More stories about Developing
By attracting and developing the best people we are building our capability to serve an increasingly diverse audience of users.
This year we developed a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, focusing specifically on the social, economic and environmental impacts the Library has on the wider community. By gathering existing initiatives into this framework, we now have a better understanding of current strengths and areas in which we need to make more progress.
Our aim annually is to support a Corporate CSR initiative and this year we are proud to be supporting the National Year of Reading, which aims to help build a greater national passion for reading in England – for children, families and adult learners. Through a range of activities and events the British Library will provide an internal and external platform for engaging and promoting the objectives of the National Year of Reading.
We trained over 200 frontline staff to raise their awareness of some of the needs of visitors of different faiths during the Sacred exhibition. We have also given managers equality impact assessment training to help them deliver services that support and promote equality.
355 staff who have contact with the public were trained to meet the needs of visitors with disabilities, while 50 Reading Room staff are now able to advise users with a visual impairment on how to use the accessibility equipment that is available. These initiatives are part of a wider strategy to support diversity both within our workforce and amongst our audiences.
Our efforts were recognised by the Employers’ Forum on Disability, which rated the Library in the top eight of 116 organisations that took part in its Disability Standard benchmarking exercise.
By March 2008 90 senior managers had taken part in a programme to identify and develop their leadership potential and compare their aspirations against the future needs of the Library. Half of them also took part in a review of how their qualities might help fill key posts in the future.
As a result we have a much better understanding of staff strengths and development needs at senior level and can plan to ensure we have the people we need to achieve our strategic goals. Over the next year we will roll out the programme to managers at other levels as well as tracking the progress of this year’s participants.