Thank you to all those who answered my inquiry about
staff development days so long ago!  I wanted to wait
until we had completed the planning of our own day
before providing a complete summary to the list.

I would also like to pose a follow-up question: do any
of your libraries (in academic institutions, in
particular) have a staff development committee and, if
so, what kind of role does that group play within the
library?  I would be particularly interested in seeing
a copy of any Staff Development Policy you may be
willing to share.

And with that, the results from my last question:

Following my inquiry to three professional listservs,
I received nine responses containing concrete
suggestions for coordination of a staff development
retreat.  In seven of the nine cases, libraries had
coordinated day-long conference-type collections of
sessions that addressed a blend of professional and
social topics.  Ultimately, this is the model that we
adopted in the development of our own staff
conference.  In the other two cases, the development
activities were more theme-based.

Some useful similarities between the various retreats:

•Development of a Website for the events held at
University of Toronto
and University of Waterloo
 These Websites hosted the program, speaker bios, and
evaluation tools.

•Concurrent sessions were common to several (though
not all) of the days, and staff were encouraged to
select the sessions of most interest to them.  In most
cases, each session was offered only once.  This could
be to allow speakers to attend sessions given in other
time slots.

•In almost all cases, speakers were a combination of
internal (staff) speakers and external speakers.  Most
of the retreats featured a keynote or plenary speaker
from elsewhere in the institution or from an outside

•Few institutions held dinner events (University of
Toronto was the exception, ending the day with a wine
reception), while nearly all of them provided lunch.

Program selection was wide-ranging.  We opted for a
combination of personal and professional development
sessions (ranging from cooking and dance to Outlook
Calendar and information ethics).  Representative
examples include the programs of University of Toronto
and University of Waterloo, which are available
online.  One interesting and unique feature of one of
the development programs was a focus group session led
by one of the librarians.  Including this type of
session may be useful if there are particular issues
management would like to have discussed by staff from
a variety of functional areas.

Our own staff conference was very successful and the
evaluations were overwhelmingly positive (personal
note: it was highly worthwhile creating and
distributing an evaluation form at the event, as it
provided us with excellent feedback and suggestions
for the future).  I would again like to thank all
those who provided examples and ideas.

Should you have any further questions about results I
received as a result of the initial listserv inquiry
or about the staff conference we held at our own
institution, please feel free to contact me directly
at any time.

Heather Matheson
(Reference Librarian, Carleton University Library)