Library and Information Science
Background: The pandemic environment has required academic libraries to modify their internal onboarding and training processes. While engaging with colleagues in a virtual or hybrid environment has been challenging for all employees, recent hires in particular face barriers while getting to know a new institution and new people in the virtual landscape. University of Connecticut Library has hired several librarians since the beginning of the pandemic. To address these challenges and create a more seamless onboarding process, the Research Services Unit created a comprehensive online Welcome Guide: https://guides.lib.uconn.edu/MLA2022poster
Description: Our aim in creating the guide was to supplement the general human resources and library onboarding process by centralizing all documents, deadlines, and links in one place, and by adding content that is specific to our unit. Much of the content serves as a stand-in for informal conversations that previously happened organically among colleagues working in the same space. We worked as a team to compile this guide which is more thorough than any onboarding materials previously used by the unit. Topics covered include but are not limited to: staff union information; library acronyms list; organizational charts; relocation information such as realtors, rentals, and local restaurant and activity recommendations; detailed biographies of unit members; tips for engaging in liaison work, collection development, and instruction; goal-setting, evaluation, and promotion processes; setting up technology; and lists of key contacts for various needs.
Conclusion: The Welcome Guide has been used by three recently onboarded employees in the unit. We will collect guide usage statistics, and we will also conduct a survey to evaluate how the guide was used prior to the employees’ start dates and since they came on board. Several existing employees have also expressed appreciation for the guide as a go-to source for links and documents that we use on a daily basis in our work. This living document has been a welcome innovation for the Research Services Unit and could serve as a template for other libraries wishing to enhance their onboarding and training processes.
Grandy, Roslyn and Boss, Samuel, "Onboarding during a Pandemic: Creating a Welcome Guide" (2022). UConn Library Presentations. 57.