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PALNI Onboarding Manual: Tips from Current/Past Directors

Overview of the structure of the PALNI consortium, resources available to you, and how you can connect with support and colleagues

PALNI Director Tips

Culture & Communication

  • Get to know PALNI community, both PALNI staff and people at other libraries - you are not alone!
  • If coming from a large university environment into PALNI’s small, private group of schools, expect a big culture shift. Collaboration is central to who we are. No single institution holds the power in meetings or discussions.
  • All directors are encouraged to speak at board meetings; share your opinions and ask questions
  • We love our acronyms but even we don’t know all of them - feel free to ask if we drown you or check out our acronym list -
  • Online communication is open and responsive as well - ask questions and start discussions on the listserv or the Community


  • PALNI libraries have committed to deep collaboration to work together to meet local needs. Groups serve to jointly address both new demands on ongoing ones. We benefit from working together and sharing local solutions with the group to meet local needs more efficiently, to provide new services, and impact the information industry.
  • Expectations for your involvement (and your staff’s) in PALNI is simply “serve as you can and as your interests and professional development decree”. Participation can vary by time, project, and method. Maintenance of effort from each organization is expected. PALNI is flexible and will adjust PALNI strategic plan or action items as priorities shift.The professional development gained from colleagues is a significant benefit of PALNI. Also, library staff who participate as steering members or Admin teams in PALNI groups are eligible for $1500 in professional development support to attend conferences approved by the AD/ED in support of PALNI strategic goals. Funding is limited. We also provide mileage support for in-person attendance at PALNI meetings. Carpooling is highly encouraged to save money and to provide more opportunity to interact with colleagues.

  • Library staff ...
    • Participate in in-person meetings
    • Post questions and answers on the Community
    • Participate and share in PALNI and external webinars
    • Reduce duplication of effort by sharing draft workflows, solutions, research, conference attendance, and other experience at PALNI meetings and the PALNI Community
    • Work on a task force or focus group
    • Provide feedback to task force and advisory group calls for information
    • Share information about what is going on in our field
    • Participate in training and visits as a PALNI expert
    • Support collaboration as an advisory group steering member or admin team
    • Receive PALNI Expert certification in a specific WMS area
    • Become a PALNI coordinator

  • Board members  ...
    • Participate on board committees
    • Share questions/answers/experience on the Community and the Director’s listserv
    • Attend and prepare for Board meetings
    • Encourage staff to take advantage of the group to manage work, handle new responsibilities, develop expertise, understand users
    • Share changes in organization, strategy, and demands on local institutions
    • Participate in strategic planning
    • Other governance duties as needed including turns on the Executive Committee
    • Participate in Director Leadership development through the ACRL LIAL or other program (one director per FY)

PALNI History

  • Know where to find PALNI history as you’ll experience references to the past.
  • Historical Timeline -
  • CONTENTdm Archives (we are currently adding more, must login!) -
  • Your mentor is a great resource!