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Michigan State University

New Librarian Roundtable Resources: Home

Resources, schedules, best practices for onboarding new librarians to MSU.


Goal: Using structured activities and presentations to support the professional and scholarly development of new faculty and their successful integration within a new academic culture.

Background: The MSU Libraries have a strong interest in helping new librarians realize their full potential . The NLRT is grounded in recommendations from academic literature and focus on best practices for supporting librarians and aiding their personal and professional development.

The NLRT supports the development and retention of its new librarians. They benefit from guidance and advice on various facets of university and disciplinary culture in order to help them succeed as colleagues or members of the university community.


Topics Covered: Flexibility is the key here, as each group has different interests, responsibilities, and career/life experiences

  1. DiSC – Take the profile, and then go over how to understand them and what they mean. Focus on how DiSC types influence professional and interpersonal interactions. Strategies for working productively and collegially with a variety of personality types.
  2. Introductions – A getting-to-know-you exercise is done at the first and/or second meeting. What is everyone’s job title and description? What are some of the best restaurants, grocery stores, and attractions in the Lansing/East Lansing area?
  3. Collegiality at MSU – Arlene speaks on the importance and value of collegiality. This is a major Criterion 1 topic, so there is more to your job that just being proficient at your work.
  4. Grants/Exhibits/Publishing – Anita speaks to the group on this. She provides good suggestions for getting Criterion 2 projects up and running.
  5. Jeff Grabill – Dean of MSU Hub for Teaching and Learning. He speaks about professional communication, and how to communicate effectively with students, supervisors, and colleagues.
  6. Self Evaluation Workshop – Hands on help with writing their self-evaluations and goals and objectives. Use samples from those running the session.
  7. Crucial Accountability – Rachel and Autumn speak with the group about this concept on violated expectations and problem solving to help improve individual, team, and organizational effectiveness.
  8. Librarian Panel – Invite 2nd and 3rd year librarians to talk about the reappointment process, putting together and sharing dossiers, and position reassignments/transitions.
  9. Conference Culture – MSU Libraries expectations of what librarians bring back from conferences and how to show its impact on the organization.
  10. Focus Groups and Assessment - Completed at the end of the year by a third party to help the leaders plan for the next year.
  11. Emotional Intelligence – A librarian speaks on how to be emotionally intelligent in the workplace.
  12. Reflection – End of the year gathering/celebration to reflect on their first year at MSU Libraries.

We found it valuable to have a lot of opportunity, space and sufficient time for the group to raise questions aimed at the moderators, or each other. Dialogue is essential for making the group cohesive and demonstrating the value of the program. More information about each meeting can be found in the NLRT Past Meetings tab.

Michigan State University