Thriving Library Capabilities Framework


The Thriving Library Capabilities Framework describes the attitudes and capabilities essential for the University of Wollongong Library team. To be a truly thriving organisation, we believe it is essential that all Library staff develop the skills, capabilities, and personal attitudes required to contribute proactively as the Library continues to evolve.

The attitudes and capabilities are descriptive rather than prescriptive. Staff may use them to:

  • identify their own digital strengths and preferences
  • seek out and identify opportunities for career planning and development
  • apply the principles when working with colleagues within and external to the Library

It can also be used as a tool for:

  • developing position descriptions
  • informing conversations between individuals and team leaders to identify development needs
  • developing strong and effective relationships in project teams
  • approaching the continuous improvement of services
  • assessing the spread of capabilities and attitudes within a team and/or how best to harness individual strengths across team

Staff are encouraged to actively engage with the Framework in both active and reflective ways. A suite of support resources ('seed bank') including links to articles, learning opportunities, and engagement portals is available for each capability area, and staff are able to define their own development needs through the use of an interactive self-evaluation tool. The seed bank resources are updated regularly, providing staff with fresh opportunity to engage and further their development. The self-evaluation tool has been built using H5P, and allows staff opportunity to reflect on their development, as well as rating their skill in specific capability areas and setting relevant goals.

The Framework was produced on Dharawal Country. Our practice is grounded in Country and we benefit and learn from the Aboriginal knowledges that are part of the lands where we work and live.

The Framework is licensed under Creative Commons. If you would like more information about the support resources, self evaluation tool, or development and implementation of the Framework, please contact 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


These six attitudes underpin and inform the work that we do to become truly thriving and future ready. They allow us to evolve and proactively meet the challenges of a changing higher education and library environment.

By applying these attitudes you can accomplish and respond to large or small problems and opportunities. All staff are encouraged to develop these attitudes and to use them actively in their work.

As with the skills framework outlined below, these attitudes will move through a scale of adoption. Rather than being stepped out across the three levels as with the skills framework however, the emphasis on attitudes is for staff to use a cycle of continuous reflection and self-evaluation.

Growth mindset

'Growth mindset' is an understanding that learning is a lifelong process, and that there are continual opportunities for growth and development.


'Accountability' is an understanding of how individuals contribute to the bigger picture and overall value of the Library, and an understanding of personal responsibility in relation to achieving team, Library and personal goals.


'Curiosity' is an attitude of experimental and open-minded discovery, lending itself to the development of new ideas and ways of thinking.

Cultural and social intelligence

'Cultural and social intelligence' is an understanding of the rich diversity of the social and cultural frameworks we operate within, and a proactive approach to acting with awareness and respect of the various social and cultural factors affecting any situation.


'Human-centered' is an approach which prioritises empathy and understanding of the human needs in a given situation, and places them at the centre of the decision-making process.


'Authenticity' is a willingness to bring one’s whole self to work and embrace genuine and vulnerable participation in professional life.


These capability statements are divided into Seeding, Growing and Flourishing to illustrate pathways for growth and development. We recognise that the starting point will look different for each individual and/or each development area, and that no one individual will have all of the capabilities included in this model.

The framework suggests a range of activities relevant to a variety of roles, and there will be a great deal of role-specific variation in what counts as digital expertise. These capabilities are framed using digital terminology but also relate to physical or face-to-face activities and interactions.

As the seed bank is intended to be dynamic and fluid and will continue to change, we have not included it in this public information. We suggest that people wishing to use a similar structure for their own unit or institution develop a seed bank tailored to their specific context and staff profile. If you would like to know more about how we create and maintain our seed bank, please contact 

Capability: Communication and Collaboration

Uses appropriate tools, techniques and awareness to effectively engage with others. Participates in innovative projects, communities and discussions.

