Staff and Leadership Shortages? Grow Your Own: A Florida System Looks Inward to Address the Looming Librarian Shortage

By McConnell, Carole | American Libraries, October 2004 | Go to article overview

Staff and Leadership Shortages? Grow Your Own: A Florida System Looks Inward to Address the Looming Librarian Shortage


McConnell, Carole, American Libraries


As the chronic national shortage of qualified job candidates continues, Broward County Library continues to need additional professional staff. Our library system, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has 270 librarian positions and currently has 40 vacancies. By the end of fiscal year 2004-05, we will need an additional 45 librarians to staff the new and expanded libraries that we will be opening.

When we examine our staff as a whole, we see a looming shortage at all levels. Many of the current staff joined the library 30 years ago when the library system began operating as a division of county government, and they are planning to retire in the next three to five years. Out of over 900 employees, 122 have 20 years or more of service. Many other agencies in the county are facing similar problems, and officials have been urging them to be involved in recruitment and succession planning. Broward County Library examined the problem and together with the County Human Resources office and the Broward Public Library Foundation developed a program of incentives that helps us recruit and "grow our own." Part of our solution was to create a program to recruit college graduates from our own support staff or from the outside, and then to support their library school education and let them earn while they learn. We call this our Graduate Intern Program.

Graduate intern is a new position for college graduates who wish to pursue a career as a professional librarian. They receive on-the-job-training by providing reference, children's, or young adult services. Generally, graduate interns are placed in regional or large community libraries where they learn under the supervision of seasoned librarians. Graduate interns are hired with the understanding that they will enroll in a master's-level library program by the next semester and complete their degrees within five years. Most students take one class each semester (three credit hours). Some students choose to take two to four classes per semester to accelerate their graduation. Once they graduate, they are eligible to apply for a regular librarian position.

Upon being hired, graduate interns sign a Conditions of Employment (COE) form that states when they will begin their program of study and the expected graduation date. At the completion of the third year of the COE period, any student who has not completed at least half the number of credits required for the degree may be required to vacate the graduate intern position. Extensions may be granted under extraordinary circumstances, such as a documented medical condition. This third-year check ensures that graduate interns are committed to their courses of study.

During this training period, the graduate intern has the advantage of being able to participate in in-house training, from basic reference-interview sessions to searching specialized reference databases. Salaries are comparable to other entry-level college graduate positions, but approximately $10,000 less than that of a first-year librarian, which requires an MLS degree.

The graduate interns, as well as all other staff in our library system, receive an additional incentive through county-sponsored tuition reimbursement and additional scholarship opportunities supported by the Broward Public Library Foundation. Currently, $2,150 per year can be reimbursed per student. At current tuition rates, that amount reimburses those in graduate programs for three to four courses per year. The benefit is even sweeter now that courses offered online by schools with regional accreditation are eligible for reimbursement. We have also worked with representatives of the two library schools in Florida, the University of Southern Florida and Florida State University, to offer some instructor-led classes right in our own main library.

A firm foundation

Broward County Library is also fortunate to have a group of citizens who are passionate about our library and staff. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Staff and Leadership Shortages? Grow Your Own: A Florida System Looks Inward to Address the Looming Librarian Shortage
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.