Article C - Staff Development
As a public service organization, the library recognizes that the quality and range of services it is able to provide to patrons is determined by the skills of library staff. Therefore, the policy of the library is to provide training for employees so they are equipped to meet the demands of the system and prepare for career advancement opportunities.
The director is responsible for establishing system-wide training programs, setting priorities among them, ensuring that all such programs are adequately managed, and evaluating overall effectiveness. Leave will not be granted solely for the purpose of permitting employees to attend classes. The program or course of instruction must be approved by the library director and must be beneficial to the employee in the performance of duties at the library.
Full-time staff who have worked at the library for at least one year are eligible to request up to two hours of administrative leave per week to attend ALA accredited library school classes. This leave will be valid only during actual class terms, and must be coordinated with the work schedule and supervisors. All requests must be approved on a case-by-case basis by the library director.
Branch Managers/Team Leaders are responsible for identifying the training needs of their staffs; recommending, developing or implementing programs to meet these needs, and evaluating each program’s effectiveness.
Every effort is made to retrain and utilize current staff when reorganization involving new systems or procedures requires different skills.
In-service staff training is used to address the unique needs of each area or branch. Branch Managers/Team Leaders determine, in consultation with the director, the need for specialized training.
H. 11. Miscellaneous Employee Benefits
H. 11. a. Staff Fine-free Circulations
Library staff is not required to pay regular overdue fines on library materials. However, staff is responsible for the timely return of materials; fines will be charged on materials declared “long overdue” by the circulation database. Staff will be charged for damaged or lost materials. Non-circulating materials may not be taken out of the building. All items must be checked out whether they are taken home or are used in the building for an extended period of time. Items which have reserves placed on them by other patrons must be returned expeditiously.
If local policy conflicts with PINES policies concerning staff use, PINES policy takes precedence.
H. 11. b. Staff Fee Discounts
Pay-per-use photocopiers are located in all ARLS libraries. Copies are available to staff at half the rate per copy charged to the public at each site.
Staff members may use the computer printers at half the rate per copy charged to the public.
Staff may use the libraries’ fax machines free for local and toll-free calls. They are charged the same rate as the public for long distance calls.
H.6.g. Educational Leave
Athens Regional Library System may grant up to two hours per week administrative leave with pay to full-time salaried employees who are enrolled in an ALA-accredited library school program. Requests for such leave must be approved in advance by the Director, upon recommendation by the appropriate supervisor. The employee must have been employed with ARLS for a minimum of two years to be eligible for educational leave.
Educational leave is not guaranteed and must be requested for each school term for which the employee is enrolled in classes. It may not be used between terms or during any week in which a paid holiday occurs.
Educational leave will be reported, with explanatory notes, as proscribed by the current time-keeping procedures.
New Employee Orientation
New employees are introduced to the library organization in general and to their specific position in particular. The Branch Manager/Team Leader or designee is responsible for providing new employees with the following information or materials within the employee’s first two days on the job:
- Job description and explanation of the probationary period, performance standards the employee will be expected to meet, and how this job affects other jobs in the library.
- An explanation of library policy, e.g., work hours, pay periods, holidays, vacation, training opportunities, etc.
- Introduction to co-workers and physical facilities of the building, as well as rules unique to the department or branch and the consequences for violating them.
- The necessary forms from the Administrative staff, which must be completed and returned within one week.
- A copy of the Personnel Policy and time to read it.
The Athens-Clarke County Library will recognize those staff members who have consistently gone beyond the call of duty in support of the vision and mission of the library or those who have contributed in some significant way to the improvement of morale.
The Employee of the Month will be announced on the last working day of the month for the following month. A Recognition Award Committee consisting of three staff members appointed by the Director will have complete responsibility for defining the month’s criteria for recognition and for selecting the honoree.
Award recipients receive a gift certificate from a local restaurant sponsored by Friends of the Athens-Clarke County Library, a discount on any one item in the Library Store, a special parking place for the month, and his/her photograph and copy of the nomination posted in the staff break room.
All library employees are encouraged to use the library.
Fine Free Books
Library staff pay no overdue fines on library materials. However, staff are responsible for the timely return of materials and the replacement cost of any items which are lost. Each employee must abide by the same rules that apply to the public. Non-circulating materials may not be taken out of the building. All items must be checked out whether they are taken home or are used in the building for an extended period of time. This is so our catalog will be as accurate as possible and staff will not waste time and energy searching for items which are not on the shelf. While no fines are charged to staff members, items which have reserves placed on them must be returned expeditiously.
