Library Board approved October 15, 2002
It is the intent of the policy to encourage continuing education for library employees so that they may keep abreast of new developments in librarianship or other relevant fields and continue to grow in professional and work-related skills. The result of the policy should be the enhancement of job satisfaction for employees and improvement in the quality of library service to residents of Oak Park.
- FORMAL COURSES
Library employees are encouraged to continue their education through work-related formal courses. The Executive Director will award tuition grants for courses for which credit hours are earned to individuals whose applications have been approved. The awards made during a given year will depend on factors including number of applicants, date of application, and available library funds.
The following will apply in the awarding of tuition grants:
- Each award may equal up to one-half to full tuition for a course.
- Full-time employees who have worked at least one year and hourly employees who have worked an average of 20 hours per week for one year may apply for a tuition grant.
- Relevance of the course to the mission of the Library will be considered.
- Each person receiving a tuition grant must present evidence of satisfactory completion of the course. The employee will refund the amount of the grant to the Library if the course is not completed, unless a waiver of this requirement is granted by the Executive Director.
- If an employee who has received a tuition grant leaves the Library's employment within six months after completion of a course, the employee will repay the amount of the grant to the Library unless a waiver of this requirement is granted by the Executive Director.
- ACTIVITIES ATTENDED OUTSIDE THE LIBRARY
Library employees are encouraged to attend workshops, seminars, conferences, or appropriate exhibits. Release time for all programs and library visits requires prior approval by the Executive Director or their designee. Upon returning from the program the employee should submit a written report on meeting content to their supervisor. A copy of this report should also be sent to the Library Office for the employee's personnel file and inclusion in a cumulative continuing education file.
- ACTIVITIES SPONSORED BY OAK PARK PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Oak Park Public Library will sponsor one professional presentation each year for the benefit of the entire staff at a general staff meeting when the Library is closed. Other presentations may be made two times during library hours so that all employees may attend. One such meeting shall include a "State of the Library" presentation, to include budget explanations for the coming year.
- LIBRARY BUDGET FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION
A specified amount will be allocated in the Library's budget each year for staff education and travel expense.
- LEAVE OF ABSENCE
A leave of absence without pay, as stated in the policy manual for a course of study or a special educational project which will benefit the Library may be approved by the Executive Director if library scheduling requirements permit.
- CONTINUING EDUCATION INFORMATION
Notices of continuing education opportunities and available financial assistance will be routed to all departments and Branches, and occasionally posted on the Continuing Education Bulletin Board at the Main Library and in both branches.
- PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS
- The Library desires to encourage staff to participate in job related membership associations. With approval of the Executive Director or their designee, the Library will pay for one annual membership in such a professional, civic, or community-wide organization for each requesting employee. In general preference will be given to requests from full time employees. When funds are insufficient to meet all anticipated requests the Executive Director shall allocate funds at their discretion.
- The Library will pay for annual membership in the Illinois Library Association and the American Library Association for all members of the Board of Library Trustees.
- For the Executive Director, the Library will pay annual membership dues in the Illinois Library Association, the American Library Association, Rotary Club, and other community organizations.
- Other membership dues for the Library will be paid at the discretion of the Executive Director.