Seeding – communication and collaboration


  • the range of communication norms and needs for collaboration
  • features of different digital media and tools used for collaboration and communication
  • how digital media and networks influence social behaviour
  • that we work in a digital first learning environment

Is able to:

  • access and share digital resources and documents
  • communicate effectively in digital media and spaces
  • participate in digital teams, working groups and other online forums (e.g. CoPs)
  • share evidence and findings using digital methods

Growing – communication and collaboration


  • innovation, enterprise and project management in digital settings
  • the impact of tone and style on the effectiveness of online communication
  • the dynamics of groups and the importance of implementing effective strategies for group work
  • the importance of choosing digital or face to face communication appropriate for the context
  • that communication in an online space involves different learning dynamics

Is able to:

  • participate in, facilitate and build digital networks
  • use shared productivity tools to collaborate effectively, produce shared materials and work effectively across cultural, social and linguistic boundaries
  • navigate small and large group conversations effectively
  • apply strategies to leverage the strengths and preferences of group members
  • articulate learning needs within/across the digital environment effectively

Flourishing – communication and collaboration


  • that digital tools offer opportunities to collaborate, communicate and educate that differ from analogue methods, and that different approaches are required for different contexts

Is able to:

  • apply methods for engaging and participating in groups that are designed for digital spaces, rather than trying to replicate analogue modes of communication
  • make meaning, communicate and articulate ideas across a variety of media and modes of communication
  • effectively communicate and gather feedback/evaluate impact and outcomes of digital training experiences
Students busily studying in the collaborative spaces on the Ground Floor of Wollongong Campus Library
Disability services support

Capability: Identity, wellbeing and inclusion

Respectful of spaces and boundaries, socially and globally responsible, a digital citizen has knowledge about being safe in digital spaces and proactively manages their own wellbeing in relation to technology use.

Seeding – identity, wellbeing and inclusion


  • that people have varying preferences in regard to engaging in digital spaces
  • benefits and risks of digital participation in relation to health, wellbeing and professional reputation
  • barriers experienced by individuals or groups to accessing digital tools and spaces, and how this impacts upon their opportunities
  • how digital technology is changing practices at work, home, in social and public life
  • that online activity creates a digital footprint, including metadata from a range of tools and devices.
  • appropriate forums for professional communication
  • the risks of providing identifiable information in online spaces
  • social cues appropriate for different digital spaces

Is able to:

  • manage digital stress, workload and distraction
  • identify own digital identity and review the impact of online activity
  • ensure personal health, safety, and work-life balance in digital settings
  • act safely and responsibly and respectfully in digital environments
  • develop and project a positive digital presence and manage digital reputation across a range of platforms
  • promote ethics and values in digital settings
  • use digital tools to support inclusion
  • locate information about accessibility guidelines and principles
  • engage in online discussion in a respectful way, demonstrating appropriate online conduct
  • communicate preferences for digital interactions to others modify social cues to suit the context

Growing – identity, wellbeing and inclusion


  • the importance of respecting and seeking the perspectives of clients from a range of backgrounds when developing new resources or services
  • the effect of digital platforms on the way information is disseminated and consumed
  • the relationship between user data and third party advertisers

Is able to:

  • create new content that meets accessibility standards
  • create new content that is culturally inclusive
  • evaluate new digital tools with regard to principles of accessibility and inclusion
  • champion digital wellbeing practices in interactions with staff and students
  • evaluate your own professional digital presence and develop strategies to enhance it

Flourishing – identity, wellbeing and inclusion


  • methods for engaging effectively with clients and stakeholders from a range of backgrounds
  • the impact of algorithmically driven content on social and cultural development

Is able to:

  • critically evaluate services and resources from the perspective of cultural inclusion, and proactively suggest changes which increase inclusion.
  • employ a process of conscious selection and curation of your engagement in digital spaces to meet chosen aims
Students talking in the Library lounge / kitchen / kitchenette
Two people sitting on grass with laptops smiling.

Capability: Digital proficiency and innovation

Works confidently within a digitally connected environment across platforms and tools. Sees new opportunities presented by digital technologies, processes and methods

Seeding – digital proficiency and innovation


  • basic concepts in computing, coding, and information processing
  • how programs/systems interoperate
  • the importance of using digital tools or platforms that are fit for purpose

Is able to:

  • use common digital communication tools including email, filesharing and storage platforms, collaboration platforms and virtual meeting software
  • troubleshoot find solutions or workarounds
  • explore new technologies and experiment with established ones
  • assess the benefits and constraints of different digital tools, devices, applications, software and systems relevant to different tasks

Growing – digital proficiency and innovation


  • how to identify specialist tools appropriate for purpose
  • conventions and terminology common to digital media creation

