Change makers – are you one too?

Lisa Keogh, Meaghan Brown - Redland City Council
Wendy Ibbotson - Gladstone Regional Council


Concurrent session 2
Tuesday 30 August 2016, 11:30am - 11:55am


Recruitment practices. Sounds dull, doesn't it? If you had asked us six months ago, we would have thought so too.

As future library leaders, we are responsible for building dynamic, responsive libraries that are seen as relevant to our respective communities and stakeholders. Of course, that means dynamic and responsive people too.

Our paper builds on collaborative research we undertook as part of the State Library of Queensland's inaugural Library Leadership 2015 program. We didn't know each other well; we didn't know what we were doing at first; but we knew that there was often a mismatch between the flexible, resilient, change oriented workforce our libraries need in the 21st century, and some of the ways we attract, recruit and induct new staff. That's where the Change Makers project was conceived.

Transformation starts here...

Transforming the library workforce to meet 21st century needs to start at the beginning. At least that's the conclusion we arrived at. Libraries need to recruit for change.

We looked closely at current public library recruitment practices, and what other contemporary organisations did differently or better. Our research included:

  • Skills audit – to identify gaps in our current workforce
  • Position Description review
    • Research - businesses like the Apple store, Google, JB Hi Fi, existing position descriptions from libraries, other customer service industries; the Local Government Award; Human Resources; State Library of Queensland guidelines
    • Create - new selection criteria based on the gaps from the skills audit; addresses issues highlighted from other position descriptions; focus on change ready/resilient staff, digital curiosity, promotional and marketing skills as well as traditional selection criteria such as customer service and team work.
    • Interview process – we explored a more flexible style with a focus on behaviours and attitudes, and helping candidates relax during the interview with open questions.

We were stretched over the six months of the leadership program; challenged to think differently, and able to experiment with tools and techniques that produced radically different solutions to ones we may have arrived at in the past.

Our paper will inspire libraries to think differently about recruitment, and we provide evidence-based tools and templates to help you do something differently. Our presentation will be playful, engaging, practical and interactive. If we have learnt one thing from the program, it was that nothing is too dull for reinvention - even recruitment.

Paper - Now available.

Presentation - Now available.


Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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