During IFLA WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, the IFLA Section CPDWL hosted an open session with career and professional development coaching for the individual.

The set up was a drop-in session where the participants could choose between a variety of coaching areas, i.e. Lifelong learning, IFLA structure and organisation, Professional reorientation, General management skills, Leadership or Health management. All WLIC delegates were welcome to join the coaching session, and 79 participants attended the programme.

The coaching was aimed on one individual or a small group of individuals. Coaching focuses on asking open questions, and to allow the coachee to come up with the solution. This differs from mentoring which mainly focuses on giving advice. So the focus of these coaching interactions was to help developing the individual’s career and professional development and/or develop the individual’s understanding of how involvement in the work of IFLA can help with the individual’s career and professional development.

The purpose of the present work is to develop a robust and varied selection of continuing professional development opportunities to better prepare IFLA and the global library workforce to support 21st century users.

The coaching initiative was very well received by the participants. The evaluation results showed that 95% of the coaches thought the coaching programme was either excellent or very good. It also revealed that the coaches provided both individual coaching and group coaching, but also mentoring and dialogues on specific topics.

The coaching pilot was also evaluated in several meetings within the CPDWL standing committee, with staff at IFLA Headquarters and with the Professional Committee. All meetings congratulated the Coaching Team on the success of the coaching programme.

To broaden the perspective and make the coaching initiative into a true IFLA initiative, the CPDWL section will collaborate with the Management and Marketing Section during 2019. The combination of the CPD and the management aspect of coaching will develop the initiative and improve the quality.

In addition, CPDWL proposes two different set-ups during the WLIC 2019 in Athens: one walk-in/drop-in programme and one with pre-registration.

Other suggestions for an improvement of the programme include:

  • Offer fewer coaching areas.
  • Offer training for coaches before the programme.
  • Improve the presentation of the process.
  • Improve the physical space as well as timing for this kind of initiative.
  • Additional time for conducting the programme.

The working group is now continuing the work on this initiative and we are looking forward to 2019 when we hope to offer both a webinar on coaching as well as an interesting programme at the WLIC in Athens.