Learning and development framework

Last updated:  28 March 2024

The Learning and Development Framework sets out how the State Library of New South Wales supports the professional development of the public library workforce in New South Wales.

The framework identifies three outcome areas for the NSW public library network:

  • sharing of information and experiences
  • skills and knowledge development across a broad range of topics related to the library and information sector
  • inspiration and ideas generation.

It identifies four mechanisms to achieve these learning and development outcomes: learning and development programs, learning communities and networks, policies, guidelines and research and specialist websites.

Learning and development programs  

Learning programs include formal and structured training programs, conferences, seminars, presentations and workshops. Learning programs may be conducted online or face to face.  

Learning programs address identified priority skill and knowledge gaps across the public library network, raise awareness of public library issues and opportunities and services, build an understanding of future library services and models, inspire service developments and service models. They are evidence based, drawing on state-wide research to inform training needs (e.g. collection health checks, surveys, research projects). 

Learning communities and networks

Public library staff can share information and experience with each other in a variety of ways.

Working groups

The statewide public library working groups provide support and training on a range of areas of library service provision.  

Working groups share information through a variety of platforms including face to face and online meetings, email discussion lists, wikis and social media. These are developed and maintained by the relevant working groups.  

Public library staff can participate in working groups in many ways including contributing to online discussion, attending seminars and presentations or taking part in online meetings and workshops.  

Membership of working groups is open to all NSW public library staff.

Email lists

Join an email list to receive announcements from the State Library, share information, ask questions and to connect with colleagues from across the state.

Subscribe to an enewsletter

Keep in touch with what’s happening in NSW public libraries by subscribing to the PLS enews and the In the Libraries enewsletters.

PLS enews is published monthly. It provides an up-to-date report of the work of our services to public libraries and lets you know about upcoming opportunities for professional development and promotion.

In the Libraries is published four times a year. It features short articles and photos, giving an up-to-date snapshot of what’s happening in NSW public libraries.

Policies, guidelines and research

Polices, guidelines and research support the ongoing learning and development of public library staff within the context of day to day operations. Documented policies, procedures, guidelines, good practice case studies, standards and benchmarks support the development and management of public library services in NSW.  

The State Library works in consultation with the NSW public library network to develop and publish policies and guidelines. The State Library undertakes research both within and outside the public library network to identify good practice case studies, benchmarks and standards and policies and procedures.

The State Library:

  • provides expertise and content for policy and guidelines
  • undertakes research in consultation with the public library network, in cooperation with the Strategic Network Committee and PLCC
  • manages and funds research
  • publishes research, policies, guidelines and case studies. 

Specialist websites

Specialist websites support the ongoing learning and development of public library staff within the context of day to day operations. These websites provide information, training and resources to support learning and development activities (e.g. Find Legal Answers, Drug Info, Public Library Services).

The Public Library Services website is a key communication channel between the Public Library Services team and NSW public library staff. It provides access to key documentation about administrative functions such as funding, standards and guidelines and research reports. The site also provides public library staff with relevant information and resources to support them in delivering specialist services such as Drug Info and Find Legal Answers to their communities and with the development and improvement of their multicultural services and collections as well as reference and local studies collections.  

The Find Legal Answers and Drug Info websites assist public library staff to provide legal and drug and alcohol information to their communities.