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Principle 8: Personnel

8. Libraries provide sufficient number and quality of personnel to ensure excellence and to function successfully in an environment of continuous change.

8.1 Library personnel are sufficient in quantity to meet the diverse teaching and research needs of faculty and students
8.2 Library personnel have education and experience sufficient to their positions and the needs of the organization
8.3 Library personnel demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional development, maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills for themselves 
      and their coworkers
8.4 Library personnel contribute to the knowledge base of the profession
8.5 Library personnel are professionally competent, diverse, and empowered
8.6 Personnel responsible for enhancing and maintaining the Library's IT infrastructure keep current with Library technology applications and 
     participate in ongoing training


Over a three-year period from 2009 - 2012, four of ten Library faculty positions were eliminated; for this review period the number of six Library faculty has remained constant.  After the retirement of a Library faculty member in 2018, the Library was able to hire a new full-time tenure-track librarian in 2019, the first new faculty member since 2005. This has infused new skills into the Library that will allow its instructional work to continue to grow. It is important to note that the ratio of students to librarians at Bloomsburg, when benchmarked against its PASSHE and national peers, has remained consistently higher than its peers over the last five-year period.  Additionally, fewer summer hours over the last two years have further lessened the amount of work the librarians have been able to accomplish during a year.  This has had an impact on the work the Library faculty are able to do with students and faculty, and there is a concern about continuing impact. 

During the review period from 2010 - 2015, the number of library staff positions decreased by two. During this review period from 2015-2020, another position in Access Services was eliminated because of financial concerns.  Near to the editing of this document in 2020, the Library’s Administrative Assistant to the Library Director left and the position was not filled because of financial concerns. Therefore, during this review period, two positions were vacated and remain unfilled.  Access to library technology personnel has remained the same, one-quarter time, over the last two review periods.  These reductions in staff have had an impact on the work the Library staff are able to do with students and faculty, and there is a concern about continuing impact.   

The Library faculty and staff continue to strive for the ability to successfully progress beyond provision of basic services to the performance of continuous outstanding, progressive, thorough, and timely endeavors that closely align with the University’s strategic goal of achieving excellence. While observing their respective contracts, Library staff and Library faculty have been flexible in their work roles to the extent possible. The prospect of institutional integration with Lock Haven University and Mansfield University poses new challenges and opportunities.  Assuming no further loss of personnel at the three schools, the integration will benefit students at all three schools by filling in those areas where each library lacks expertise and skills sets, and together the unified institution can fill some of the gaps.  As of this writing Library personnel are participating in the exploration of a potential integration


To assist both Library faculty and staff, the Director filled a staff vacancy with a hybrid position to provide support for Library faculty as well as continue direct patron service in Access Services.  Library Access Services staff have assumed a more proactive role in monitoring chat, answering known-item questions, and referring research questions to librarians, during the interim period. 

The Library personnel now possess a stronger instructional presence, more manageable work responsibilities, and improved employee morale. However, since Bloomsburg University has the highest student to professional staff ratio of all its PASSHE and regional University peers, some Library personnel still feel there are too few Library faculty members to provide excellent library services as well as contribute meaningfully to the library profession, the University, and the community.  Efforts to improve the effectiveness of current Library personnel and operations will continue to be a top priority, and with the integration with Mansfield University and Lock Haven University, there may be opportunities to use the skills of library faculty and staff at those institutions as well.  Administration is aware of the limits current staffing places on the Library’s ability to support students and professors in their learning, teaching, and research. 

Overall Library personnel are sufficient in number and quality to provide basic research guidance and research instruction.  Personnel have the education, experience, professional development, and contributions, including book chapters, advocacy of Open Educational Resources (OER), and leadership in professional organizations.  In addition, the personnel are competent, with diverse skills and experiences, and empowered.  Student workers make significant contributions to the Library’s work, and Library personnel mentor students in what might be their first job.  Student workers also report they become better researchers and better prepared for advanced study or work because of their Library employment. 

Library personnel continuously examine and transform roles.  Positions are altered to benefit students and other patrons through OER and research instruction and to allow the Library faculty to focus on higher level responsibilities. 

8.1 Meet Diverse Teaching & Research Needs

8.1 Library personnel are sufficient in quantity to meet the diverse teaching and research needs of faculty and students.


