Staff Self-Development

Use these general categories to choose topics to focus on in your self-development plan.
(Last updated June 2017 – no longer actively maintained)

Library Competencies

National / International Trends

Patron Needs in Your Area of Expertise

  • Surveys
  • Reference & circulation help records
  • “Gadget counting”
  • Informal conversations with patrons
  • Conversations with non-users
  • Library resources – tell you what topics people are interested in learning about and give you resources to learn yourself
    • Mango Languages
    • Gale Courses

News & Culture

  • Major news sources
  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • The Huffington Post
  • The Atlantic
  • The Economist, especially the Tech Quarterly
  • Oprah, The View, and other daytime shows
  • Any popular magazine you already read
  • Pop culture sites like Buzzfeed
  • Gaming, film, romance, science, or other topic-specific resources


See all my recommended technology resources for a full list.

Soft Skills

  • What
    • Customer service
    • Public speaking, presenting & training
    • Troubleshooting & problem-solving
    • Time management
    • Communication skills
    • Learning skills
  • Where
    • –  (some free, some $$)
    • Training Magazine – industry journal for professional development
    • Gale Courses
    • Online databases and resources from libraries:
      • Career Transitions
      • Vocations & Career Collections from Gale
    • Career Guides from nearly any public library, university, college, or high school
    • Organization, city department, university, school, etc. professional development offerings