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GPL University – Employee Growth and Engagement

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GPL University – Employee Growth and Engagement

Greensboro Public Library, N.C.

Organizational Change and Strategic Management | 2019

Innovation Summary

Effectively fostering lifelong learning for customers means we must first embrace being lifelong learners ourselves. GPL University, the library’s internal professional development program, supports employee lifelong learning and engagement. It encourages personal development, idea-sharing and the planning of quality customer experiences.

Problem Statement

  1. Staff not adapting as rapidly as the needs/interests of the community we serve.
  2. Staff development is a responsibility that should be mutually shared and mutually beneficial for employees at various levels of the organization.
  3. Staff development is contingent upon having the capacity and resources available to implement, deliver and sustain necessary and new training opportunities.


The 4 current GPL-U tracks are as follows:

  • The Fundamental 5 — seminars offering further insight into the library’s mission
  • Green L.I.T.E. — activities/classes assessing staff's technology proficiency and providing them with opportunities to increase their competency and confidence
  • BEYOND — classes that introduce staff to strategies for providing quality and consistent service
  • Start H.E.R.E. — onboarding activities, such as branch tours, for employees to engage with and learn more about the community


Outcomes include:

  • Providing staff with opportunities to foster deeper understanding of the library’s mission and community priorities
  • Greater staff awareness of various policies, processes and best practices that are utilized throughout the library and which support their jobs and the overall user experience
  • Improved staff competencies in the areas of digital literacy, library program preparation/evaluation and customer service provision
  • Stronger professional relationships and greater respect among staff