The current number of Library personnel is sufficient to meet the basic teaching and research needs of faculty and students.  However, it is not clear that the current number, and the kind, of personnel are sufficient to meet the diverse needs of faculty and students. This conclusion acknowledges that the basics of providing research guidance and research instruction, a collection, a building, and a website were maintained over the review period.  

The Library personnel--staff, faculty, and director--adjusted priorities to focus on working more directly with students in their coursework and seeking ways to better integrate the Library’s expertise, collections, and resources into the curriculum overall.  They have taken on additional responsibilities in developing campus awareness of Open Educational Resources (OER); developed faculty workshops on various aspects of scholarly communications; secured and supervised the first Graduate Assistant in the Library; delegated work as appropriate to a graduate assistant and work study students; worked with graduate student interns in the Instructional Technology program to develop interactive online tutorials; involved staff members in providing basic assistance in chat; hired temporary Library faculty members during a sabbatical and medical leaves; continued to rely on the Keystone Library Network (KLN) for management of core electronic resources while developing more reliance on Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc (PALCI) for electronic resource acquisitions; continued reliance on a publisher approval plan for receipt of core print materials; and continued reliance on outsourced cataloging for backlogged materials.  

Library personnel have not been able to give much attention to thoughtful long-term planning, research and writing/presenting, intentional integration of instruction within the curriculum and within retention/degree completion/ employment readiness goals, timeliness in making materials available, and proactive collection management.  Initial good faith efforts have begun in several of these important areas including outreach to the First Year Experience and Student Success initiative to improve student retention. However, it remains a challenge to maintain those efforts. 



Students, faculty, and patrons have had their basic research and teaching needs met. During the review period, amid many changes, basic Library operations continued, with an emphasis on working with students in courses. Library personnel instructed students, guided researchers, managed collections, and kept the building and website available.  

From the academic year 2014-15 to that of 2019-20, the number of information literacy instruction classes has overall decreased. See Figure 1 in Principle 1.2 for further analysis.  Professors who have requested information literacy instruction have been positive about the experience for their students as summarized in the Library’s annual Outcomes Assessment & Outcomes Assessment report.  

After a decrease in total research guidance transactions in the second year of this review period, the research guidance transactions with individuals have increased to surpass the level of activity of 2010-15.  An inference from this may be that students are seeking guidance on their own because they are not receiving that guidance through research instruction within the course setting.  Another inference is that students are expected to pursue more independent and advanced research. 

8.2 Education & Experience

8.2 Library personnel have education and experience sufficient to their positions and the needs of the organization.

Current Library personnel have earned the necessary educational credentials and gained the experience sufficient to meet many of the needs of the organization. The Director and Library faculty members have each earned multiple master's degrees, including the ALA-accredited master’s degree in library and information studies. The Library faculty possess advanced knowledge in many subject specialties to assist students and other researchers, effectively build collections, and offer high quality instruction. Library faculty are held to the same standards as teaching faculty; 1 Library faculty member is second year tenure-track at the rank of Assistant Librarian; 4 Library faculty members have been tenured and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, 1 has been tenured and promoted to the rank of Professor. All staff have earned the necessary educational credentials, and some Library staff members have earned relevant post-secondary degrees. All possess many years of experience in their chosen area within the Library.   



Students, faculty, and other patrons consider faculty and staff to be sufficient in quality to meet their needs. A LibQUAL survey item, “Employees who install confidence in users,” remained one of the areas in which the Library exceeded the expectations of survey respondents on both the 2015 and 2018 LibQUAL surveys, which was also the case on the 2012 LibQUAL survey.   

Feedback in response to basic assistance and research assistance indicates that patrons are satisfied with the help they receive.  Students, faculty, and other patrons benefit from the librarians’ advanced subject-specific knowledge. For example, the Business Subject Specialist understands and demonstrates how one may navigate through complex company financial information (e.g., balance sheets) to find information with students.  

Five Library faculty have been tenured and promoted, as evidence of their quality contributions to the University. One tenure-track library faculty member is making outstanding progress.

8.3 Commitment to Ongoing Professional Development

8.3 Library personnel demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional development, maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills for themselves and their coworkers.


