CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) has chosen the Virginia Beach (Va.) Public Library as the winner of the 2012 H.W. Wilson Staff Development Grant, for its innovative concept of a hands-on staff training program entitled “Petting Zoo.”
This annual award, consisting of $3,500 and a 24k gold-framed citation, is given to a library organization whose application demonstrates the greatest merit for a program in furthering its staff development goals and objectives. Staff development is defined as: "a program of learning activities that is developed by the library organization and develops the on-the-job staff capability and improves the abilities of personnel to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the library organization." The award is donated by the H.W. Wilson Company.
With this grant, The Virginia Beach Public Library plans to purchase a variety of digital devices to create a “Petting Zoo” to provide hands-on training for staff. These devices will be used in structured in-person training for staff at all levels throughout the system, followed by a period of self-directed, hands-on exploration. Library staff will have the opportunity to then utilize this “Petting Zoo” to instruct customers on how to access digital media using their own equipment.
The project will be implemented by Virginia Beach Public Library’s Emerging Technologies Librarian Nicole McGee and will be coordinated by Angela Davis, library staff development coordinator.
In selecting The Virginia Beach Public Library for this year’s H.W. Wilson Grant, jury members commented on the need for digital devices training by public library staff, as well as the clearly stated goals and objectives of this particular staff training program, according to Jury Chair Tim Grimes of the Ann Arbor District Library.
Other members of the H.W. Wilson Staff Development Grant jury were Holly Carroll, Poudre River (Colo.) Public Library District; Jennifer Kutzik, Morgan Library, Colorado State University; Eloise May, Arapahoe Library District; and Syma Zerkow, Houston Public Library.
The 2012 H.W. Wilson Staff Development Grant will be presented at the ALA Award Ceremony on Sunday, June 24, during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.
The deadline for submissions of applications for the 2013 H.W. Wilson Staff Development Grant is December 1, 2012. Guidelines and application forms are available on the ALA website.