KCLS strives to recruit and hire employees from diverse backgrounds, based on qualifications and abilities. Both the recruitment process and ongoing training promote a workforce that supports and encourages diversity.
Recruiting Efforts for Diverse Groups
For all open positions, KCLS reaches out to diverse communities in a variety of ways, including recruiting at local job fairs throughout King County and advertising positions in a variety of publications and Web sites such as ColorsNW, the WA State Diversity Employment Network and Diversity Librarian Network. To recruit professional librarians, KCLS participates in out-of-state job fairs at the University of Texas and University of Arizona, schools with high rates of diverse students including Spectrum Scholars. The Spectrum Scholarship Program is unique to the American Library Association and is designed to help recruit librarians of diverse ethnic groups.
Page Fellowship Program
KCLS developed and launched the Page Fellowship Program in 2003 under the direction of the Diversity Committee. The Page Fellowship Program is a two-year program that offers a unique opportunity to participate in employment and career development within selected KCLS community libraries. The objective of the Page Fellowship Program is to provide members of the community an opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge, and work experience necessary to be successful employees at KCLS or in related career pathways.
Participants prepare for entry into the world of employment by gaining real-life work experience, marketable skills and on-the-job-training. Additionally, participants are introduced to many different areas of the library system through job shadowing activities, onsite tours and ongoing trainings. While in the program, Page Fellowship participants have the opportunity to apply for internal positions for which they are interested and qualified.
Participants are required to work 15 hours per week in a varied work schedule, which may include weekends and evenings. Ten hours of the position are allocated toward regular Library Page duties and responsibilities. The remaining five hours are devoted to career and occupational development.
Who is eligible for the Page Fellowship Program?
Individuals who are:
- Eager to explore library career opportunities
- Willing to learn and gain entry level library skills and knowledge to be competitive for future careers within KCLS
- Interested in gaining customer service skills
- Motivated to work in a public service environment
- 16 years of age and older
For more information about the Page Fellowship Program, contact Nu’u Fuavai.
Diversity Staff Training
The following diversity training and classes are available to KCLS staff:
Dependable Strengths Workshops
Workshops help participants identify their strengths and talents, which results in increased motivation and self-esteem. Workshops are offered to Page Fellowship Program participants and all KCLS staff have the opportunity to attend the training as well.
Respectful Workplace Training
The Respectful Workplace Training course consists of two four-hour-long workshops. The first session focuses on communication and the second session focuses on identifying standard behavioral styles. Participants identify their own styles and learn how to alter their behaviors to improve relationships with others. The skills learned in the workshops help foster and maintain an environment of respect.
Intercultural Communication in the Library
Instructors from the Literacy Network of Washington provide a practical, participatory workshop that gives library staff tools for communicating more easily across language and cultural barriers.
Cross Cultural Communication
This class helps library staff identify ways to avoid misperceptions and increase communications effectiveness with coworkers, supervisors and also library patrons with diverse backgrounds.
Interviewing for Diversity
This class teaches interviewers how to effectively evaluate candidates with diverse backgrounds and interests. Especially for hiring supervisors and managers, it is taught by lawyers from Davis Wright Tremaine.
Serving Patrons Who Have Disabilities
This class offers communication and interaction skills training for staff who work with and assist individuals who have a range of disabilities. The goal of the class, taught by instructor Nancie Payne, is to enhance the patrons’ library experience.
Language Class Funding for KCLS Staff
In 2009, with support from the Diversity Committee and budgetary approval from the KCLS Board of Trustees, KCLS began offering funding for KCLS staff to attend language classes. Funding is provided on a first-come, first-served basis for staff to attend classes to learn languages listed on the World Languages Collection page of the KCLS Web site. Classes that teach sign language also are funded. The program is voluntary and staff is required to attend classes on their own time.
The Tuition Assistance program benefits KCLS by helping employees pay tuition costs toward degrees and certificates at institutes of higher education. Funding is available to regular employees who have finished their initial six month probationary period. Programs of study are not limited to graduate-level library science programs, but include certificate or degree programs at any institute of higher education where the knowledge acquired and education will benefit KCLS. Funds are used to reimburse a portion of tuition expenses for those enrolled in the tuition assistance program. Recipients are expected to work for KCLS for up to two years after completion of their educational program.
August 1, 2012