Library administration, faculty, and staff are committed to ongoing professional development and to maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills for themselves and their coworkers. The Director encourages Library faculty and staff to attend professional development events, and designated monies are available. Although constraints such as time, money, and ability to travel impact opportunities for individual employees, Library personnel prioritize the need for training appropriately to meet immediate and long-term Library needs. Professional development endeavors include participation in professional conferences, webinars, workshops, professional and scholarly publications, listservs, and blogs, etc. Library personnel also participate in training in supportive areas, such as PASSHE-sponsored workforce development webinars, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) classes, cybersecurity webinars, campus safety workshops, mental health support tutorials for student referrals, LinkedIn Learning training on software and other organizational training.   



Students, faculty, and other members of the BU community consider Library faculty and staff to be sufficient and up to date in their skills as shown by the 2015 and 2018 LibQUAL surveys, in which the statement “Employees who install confidence in users” was one of areas in which the Library exceeded the expectations of survey respondents.  Comments from LibQUAL and from individual students, faculty, and other members of the BU community offer praise for several specific Library personnel. 

8.4 Contribute to the Knowldege Base of the Profession

8.4 Library personnel contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.


Library administration, faculty, and staff contribute to the knowledge base of the library profession. Library faculty have conducted research and presented or published their findings for other library professionals. They are also active members of professional library organizations at the national, state, regional, and local levels where, as members of committees, they create knowledge and make decisions that inform librarians and educators at institutions around the world. Some examples of contributions by Library personnel include, but are not limited to, the following: 

Several Library faculty members have publications amongst the scholarly library literature, including book chapters.    

Library faculty and staff are active in various PASSHE system-wide committees and in two different consortia. 

Several Library faculty members have given presentations at state, regional, and local professional conferences, and meetings.  
One Library faculty member serves as facilitator for statewide cataloger’s discussions. 

One Library faculty member reviews video documentaries for Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO), which serves as a selection tool for librarians. 

Library Director served as chair of the Keystone Library Network Council, as well as on a collections advisory committee for a large statewide library consortium and on a statewide steering committee for encouraging the use of Open Educational Resources (OER). 

All Library personnel attend and participate in State System of Higher Education Libraries Council (SSHELCO) conferences and meetings, as well as other regional conferences, whenever possible. Library personnel who are involved in interlibrary loan and document delivery services attend regional and national conferences specific to ILL. 


The Library personnel are well-regarded by their professional colleagues within academic librarianship:  

The Coordinator of Cataloging continues to be a training resource for new staff/librarians by several PASSHE schools.  

Several library faculty members have had book chapters published in the library literature.  

Students and other patrons are well-served by the experience provided library personnel participation in two statewide library consortia.   

8.5 Professional Competent, Diverse, & Empowered

8.5 Library personnel are professionally competent, diverse, and empowered.


The Library personnel are professionally competent in their individual areas of library work. Library personnel hold diversified and professional expertise, experience, and credentials. The Library administration empowers Library personnel to employ their expertise to make decisions about their work on a day-to-day basis and provides the time, money, and opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge through conferences, webinars, and other learning tools. 



Students, faculty, and other patrons benefit on a day-to-day basis from the professional competence, diversity and expertise of faculty and staff who are empowered to make decisions within their position responsibilities and to grow within their areas of expertise

8.6 Library's IT Infrastructure

8.6 Library personnel keep current with Library technology, applications, and infrastructure and participate in ongoing training.


The Library’s IT infrastructure is maintained by a combination of consortial technology staff, on-campus technology staff, and student workers. The technology staff at both the consortial and campus levels are committed to remaining up to date with new library resources, software, initiatives, and procedures; monies from the Library and Technology budgets are designated to support these staff. 


For the management of current hardware, network, services, and software, the Library has access to the campus Manager of Technology Support Services, who has many years of experience working with the Library’s systems.  Library faculty and staff request assistance with technology through a ticketing system or by direct email to the Manager. For the management of remote access to library resources and technology projects, the Library has access to centralized support through its library consortial membership in the Keystone Library Network.   


All personnel involved in the management of library technology keep current with library technology applications and participate in ongoing training and professional development.   



