Staff Professional Development

Process & Guidelines

The purpose of the UTSA Libraries’ professional development efforts is to support the Libraries’ strategic goals to recruit, develop, and retain excellent and diverse staff while developing skill sets for critical and emerging areas.  

Step One: Discussion

Supervisors are stewards of their employee’s professional development and are encouraged to actively engage employees in conversation regarding areas of interest for professional development.

Employees are encouraged to thoughtfully consider their skills, knowledge, and abilities and identify areas of interest they wish to further develop.

It’s recommended that supervisors and employees meet twice a year to discuss the staff member’s professional development. Library wide, late May and November have been identified as the optimal times for professional development meetings to take place. 

Step Two: Identifying Areas of Interest        

Staff are encouraged to identify areas of interest for professional development within the scope of the Libraries’ strategic mission.

The UTSA Libraries staff competencies outline desired competencies across all library departments. Professional development plans are centered on these identified competencies but allow for flexibility when discussing areas of interest for staff growth and development. 

Step Three: The Toolbox

A Professional Development Toolbox of resources is available for staff to reference. The Toolkit is a collection of learning resources that focus on acquiring and growing skills in the identified library competencies. Trainings, self-paced modules, videos, and available library resources provide a pathway for staff to continue working towards their professional development goals. 

Step Four: The Plan

Employees are encouraged to use the provided template to guide their professional development. The Professional Development Plan template captures the goals, areas of interest, and progress towards achieving professional development goals. 

Step Five: Complete and Repeat

Professional development is an ongoing process. At the next bi-annual professional development meeting, staff and supervisors should reflect on what was learned, and continue the conversation by answering the following questions:  

  • How did the newly acquired knowledge impact your work?
  • What method of engagement/training worked best for you?
  • Are you ready to set new goals?
  • Have you found an area of particular interest that you would like to explore further? 

Professional Organizations and Conferences

Attending professional conferences and membership in professional organizations allow staff to stay informed of new and innovative developments in their professional field. Engaging with the broader community and professional peers facilitates information sharing. Once you attend a professional conference, share your new found knowledge with your UTSA Libraries colleagues. Participation at conferences (e.g., presenting a paper, chairing a committee, etc.) allow staff to grow their professional reputation and make contributions to the profession. 

Library-Wide and Departmental Opportunities:

Throughout the year, the Libraries will provide professional development opportunities to staff members. These opportunities may include seminars, webinars, shared readings, on-site training sessions and available print and electronic resources.

Supervisors are encouraged to engage in team-based professional development activities, such as focusing on a competency as a department on a semester basis. Departmental meetings can provide a platform for group discussion and further exploration of the selected competency. 

Continuing Education

UTSA’s Employee Educational Benefit allows eligible employees to engage in professional development by enrolling in academic degree programs or job-related certificate programs offered by UTSA. Employees interested in taking advantage of the EEB should consult Human Resources’ Employee Educational Benefit website. Eligibility and approval for participation in the university’s EEB should be in accordance with HOP, Section 4.08, Employee Training and Education.


Participation of staff in the professional development process is highly encouraged.

Professional Development Meetings

While professional development is an ongoing process, supervisors are encouraged to meet with staff bi-annually to discuss and plan professional development.

May and November are the libraries’ identified months for professional development meetings.

Data Collection

Individual staff professional development plans should be kept on file by staff members and their supervisors.

Supervisors should send a copy of any new or updated professional development plans to the Libraries’ HR Manager for the purpose of gauging participation and evaluating the current professional development process.

The Libraries’ annual staff survey will capture strategic metrics identified for this initiative (participation rates in professional development and managerial training).

Roles and Responsibilities

Dean of Libraries and Assistant Deans
Promote library professional development and provide support and leadership in encouraging staff participation. Promote a culture of continuous learning to expand organizational growth. Identify areas of emerging and critical skills that are needed in libraries. Responsible for fiscal support of professional development materials and events.

Department Heads/Supervisors
Encourage participation in professional development plans. Guide staff plans to prioritize training and development to be in line with the strategic mission of the Libraries. Identify new areas of opportunity within their department. Identify areas of emerging and critical skills that are needed in libraries. Establish and maintain open lines of communication with staff.

Library Staff
Actively participate in the professional development process, including setting and defining goals. Proactively seek out professional development opportunities.

Libraries’ HR Manger
Evaluates staff feedback of the professional development process.

Professional Development Committee

The UTSA Libraries professional development structure and focus is to support learning in areas of critical and emerging skills. As the needs of the Libraries’ evolves, so should the focus of professional development. A standing committee for professional development is required to identify new competencies and revise training materials.

Membership on this committed includes:

  • Committee sponsor - Dean of Libraries
  • Committee lead - Libraries’ HR Manager
  • Rotating membership:
    • Five staff members from various departments
    • One staff member from DT Library
    • One staff member from Library Systems department

Service on this committee will be in two-year terms, with 3-4 of the committee members rotating out every year. Committee member nominations will be made by the Library Management Team. The Dean of Libraries will make the final committee appointments.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Meet monthly to discuss suggested training opportunities and strategic needs in training and development
  • Update toolbox of resources
  • Update calendar of major conferences
  • Refresh professional development bookshelf
  • Review library competencies annually
  • Identify and coordinate library-wide professional development opportunities
  • Assess the professional development program

Library-wide Professional Development Opportunities

The Libraries’ Professional Development Committee shall work to identify library-wide professional development opportunities.

Opportunities may include, but are not limited to:

  • 1-2 guest speakers per year
  • Resources for the professional development bookshelf
  • On-site training opportunities