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FOLIOz: Facilitated Online Learning as an Interactive Opportunity in Australia


Moving into Supervision: Supervisory Skills for library technicians and/or newly qualified professionals (MOVES)



What is MOVES?

MOVES is an online interactive course on supervisory skills. It is being delivered by e-mail and web pages and has been comissioned by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Anna Cantrell, an Information Specialist at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, is the Facilitator for this course. Course design and materials have been developed by a course team comprising: Andrew Booth (Programme Director), Anthea Sutton (Programme Manager), Anna Cantrell (Learning Resource Co-ordinator) and Lynda Ayiku (Learning Resource Co-ordinator-since left ScHARR).


MOVES is one of a set of four FOLIOz courses running in 2009. See http://www.alia.org.au/education/pd/workshops/ for more details. These courses are being run for Australian and New Zealand librarians.


Why is it important?

Library and information staff often find it difficult to make time to attend workshops and other continuing professional development events. At the same time developments in professional practice place a tremendous imperative for keeping up-to-date and acquiring additional skills. The FOLIOz Programme aims to provide easy access to learning materials with the convenience of flexible timing and learning styles. 


What is the course aim?

The MOVES course aims to help library technicians and new information professionals to gain an understanding and appreciation for key principles and methods of effective supervision of staff in any type of library or information service. 


What are the course objectives?


By the end of the MOVES course participants will be able to:


  • Understand the characteristics of effective supervision as it specifically relates to library and information services.
  • Identify and utilise specific techniques when supervising the performance and personal development of staff within their own library or information context.
  • Describe the main processes required for interviewing, setting performance goals, and evaluating staff performance.
  • Develop personal strategies to enable them to plan effectively, manage time, direct, train and motivate staff.
  • Engage with fellow participants in discussing issues connected with the supervision of library and information service staff.


What does the course involve?

The course will typically involve:

  1. Receiving approximately twenty email communications (usually one per day over four working weeks) via the Mailtalk discussion list.
  2. Reading briefings & other materials (approximately twice per week).
  3. Working on individual tasks/exercises (approximately once a week for those following the group-supported route and approximately twice per week for those following the self-directed route).
  4. For those following the group-supported route: Interaction with a “buddy group” in connection with tasks/exercises (approximately once a week).
  5. Compiling a portfolio recording the above for submission to the course team.
  6. Completion of a course evaluation form at the end of the course.


Who is eligible to participate?

Library Technicans and Newly Qualified Information Professionals who want to learn about effective supervision of staff in a library or information service.


Useful references

For more information on supervisory skills, see the following references:


  • Allan B (2006) Supervising and Leading Teams in ILS. London: Facet Publishing ISBN: 1856045870

  • Bailey MJ (1986) The Special Librarian As a Supervisor or Middle Manager. Special Libraries Assn, 2nd Sub Edition ISBN: 0871113155

  • Bailey MJ (1981) Supervisory and Middle Managers in Libraries. Scarecrow Press. ISBN: 0810814005

  • Broadwell MM (1986). Moving Up to Supervision. Wiley, 2nd Revised Edition. ISBN: 9780471836773

  • Erkkila, J. and MacKay, P. (1990). Practical Supervision: The First Line of Management. Journal of Library Administration 12 (1): 103-115.

  • Estabrook, L, Mason L, and Suelflow S (1992). Managing the Work of Support Staff. Library Trends 41 (2): 231-49.

  • Giesecke, J. (ed) (1997) Practical Help for New Supervisors. Third Edition. ALA Editions, American Library Association ISBN: 9780838934678

  • Giesecke J & McNeil B (2005). Fundamentals Of Library Supervision (ALA Fundamentals Series) Americian Library Association. ISBN: 0838908950

  • Gordon RS (2005). The Accidental Library Manager. Medford, NJ : Information Today.

  • Rogers, SL (1993). Out of Theory and into Practice: Supervising Library Employees. Journal of Academic Librarianship. 19 (3): 154-57.



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