Students, faculty, and other patrons benefit daily from the up-to-date knowledge and expertise of shared IT personnel who handle enhancing and maintaining the Library’s IT infrastructure.  

8.7 Library personnel engagement with student employees

8.7 Library personnel engage with library student employees to provide mentoring and work that enhances the students’ overall academic experience. 



In this review period, thanks to a collaboration between the Library and the School of Graduate Studies, the Library mentored its first Graduate Assistant. 

The Library director and faculty chair have supervised a graduate assistant, in 2019-20 academic year, to work on a variety of projects, including the Library’s institutional repository. A second graduate assistant has been funded to begin working in the 2020-21 academic year. 

The Business Research Librarian worked with the Reference Unit’s student employee (a Finance major), to draft a new Finance Research Guide. 

Student workers in Archives and Special Collections typically stay in their positions for multiple years, receiving mentoring and experience that complements and enhances their academic fields.  In recent years, a student worker and two interns, all with majors in history, secured positions in private companies which involve records management and research skills, both of which were part of their responsibilities in the Archives. 

Access Services student employees assist with stacks maintenance, new periodicals processing, and patron customer service.  Student employees are expected to be professional, responsible, and reliable.  

Acquisitions student workers take part in a professional interview process prior to starting their work study experience. The office attempts to hire first-year students so that they can benefit from a four-year work experience and all student hires are asked to commit to professional standards, with call-off procedures, time-off requests, and work accountability all part of their training.  The Acquisitions staff train student workers in various software programs (Excel, Word, etc.) and library-specific systems as part of their duties, training that has provided long term benefits to student workers both in the classroom and their eventual post-graduation careers.  Student workers have routinely used the experience gained on resumes and job applications and Acquisitions staff have been happy to provide professional references for many of our former student employees. 

Cataloging student workers handle all new books and so are exposed to a wide variety of subjects.  In recent years they prepared acid-free tabs and envelope labels for over 1000 pamphlets from the early 20th century on communism from the U.S. Communist Party and other organizations, exposing them to unique primary source material. 



The Library is an employer of, on average, fifteen (15) students per semester, providing some with their first job experience.   

A partnership between the Library and Graduate Studies was begun in 2019 with promising benefits for both the Library and the individual graduate student, who has gone on to further graduate study. 

The Finance Research Guide has become more student-friendly, and centered on specific courses, assignments, and topics. 

By their own formal accounts, students have said that they have become better researchers by working in the Library. Cataloging student workers are exposed to a very wide range of subject matter, providing them with a broader academic perspective.  

Student employees list library personnel as academic and employment references.  In recent years in a student worker and two interns in Archives and Special Collections landed jobs due in part to the experience and mentoring they received.  Access Services and Acquisitions student workers learn software and professional interpersonal skills that help them in coursework as well as in post-graduate employment. 

Library 8.8 Examining and Transforming Roles

8.8  Library personnel continuously examine and transform roles to meet the needs of the evolving organization. 



A library faculty member has assumed leadership as the Open Educational Resources (OER) Campus Partner with Affordable Learning PA, for an initiative on campus in response to the growing importance of this movement nationally to improve student success and retention.  

The University archivist and the Library faculty chair have taken a greater role in the growth of the institutional repository (IR), collaborating with other PASSHE librarians to improve the IR’s function and usability, and working with subject faculty and the School of Graduate Studies to collect student work and permissions. 

Two Access Services positions were changed to include roles as Library Faculty Support, providing assistance in general website updates, archival and special collections website updates, electronic resource access, and marketing materials. 

The departments of Communication Studies and Media & Journalism were recently reassigned to the newly hired Research & Instruction tenure-track Librarian in 2019, who is also the liaison to the College of Education and to the department of Sociology, Social Work & Criminal Justice.  This reassignment made sense as the new librarian is an experienced teacher and already had connections with the subject faculty. 



Students have benefitted from no-cost OER textbooks, saving approximately $240,000 in 2019. 

Through the work of the institutional repository, graduate students will benefit by having their scholarship made available more broadly.  The University will benefit through improved recruitment of faculty and students. 

Library Faculty Support staff members have enabled library faculty to focus on higher-level responsibilities. 

Students in two high enrollment departments benefit from increased attention from a research & instruction librarian with extensive experience in teaching. 

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