January 3, 1996 Hiram Davis To Head New Staff Development Initiative at the Library of Congress

Contact: Jill Brett (202) 707-2905

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today that Hiram L. Davis will head a long-term effort to train and develop the Library's current work force for the next century.

Davis will relinquish his duties as Deputy Librarian this month to focus full-time on the work force program, informally referred to as the "internal university." He will assume the title of Senior Advisor for Staff Development and Staff Transition in the Librarian's Office.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to develop and implement this important initiative at the Library and to find new ways to broaden the knowledge and skills of our staff with a systematic long-term approach. Dr. Billington and I are confident that we can count on the full support of the staff to make this new endeavor a solid success," said Davis.

In a special announcement to Library staff, Dr. Billington praised Davis's personal efforts to launch this initiative during the past few months. He indicated that the Library, facing budget constraints and new technology, now had to rely, primarily, on the full development of its existing work force through education, internal training, job experience, mentoring and other means. The National Digital Library Program and other pending new Library technological advances, he indicated, require a long-range Library-wide program.

In his testimony before the Joint Committee on the Library on November 29, Dr. Billington made reference to the need for a broader development of staff skills through an "internal university."

Davis said he did not expect either instant results or additional funds from Congress for the new endeavor. He said it would take time and careful planning to ensure steady progress. "We can make real improvements that benefit everyone who works here," he said. "For me, it's a tremendous challenge, and an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the Library's future."

Innovative training and education efforts have been under way at the Library for some time, notably the 30-person Affirmative Action intern program, tuition support programs, and the Leadership Development Program. Davis's initiative will provide a more systematic Library-wide match of existing talent with programs that anticipate future needs, an approach that will be essential to the Library in the 21st century.


PR 96-008
ISSN 0731-3527