Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.8.3 Qualified Staff

The institution provides a sufficient number of qualified staff – with appropriate education or experiences in library and/or other learning/information resources – to accomplish the mission of the institution. (Qualified staff)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

Reinhardt University provides a sufficient number of qualified staff – with appropriate education or experiences in library and/or other learning/information resources – to accomplish the mission of the institution.  The mission of Reinhardt University is to “educate the whole person by developing the intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual, and physical dimensions of its students.” [1]  The Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center’s mission states that the library “supports the intellectual development of Reinhardt University students by providing information-related resources and services and by teaching the information skills needed for academic success and life-long learning.”[2] The library’s staff members - librarians, support staff, and student workers - work together to provide the resources and services to accomplish this mission. Ensuring that all Reinhardt students, faculty, and staff have access to the necessary information resources and the information literacy skills to use those resources is the top priority for the library staff.

As shown in the accompanying 3.8.3 Template [3], the library employs three full time professional librarians, two full time support staff, two part time support staff (1.25 FTE).  The library also employs six to seven student workers per semester (1.5 FTE). The library staff to student ratio is 7.14 per 1000 students, which is above the state and national ratios. [4] The library is staffed 82 hours per week. [5] When the library is staffed, either a professional librarian or a trained support staff member is available at the reference desk to assist library users. Users may also schedule appointments with librarians to receive one-on-one assistance with research or to learn about library resources. Librarians are available for consultation by telephone and by e-mail. [6]

Staff Hiring and Qualifications

Professional library staff hold non-tenure track faculty rank. Professional librarians are voting members of the faculty senate and serve on faculty committees. Employment, evaluation, and promotion procedures for professional library staff are governed by Section VI of the Faculty Handbook 2016-2017. [7] All professional library staff must hold Masters Degrees in Library Science from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited institution. When there is an opening for a librarian position, a national search is conducted. A search committee is formed to coordinate the search process. Position announcements are placed in national library and educational journals. Once the deadline for applications is reached, the search committee reviews the applications, arranges telephone interviews, collects recommendations and transcripts, and invites candidates for campus visits. After campus visits, the search committee recommends candidates to the Provost. Upon conferring with the committee chair and the President, the Provost tenders an offer to the candidate of choice.

Combined, the professional librarians have over 40 years of experience at Reinhardt. [3] The Director of Library Services has over 35 years of experience in the library field including 32 years at Reinhardt University. [8] He is responsible for all aspects of library operations and services including policies, procedures, resources, budgeting, and staffing. All library staff report directly to him. The Reference and User Services Librarian has five years of professional experience all at the University. She is responsible for overseeing reference services (including scheduling of staff hours at the reference desk), collection development, library instruction, and library programs. [9] The Technical Services Librarian has five years of professional experience all at the University. She is responsible for overseeing the processing and cataloging of physical resources, the cataloging of electronic resources, and the maintaining of the online public access catalog. [10] Prior to earning their master’s degrees, both the Reference and User Services Librarian and the Technical Services Librarian were employed as support staff at the library.

Hiring procedures and processes for support staff are governed by the Employee Handbook. The library support staff includes two full time employees and two part time employees. [3] One full time support staff’s responsibilities include Interlibrary Loan and circulation services. She has 21 years of experience at the library. The other full time support staff is responsible for reserves and print serials. He has over 10 years of experience at the library including three and a half years as a student worker and seven years as a support staff employee. The two part time support staff (1.25 FTE) primarily are responsible for evening and weekend circulation and reference services. One part time staff member has 20 years of experience at the library and the other one has five years of experience. In addition to evening and weekend services, one part time employee assists with processing physical resources and with maintaining the archives and special collections.

Upon employment, each support staff member receives training on his or her specific duties and responsibilities from the Director of Library Services and other pertinent library staff. In addition to specific duties, each support staff member receives training on using library resources, basic reference services, circulation procedures and policies, and all other library policies. While support staff maintain reference desk hours, they are instructed to refer inquiries beyond their scope of knowledge to one of the librarians. Through training and experience, all support staff become knowledgeable about library resources and services.

The library regularly employs six to seven student workers (1.5 FTE) during fall and spring semesters. Job openings are posted on the Financial Aid website each summer. Applicants are interviewed by library staff prior to employment. New student workers receive training in library operations, procedures, and policies. Training includes hands-on instruction with library staff on circulation procedures and policies, location of materials and resources in the library, a computer training module to teach Library of Congress classification system to help train students in book shelving and shelf reading, and basic responsibilities and expectations for student workers. Primary responsibilities for library student workers include shelving materials, maintaining materials on the shelves, and assisting users in circulation procedures. Student workers may also assist staff with special assignments when needed.

Professional Development

Professional librarians are encouraged to participate in opportunities to develop professionally. Professional staff maintain memberships in library organizations, attend conferences, present at conferences, serve in leadership roles within professional organizations, and attend webinars. [11] The library budget has a line item, Organization/Association Fees, to assist with some funding for professional activities. [12] Professional librarians may also request funding through the Faculty Development Committee for qualifying professional activities. [13]

Support staff is encouraged to seek opportunities that will enhance their skills and job responsibilities. Webinars and training from professional staff develop and reinforce the knowledge base for support staff. An example of recent support staff training is OCLC webinars on Interlibrary Loan updates in which the ILL staff member participated. Both professional and support staff participate in on-campus training for new technologies and for new campus-wide policies and procedures.

Staff Evaluations and Library Assessments

Each member of the library’s professional and support staff is evaluated each year by the Director of Library Services in accordance with the Employee Handbook 2016-2017. [14] Evaluation not only includes job performance but also includes an employee report of major tasks and accomplishments during the year. The Director of Library Services uses these reports to ensure that the mission of the library is being met through the work performed by the staff. These reports also are used in the budgeting process to evaluate if funding for additional staff needs to be requested. The Director of Library Services is evaluated by the Provost.

The annual assessment reports measure the library’s outcomes to ensure that its mission is accomplished. [15] Without a qualified and cooperative staff, these outcomes could not be met. The library staff works together to provide the resources and services necessary for the library to fulfill its mission.  According to the 2016-2017 Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Survey, [16] ratings for library staff are strong, as reported in the 2016-2017 Unit Assessment [15] for the library:  the Reinhardt student average satisfaction with library staff was 5.61 (on a scale of 1-Not satisfied at all to 7-Very Satisfied), which was not significantly different from the national mean (5.70).  At Reinhardt, 62% of the respondents were satisfied with library staff, compared to 64% nationally.  In addition to these results, the fall semester 2016 library surveys indicated that 89% of the students [17] and 95.38% of faculty [18] surveyed rated the library staff as very helpful or helpful.

Conclusion

Reinhardt University provides a sufficient number of qualified staff – with appropriate education or experiences in library and/or other learning/information resources – to accomplish the mission of the institution.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] Reinhardt Mission Statement, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic
Catalog
, p. 8

[2] Library Mission statement

[3] Comprehensive Standard 3.8.3 template

[4] 2012 Academic Libraries Survey

[5] Library Hours

[6] Library Reference Services

[7] Faculty Handbook 2016-2017, Section VI, pp. 134-45

[8] Joel Langford CV

[9] Melissa Abbott CV

[10] Amy McGee CV

[11] Professional Development Activities

[12] Library Budget

[13] Faculty Handbook 2016-2017, p. 41

[14] Performance Review, Employee Handbook 2016-2017, pp. 42-43

[15] Library 2016-2017 AES Assessment Report

[16] Noel Levitz 5/17 Student Satisfaction Inventory

[17] Fall semester 2016 Library Student Survey

[18] Fall semester 2016 Library Faculty Survey