Staff “hold” notices are not mailed, but are delivered at work. Staff “hold” books are held on a special shelf behind the Information Desk in Circulation.
In early October, and sometime in the spring, the library compiles a staff gift-giving book order, which allows staff to take advantage of library discounts to purchase books, calendars and related items. Information about deadline dates for these special orders will be posted on e-mail.
The library provides a locker for each employee for his/her personal use. It is meant for storing clothes, lunch, or personal possessions. A key is provided to each employee for his/her locker. Employees should not place their own locks on library lockers. The library reserves the right to inspect lockers in an attempt to recover stolen property or to confiscate any illegal substances brought onto library property. Any break-ins, thefts or suspicious activity around lockers should be reported to a supervisor immediately.
Copy/Printer/Fax Machine Charges
Coin-operated copiers are located on both floors. Copies are available at half the rate per copy charged to the public.
Staff/Board members may use the CD ROM printers at half the rate per copy charged to the public.
Staff/Board may use the fax machine and are charged the same rate as the public.
Personal auto mileage to authorized events must be reported on the appropriate travel form in accordance with travel requirements. Mileage is measured to and from the library regardless of where the trip actually begins or ends (i.e. home).
Conferences and Meetings
The library encourages staff involvement in professional organizations. Attendance at local and nationally affiliated meetings and conferences contributes to the professional growth of the employee and increases the effectiveness of library operations. Attendance at any conferences on library time must be clearly job related. All attendees should be prepared to report on the conference. The library may accommodate attendance through approval of release time and/or expense reimbursement. Payment of expenses for attendance at conferences and other meetings depends upon the availability of funds.
Staff wishing to attend library conferences, workshops or meetings must complete a “Conference/Meeting Attendance Request” and submit it to the Library Director for approval. If the request is approved and the library pays for registration, staff members are required to attend the full conference, including any weekend/evening sessions. Failure to do so will result in the requirement that the staff member reimburse the library for the full cost of the registration. Staff will not receive compensatory time for conference sessions held during evening and weekend hours.
Conference attendees must be members of the sponsoring organization in order to be eligible for reimbursement. Covered expenses are outlined in the Georgia Department of Education Travel Regulations Guide. The allowance may be in full or partial reimbursement depending upon funds available.
Priority for expense reimbursement shall be given to approved official library representatives, office holders, committee members, program participants, and/or library designees as determined by the Director.
Travel time is allowed according to actual schedule requirements. For professional staff, (including Director, Associate Director, Assistant Directors, Reference Librarians, Heritage, Children’s, TBC, YA, and Cataloging Specialists, Systems Administrator, Grants Coordinator and Business Manager) time on a weekend or during other non-scheduled hours is not to be allowed as compensatory time unless specifically authorized by the Director. All other staff receive compensatory time for conference/workshop attendance during non-scheduled hours.
Employees may request permission or may be designated by their supervisor to attend local job related workshops, seminars, etc. Time off and reimbursement may be allowed as funds and work schedule permit.
- Friends of the Library
These are groups whose purpose is to support and aid the library. The Friends of the Library and the Endowment are incorporated as separate 501C3 entities and are governed by separate boards.
- The Athens-Clarke County Library Endowment Fund, Inc. is dedicated exclusively to the support of the Athens-Clarke County Library in the form of materials purchases. The Endowment raises funds from public donations and fundraising activities to establish an investment corpus. The fundraising is conducted by the directors and officers of the Endowment and volunteers and is done principally in Athens-Clarke County.
- The Friends of the Library groups are organized for charitable and educational purposes to solicit, receive and transmit funds to the local library board for use in providing facilities, materials and other items needed by any library existing under its authority; to promote public awareness of the library and its needs; to aid and assist in the operations of the library and to generally undertake such activity which promotes and advances the library and facilitates the goals and objectives of the library board.
- As library services increase, (resulting in increase of staff workloads), and paid staff remains at a fixed level, the library must come to rely more heavily upon dependable volunteer staff. However, volunteers will not be expected to replace paid staff positions. Volunteer opportunities include work in the Library Store in Athens-Clarke County Library, in the circulation area, in the Talking Book Center, and for special events. Volunteers play a crucial role in the success of all these activities.