Taking Time to Ensure New Librarians Succeed

When does the hiring process start, and when does it end? The answer to the first part of the question is pretty clear, but the answer to the second part may surprise you.


“As the hiring manager and supervisor, you play a significant role in your new hire’s success and particularly in shaping his or her first few months on the job,” writes Kathel Dunn in the January-February issue of Information Outlook. “You can use that time to implement an orientation program, observe your new hire, and address any potential difficulties he or she is encountering.”

Dunn, associate fellowship coordinator at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Bethesda, Maryland, says supervisors must plan to devote some of their most precious commodity—time—to ensuring that new employees adjust to the work environment and the expectations of their new jobs. This is especially true during the first few weeks after a new librarian or information professional begins working, because that is when potential problems are easiest to address.

“Direct observation of a new employee is easier for both you and the employee during the first few weeks than it is after several months,” she writes. “It’s also one of the easiest times for a new employee to accept critiques of his or her work.”

To read more about how supervisors can help new librarians succeed, click here.

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