Friday, March 25, 2011

Knowledge Transfer

Good news: my contract has been renewed for another year!

When I first took this position, there was one page (3/4 full) of what my predecessor had in the works, and three file folders (slim) of documentation. Most of my first semester on this job was trying to figure out what my position entailed. Granted, I had the job description, but those can be very vague. I decided to create a detailed “E-Resources Librarian Manual” for my successor.

I, of course, remembered how important knowledge transfer is for organizations. (Drucker anyone?) Because I work at a small college, it seems like I work in several different departments. For instance, even though I manage our electronic resources and website, I also do instruction, reference, collection development, and serve on several committees. I thought that it would be easier for my successor to get an overview of important technical information that I had to learn and best practices for the management of those programs.

The bulk of my job is the management of electronic resources, so those sections of my document have way more information than the others. I broke down my “manual” by my different areas of work: I have database administration, statistics, Journal Finder, EZProxy, instruction, website, and so on. Obviously, the areas that I spend most of my time doing are more complete than others. I included information like where to find certain documents in our shared document folder (I have my own for Technical services), URLs to administrator sites that my boss had to email me because my predecessor didn’t, expectations about yearly tasks (i.e. statistics, database reports), and helpful places to look for information.

This “manual” is clearly a document in process simply because information changes or other duties may appear, especially since I seem unable to say no. It makes me more comfortable as an employee because I know that there is clear documentation of what I do, and how I do it.

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