New Library Staff Training Strategies

It can be daunting for new library staff members facing the challenge of learning their roles while understanding the intricacies of library operations. Library staff training often presents obstacles, including communication gaps, time constraints, and documentation issues. That said, a great team with a quality onboarding process can reduce burdens and make taking on a new role less intimidating.

Clear communication, record-keeping, and continuous support are essential elements of successful onboarding. However, libraries sometimes struggle with these aspects due to limited resources and staff time. In this post we’ll explore the challenges associated with onboarding new library staff, share insights from research and interviews with librarians, and discuss how libraries can relieve some burdens utilizing easy to use reporting services such as WhoFi. 

Challenges in Onboarding Library Staff

Onboarding new staff members in a library setting presents a unique set of challenges that can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of library operations.

  1. Communication Gaps

Library Training Meeting

One of the primary challenges in onboarding new library staff is the presence of communication gaps especially when previous staff is not available for training. Libraries may struggle to effectively convey essential information to new hires, leading to confusion and inefficiency. This can be especially problematic in libraries with a smaller staff or high staff turnover rates.

  1. Time Constraints

Time constraints pose another significant challenge in the onboarding process. Libraries often operate with limited resources and personnel, making it difficult to dedicate sufficient time and attention to properly onboard new staff members. This can result in rushed or incomplete onboarding experiences, hindering the success of new hires into the library team.

  1. Lack of Documentation

A lack of comprehensive documentation is another common challenge faced during the onboarding process. Libraries may not have had time to create a process to provide new staff members with access to essential resources, policies, and procedures, leading to incomplete understanding. Without proper documentation, new hires may find it challenging to navigate their roles effectively and start serving the community seamlessly.

Importance of Effective Onboarding Processes

Effective onboarding processes play a crucial role in ensuring the long-term success of new librarians and the overall efficiency of library operations. By prioritizing clear communication, documentation, and continuous support, libraries can create a positive onboarding experience that sets new staff members up for success.

  1. Setting New Hires Up for Success

Library Training Ideas

Clear communication and documentation are essential for setting new hires up for success in their roles. By providing comprehensive information about library policies, procedures, and expectations, libraries can empower new staff members to navigate their roles effectively from day one. This not only boosts their confidence but also enhances their ability to contribute to the library’s goals and objectives.

  1. Fostering a Sense of Belonging

Effective onboarding processes also play a crucial role in fostering a sense of belonging among new staff members. By providing continuous support and guidance, libraries can help new hires integrate into the library team seamlessly. Regular check-ins and opportunities for feedback create a supportive environment where new staff members feel valued and appreciated, enhancing their overall job satisfaction and retention.

  1. Enhancing Library Operations

In addition to supporting new staff members, effective onboarding processes also contribute to the overall efficiency of library operations. By ensuring that new hires are well-equipped with the necessary knowledge and resources, libraries can minimize disruptions and maintain continuity in service delivery. This ultimately enhances the library’s ability to meet the needs of its patrons and achieve its organizational objectives.

To further understand the challenges associated with library staff training and the importance of effective onboarding processes, we explored insights from research articles and interviews conducted with library professionals.

Research Insights

A study conducted by the City University of New York (CUNY) sheds light on the challenges faced by new librarians during the onboarding process. The study emphasizes the importance of clear communication, documentation of institutional knowledge, and regular check-ins for new librarians to succeed in their roles. It highlights the need for library leadership to prioritize effective onboarding processes to ensure the long-term success of librarians.

How it helped Huron

North Fairfield Public Library

In an interview with Chris Mills, branch manager for the North Fairfield and Greenwich locations of Huron County Community Library in Ohio, we gain firsthand insights into the challenges of helping library staff adopt new solutions and the impact of easy to use programs for her library. Chris shared how communication gaps, time constraints, and adapting new technologies have historically hindered processes at the libraries she serves. However, with the implementation of WhoFi, they have streamlined tasks such as planning programs, gathering registration as well as attendance. This has made it easier for new and existing staff across the district to provide Chris the numbers she needs for the state survey. 

From both research insights and interview perspectives, it’s clear that effective onboarding processes and easy to use technology are crucial for the success of new librarians and the overall efficiency of library operations. 

Simplifying Onboarding for Libraries with WhoFi

Library Training Online

WhoFi can serve as a valuable ally for libraries seeking to streamline their onboarding processes and enhance efficiency. With its suite of services tailored specifically for libraries, WhoFi offers user-friendly tools for managing programs, meeting rooms, and more.

By simplifying these tasks and providing libraries with easy access to data and reporting tools, WhoFi empowers libraries to overcome lengthy training challenges with an easy to use service covering various library services. By spending time to create effective onboarding processes and leveraging solutions like WhoFi, libraries can ensure the long-term success of their staff and the overall efficiency of library operations.

Are you ready to streamline your library’s onboarding processes and enhance efficiency for both current and new staff members? Reach out to us at to book a meeting and explore how WhoFi can simplify tasks such as attendance tracking, program calendar management, and usage statistics reporting.