Introduction to the project
Libraries Connected and CILIP are joining forces to develop a new Workforce and Skills Strategy for public libraries. The strategy will be practical, progressive and future-facing to ensure that the skills and knowledge of library staff keep pace with a fast-changing society. It should effectively support Heads of Service to find, retain and develop the talent they need to drive their services forward. Appendix A outlines the project brief.
We have recruited Pete Dalton from Evidence Base at Birmingham City University with Dr. Sarah McNicoll to work with us on this project. Their role is to:
- Facilitate the creation of the new shared Workforce and Skills Strategy for public libraries.
- Work effectively with the partners on the project board to deliver the project.
- Carefully gather, co-ordinate and reflect the interests and views of the key stakeholders and partners to shape content.
- Produce a strategy which will identify the significant skills required for a public library workforce, including the core skill sets required by the work force, and identify areas of specialist knowledge that library staff need. For example, supporting specific communities or customer groups; and the skills, ideas, behaviours, and competencies needed to support digital development.
- Bring together some key workforce development channels and opportunities that Heads of Service can draw upon to develop the skills of their workforce.
We are now establishing a project board to oversee the design of the Public Library Workforce and Skills Strategy, and are seeking a Board Chair for approximately four to eight meetings over the span of the project (until March 2022). This will include liaising with Libraries Connected and CILIP. It is likely that most meetings will be online, so little cost other than your time will be incurred. This role is open to Public Library Heads of Service.
Responsibilities of Chair
- Chairing the Project Board in liaison with the key partners
- Liaising with the Project Manager
- Maintaining an overview of the Workforce and Skills strategy project plan to ensure key milestones are met, and agreeing an approach to risk and change control
- Agreeing a communications protocol with partners/stakeholders and the Project Manager
- Agreeing a schedule for the Project Board Meetings and Project updates
- Ensuring, with the Board, that the project achieves its key outcomes and that key areas of workforce engagement and equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to the project
- Agreeing Terms of Reference for the Board.
Chair person specification
- A track record of chairing project groups/workstreams/boards
- Experience of working at a regional or national level
- An interest in workforce development
- Holds professional registration
- Manages teams delivering services at a senior level
- Has a strategic overview of public libraries
- Is a confident communicator
- Has a vision about the Public Library workforce of the future (which includes the future development of professionalism within Public Libraries)
- Has a belief in, and commitment to, the value of digital and new technology
- Understands the impact of equality, diversity and inclusive practices on the skills of the workforce.
To apply, send an email outlining your interest and matching the specification to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 16 September.
Appendix A: Project Brief
1.To create a practical tool
• The new strategy should be a practical tool, used by public library leaders to analyse their skill bases and skills gaps of their workforce.
• It should enable them to plan to develop their staff.
• It should help the sector to attract a new workforce and support succession planning, progression planning and career development.
2. To include the whole workforce
• The strategy must reflect the needs of a diverse workforce and a diverse community.
• It must recognize and support the needs of the staff who want to build their careers in public libraries and those who want to do the best job possible in their existing roles.
•There are now more people coming in from non-library school routes, who need a solid grounding in the ‘what, why and how’ of libraries. This strategy should support public library leaders to offer this.
•It should recognize the needs of the wider workforce including volunteers, apprentices and others.
•The strategy should embed the new inclusive definition of professionalism and ethics throughout the workforce.
3. To set the Public Library workforce skills needs of employers in the context of the wider sector skills standard and training provision (the ‘virtuous link’ between skills needs and supply)
•The strategy should include a public library guidance piece to translate the Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) content into the experience of Public Library staff.
•It should translate the CILIP Ethical Framework into practical work-based Public Library examples.
4. The new strategy should:
• Actively support a thriving, diverse public library workforce with a wide variety of background and competencies.
• Support the building of a sense of professional unity, so that different parts of the workforce can benefit from knowledge exchange and sharing skills and experiences.
•Create improved open pathways for anyone to pursue a career in libraries and to be supported by their employer.
Appendix B: Project Timetable
Overall programme plan
Invitation to Tender: June 2021
Clarifications published: W/C 28 June 2021
Closing date: 2 July 2021
Appointment of successful contractor: July 2021
Planning, including an initiation meeting with the Project Board, agreeing a project plan, and milestone moments through the project: August 2021
Consultation: August-October 2021
Initial proposals: October-December 2021
Final report and recommendations signed off: February 2022