Library looks to implement monthly training regimen for employees

January 12, 2019

Columbus Public Library leaders are hoping to soon implement monthly staff training sessions in an effort to make sure the nonprofit is operating at the highest level possible.

During Thursday afternoon’s Columbus Public Library Board meeting held on the second floor of the facility, 2504 14th St, Library Director Laura Whitehead said she’s prepared to speak with city officials about what needs to happen that will allow for her and other personnel to host half-day training sessions on one Tuesday or Wednesday each month.

“It would be everything from active shooter trainings, to customer service, to trainings on new equipment – all those things are the types of things I’m thinking of,” Whitehead said. “And the leadership team was super excited (about this) and wanted to do it. They have done it in the past and then, I guess, they quit doing it at some point, and they really miss it.”

Whitehead said that she’s unsure whether formal action will have to take place at the Columbus City Council level, or if the city simply needs to be notified and then approval could subsequently happen through a board vote.

The library director, who has served the Columbus community in this capacity for about a year, said that she has completed various training regimens in other library environments she has worked. It’s something she said she feels has been missing at the public library locally.

Recently appointed library board member Stephanie Miller voiced her approval for the proposed action.

“I think it’s a great idea. I think, personally, whenever you can offer development and training, it’s always a good thing,” she said.

Some discussion took place regarding whether proposed training sessions should last a full day or a part day, and the four board members in attendance unanimously appeared to agree that a part day was the best way to keep attendees engaged and on their ‘A’ game.

“I don’t know if you’d really be engaged by the end of the day, probably just really exhausted,” Miller said of the difficulty of a full day of training for staff in attendance.

Bob Hausmann, new board member and principal at North Park Elementary School, said monthly training would benefit library staff much like teacher work days benefits the employees he oversees.

“It’s no different than our Wednesday early-outs, that’s why we do it,” Hausmann said. “Two-Thirty until 4 (p.m.) is a time for staff to meet and be developed. It’s a time to do a lot of trainings and meetings that we otherwise would be doing until 6 o’clock.”

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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