Addressing Paraprofessional Issues: 101+ Strategies

library support staff resource center

 

by Ed Gillen


  1. Quote leaders of the library profession in your proposals.

  2. Use the language of the profession/professional associations in your proposals.

  3. Learn and use the language of the stakeholders who may make changes in personnel-related issues possible (e.g. civil service, division of budget, etc.)

  4. Quote language from your library's mission and vision statements in your proposals.

  5. Have directors/librarians/editors/officers keynote your conference.

  6. Have directors/librarians/editors/officers present workshops at your conference.

  7. Have the State Librarian keynote your conference.

  8. Have paraprofessionals keynote your conference.

  9. Have paraprofessionals present workshops at conferences.

  10. Establish honorary awards that recognize directors who have made contributions in the development of library paraprofessionals.

  11. Establish honorary awards that recognize library paraprofessionals who have made contributions in the library paraprofessional field.

  12. Establish honorary awards that recognize library paraprofessionals who have made contributions in the library profession.

  13. Present these honorary awards at your workshops or conferences.

  14. Publicize the winners of these honorary awards in library professional literature.

  15. Publicize the winners of these honorary awards on library electronic discussion lists.

  16. Have directors who see the benefit of paraprofessionals attending workshops and conferences write letters to other directors explaining that benefit.

  17. Use favorable quotations from directors/editors/officers in promoting your next workshop/conference.

  18. Use favorable quotations from library paraprofessionals in promoting your next workshop/conference.

  19. Have your library host a workshop or conference.

  20. Have your library host a tour of paraprofessionals from your region.

  21. Make paraprofessional workshops and conferences open to any interested library or library association member.

  22. Invite other library association members to participate in your events.

  23. Request that library paraprofessionals participate on decision-making committees at their library that affect their jobs and careers.

  24. Join a committee at your library.

  25. Be a member of your library association.

  26. Be able to answer the question, "Why should I join the paraprofessional association?"

  27. Be able to quote your paraprofessional association's mission statement.

  28. Ask your colleagues to join your paraprofessional association.

  29. Ask your director to join your paraprofessional association.

  30. Ask your supervisor to join your paraprofessional association.

  31. Serve on a committee of your library association.

  32. Serve as an officer of your library association.

  33. Inform your director/supervisor that you are a member/committee member/officer of your library association.

  34. Start your own regional or statewide paraprofessional association.

  35. Attend staff meetings at your library.

  36. Attend staff development programs at your library.

  37. Start your own in-house staff development program.

  38. Request staff development program topics at your library.

  39. Publicize upcoming paraprofessional workshops and conferences at your library.

  40. Deliver a copy of the workshop/conference brochure to your supervisor/director.

  41. Attend your paraprofessional association's workshops and conferences.

  42. Communicate success stories/lessons learned at workshops/conferences.

  43. Communicate success stories/lessons learned on library electronic discussion lists.

  44. Communicate success stories to fellow paraprofessionals via newsletters, journals, etc.

  45. Attend social events at conferences.

  46. Distribute your business card, or facsimile, at workshops and conferences.

  47. Collect business cards at workshops and conferences.

  48. Report at staff meetings what you learned at workshops and conferences.

  49. Send a written report to your director on what you learned at workshops/conferences.

  50. Share what you learned with your supervisor.

  51. Show how you can apply what you learned to your job.

  52. Send thank you notes where applicable.

  53. Attend some conference workshops that have no direct relationship to your job.

  54. Write a review of the workshop or conference for your library newsletter.

  55. Write a review of the workshop or conference for your paraprofessional association newsletter.

  56. Write a review of the workshop or conference for a professional library journal.

  57. Read library-related periodicals and books.

  58. Subscribe to library periodicals.

  59. Subscribe to library-related electronic discussion lists.

  60. Forward interesting professional literature to your supervisor/director.

  61. Forward articles/postings that you authored to your supervisor/director.

  62. Write book reviews of professional literature for newsletters, journals, electronic discussion lists, etc.

  63. Read non-library related professional literature (especially personnel, technology, negotiating, and management-related literature)

  64. Subscribe to non-library related electronic discussion lists (especially personnel, technology, and management-related literature)

  65. Forward interesting non-library related professional literature to your supervisor/director.

  66. Respond to stereotyped comments in professional literature re: library paraprofessionals.

  67. Write letters to the editors of professional library journals requesting additional articles on the paraprofessional.

  68. Write letters to the officers of other professional associations requesting additional workshops devoted to library paraprofessional issues.

  69. Using the conference evaluation form, voice your displeasure over a lack of workshops devoted to paraprofessional issues.

  70. Using the conference evaluation form, suggest possible workshop topics and presenters who would address paraprofessional issues.

  71. Invite librarians/directors to participate in the planning of paraprofessional initiatives.

  72. Identify and seek representation on decision-making groups within the library community.

  73. Establish linkages with stakeholders who may make changes in personnel-related issues possible (e.g. civil service, division of budget, etc.)

  74. Keep a professional development portfolio and kudos file throughout your career.

  75. Keep a file of professional library literature that supports your goals.

  76. Keep a file of your past performance evaluations.

  77. Periodically review your personnel history folder.

  78. Request, in writing, your justification for training or staff development opportunities during your performance appraisal review with your supervisor.

  79. Request and keep copies of library annual reports.


  80. Request and keep copies of unit statistical reports.


  81. Answer and return surveys on paraprofessional issues.


  82. Prepare and issue a survey which will provide supporting data.

  83. Request and keep survey data collected by library paraprofessional and other associations.

  84. Disseminate information on library paraprofessionals to library paraprofessionals.

  85. Publish survey results in library professional journals.

  86. Publish survey results on library electronic discussion lists.

  87. Request supporting data electronically.

  88. Nominate candidates who support library paraprofessionals.

  89. Publicly endorse candidates who support library paraprofessionals.

  90. Vote for candidates who support library paraprofessionals.

  91. Use bullet voting (not using all the votes you have to help the candidate you truly favor).

  92. Serve as a member of a nomination/selection committee at your library.

  93. Volunteer for work force innovations (cross-training, job-rotation, voluntary job assignments) that enhance or expand your skills or help meet your goals.

  94. Request information on how training and evaluation examinations are weighted.

  95. Learn how your library defines "job-related," "career-related," and "mission-related."

  96. Negotiate for release time over conference fees, travel, and lodging costs.

  97. "Dry run" your proposals with people you trust (anticipate objections).

  98. Request professional development funding from your regional/statewide/national library/library association.

  99. Embrace management initiatives that give employees a greater say in decisions that affect their job/career.

  100. Have library-related vendors display their products at workshops/conferences.

  101. Scan and collect employment ads as supporting data.

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