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Creating effective staff development committees: a case study

Erin Davis (Merrill‐Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA)
Kacy Lundstrom (Merrill‐Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 19 July 2011




The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of staff development committees (SDC) in the motivation, morale and education of library staff by relying on previous research and by using Utah State University's (USU), Merrill‐Cazier Library SDC as a case study.


Discussion and analysis emerge from the documented formation of USU's SDC, including its membership, goals, and evaluative practices, especially as it relates to current research in this area. Informal staff comments regarding benefits and limitations of the committee are included.


Staff development has been approached from various perspectives. Most programs form as the results of formal or informal needs assessments. Goals for the program, or for the resulting staff development committee, vary and fluctuate depending on the time‐specific needs of the library. Successful elements of USU's SDC include its emphasis on building inter‐departmental relationships and its ability to elicit feedback from every level of the library. Challenges include having clearly defined goals and meeting a variety of individual and institutional needs through the creation of related events and activities.

Practical implications

This paper provides ideas on forming a staff development committee, including examples for specific events and activities. It details how to structure membership and explores literature relating to designing and implementing institutional goals for staff development.


Many studies lack a comprehensive literature review that focuses on the scope and purpose of staff development committees. This paper combines a literature review with an explanation of how USU's Library created a staff development committee to fill certain library‐wide goals, including challenges and benefits that emerged as a result.



Davis, E. and Lundstrom, K. (2011), "Creating effective staff development committees: a case study", New Library World, Vol. 112 No. 7/8, pp. 334-346.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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