Certification Program Redesign: Needs Assessment

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One of the biggest takeaways from my time in the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University is that teachers are students, too. When diving into effective mentoring and professional development, some of the most successful strategies are those that are also used in the classroom. Many back-to-school workshops remind teachers to get to know their students and provide differentiation in every learning experience. In other words, providing learners (adults included) with a pre-assessment (formal or informal) to determine where they are in order to reach where they need to be.

Edutopia has a great article and video that touches on the importance of assessment before learning even begins:

In an earlier post, I wrote about my journey in reviewing and redesigning a university’s Library Media Endorsement (LME) certification program. Here, I continue that work by drafting a Needs Assessment survey for potential students. As I mentioned in my last post, the program is not yet finalized, so I am omitting the name of the institution and it will henceforth be identified as “University.”

Before writing the Needs Assessment survey, I did a bit of background research, attempting to see how other schools have assessed their incoming LME students. It seems it is not a common or publicized practice; I was able to find very few surveys that compiled the sort of data I was looking for. That being said, I have grown so much in the last two years by examining the work of others, I felt it was important to share the questions from my survey. If I am able to help others in the future, like they have helped me, then my learning has been worthwhile.

Needs Assessment Survey

1. My current position is: (May check more than one if applicable)

Teacher-Librarian – One location
Teacher-Librarian – Multiple locations
Teacher-Librarian Job Share (Library duties plus classroom teaching or other position)
Library Assistant/Paraprofessional
Other (please specify)

2. Do you work as a supervisor?

Yes
No

3. If you serve as a supervisor, who reports to you?

Librarians
Library Assistants
Students
None
Other (please specify)

4. How many years have you worked in a school library?

Less than one year
1 – 2 years
2 – 3 years
3 – 5 years
5 – 10 years
More than 10 years

5. What library training have you received? (Please check all that apply)

On-the-job training (Temporary upon hire)
On-the-job training (Continuous throughout employment)
Workshops/Conferences
Certificate/University Program
Other (please specify)

Desire for Training

For each of the following areas, please rate your comfort levels in completing these tasks, as well as your desire for training in each area:

6. Administration/Management/Supervision (overall administration, personnel issues etc)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

7. Buildings/Facilities (planning of library space, maintenance of facilities)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

8. Budget (preparing, justifying, and administering budget to support specific program goals)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

9. Fundraising/Grants (seeking and preparing grants and outside fundraising opportunities)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

10. Collection Development (acquiring and selecting resources)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

11. Cataloging and Classification (bibliographical control, assigning subject heading)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

12. Processing (book repair, covering, labeling)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

13. Circulation (library automation systems, loans, fines)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

14. Digitization (databases and electronic resources)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

15. Reference and Information Services (patron interactions and conducting reference interview and reader’s advisory)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

16. Goal-Setting (creating short- and long-term goals for the library and routinely adjusting those goals based on the needs of the community)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

17. Teaching and Implementing Information Literacy Skills (effective search strategies, evaluating credibility)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

18. Teaching and Implementing Digital Citizenship (safe and responsible behavior online)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

19. Curriculum Design (knowledgeable about classroom curriculum and able to design lessons that incorporate classroom content)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

20. Teacher Mentor (serve as collaborating mentor to fellow teachers, helping them to enrich their classroom curriculum with print and digital resources)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

21. Instructional Technology (effective use, organization, and management of instructional technology tools)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

22. Event Planning (Family Reading Night, Book Fairs, Author Visits)

Skill and confidence level: High, Medium, Low, None
Need for training: High, Medium, Low, None

23. What do you hope to gain from a Library Media Endorsement?

[Open-ended response]

24. What concerns do you have about enrolling in a Library Media Endorsement program?

[Open-ended response]


One of the purposes in evaluating and redesigning the LME program was to create a program that can be offered to current library staff members who are interested in obtaining their LME certification. I felt it was important to gauge the knowledge of working librarians so the program would not cover information they are already familiar with.  When examining the current courses, I found that several of the courses cover the basics of librarianship and may be redundant. Hopefully, the Needs Assessment survey will provide the necessary data to develop a meaningful and well-rounded program.

The survey was sent to the University and is currently open to potential students. Once the window for responses has closed, this post will be updated with some of my findings.

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