding Program for an Academic Library: Strategies and Methods
- University Libraries Onboarding Guide for Faculty
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