Is able to:

  • use specialist digital tools appropriate to role and/or subject specialism
  • design and/or create new digital media (e.g. Audio and visual)
  • adapt to and learn to use new software and technology with minimal guidance

Flourishing – digital proficiency and innovation


  • principles of ethical technology design
  • use principles of designing effective digital learning environments

Is able to:

  • create adaptive and personalised learning and user environments
  • use digital technologies to develop new ideas, projects and opportunities
  • adopt and develop new practices with digital technology in different settings
Person at a laptop with an open book and coffee cup beside them
Group of three people in a meeting, sitting with laptops at large table, one man is talking on his phone.

Capability: Digital scholarship and data literacy

Enquiring and analytical, critically reviews resources, understands patterns in data and using information to solve problems. Uses digital tools and methodologies to enhance traditional methods of learning and research 

Seeding – digital scholarship and data literacy


  • how data is used in professional and public life
  • how personal data may be collected and used in digital interactions
  • principles of copyright and IP including creative commons and open access alternatives
  • different data analysis tools and techniques
  • the potential for digital tools to enhance traditional scholarly practices

Is able to:

  • critically receive and respond to messages in a range of digital media
  • search for and critically evaluate information in terms of its provenance, relevance, value and credibility
  • collate, manage, access and use digital data
  • analyse and interpret data and other digital information
  • source digital content appropriate for reuse
  • identify digital tools with potential for enhancing scholarly practices

Growing – digital scholarship and data literacy


  • digital media as a social, political and educational tool
  • the impact of digital tools including social media for increasing research visibility and impact
  • legal, ethical and security guidelines in data collection and use
  • digital media production as a technical practice
  • the potential for interactive data visualisation to increase engagement

Is able to:

  • experiment with the use of digital tools within scholarly practice
  • measure effectiveness and appropriate fit of digital tools as part of scholarly practice
  • use a range of open content with an awareness of different licences
  • produce original digital media content with an appreciation of accessibility, purpose and audience
  • curate, organise and share digital data for use by others
  • create data visualisations, infographics, and other interactive forms of data display
  • use social media appropriately and effectively as a tool for professional visibility

Flourishing – digital scholarship and data literacy


  • The benefits of data modelling as a tool for decision making
  • The ethical considerations of using AI and other large scale technologies in research and scholarly practice

Is able to:

  • Assess the ethical considerations of using student or client data in data analytics
  • Enable others to understand and critically evaluate the information landscape
  • Engage in learning or user analytics to inform evidence based decision making and best practice
  • Support colleagues and make recommendations on the effective use of digital tools to enhance scholarly practice
Someone at home, reading some text on an ipad
Two people standing near whiteboard talking.

Capability: Leadership and growth

Applies knowledge, seeks opportunities for improvement, and understands the transferability of learning and development with a mindset of growth and adaptability. 

Seeding – leadership and growth


  • personal needs and preferences of digital learners
  • importance of lifelong learning for personal and professional development
  • that leadership is a set of behaviours and attitudes, not a position
  • the range of opportunities open to support professional development within the Library and across UOW

Is able to:

  • manage time and tasks
  • organise, plan and reflect on learning, and monitor personal progress
  • use digital networks and resources to identify opportunities for professional development
  • participate in relevant communities of practice or peer learning opportunities aligned to development goals demonstrate self awareness

Growing – leadership and growth


  • the strategic fit of Library priorities within the context of the institution and industry as a whole
  • emerging themes and developments in librarianship and higher education
  • the importance of political savvy when working with a variety of stakeholders

Is able to:

  • demonstrate personal accountability and integrity
  • actively support the learning and development of others
  • identify opportunities for projects and initiatives that further the goals of the Library
  • identify improvements to existing practices
  • identify redundant or outdated processes and practices to make room for new priorities
  • respond effectively to changing circumstances
  • demonstrate empathy and enthusiasm
  • engage in targeted leadership initiatives including mentoring or development programs
  • make effective and evidence based decisions
  • form effective relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • address conflicts openly, and include a wide variety of perspectives in resolving them

Flourishing – leadership and growth


  • the importance of strategic vision in achieving significant organisational or institutional change
  • the benefits of empowering others to develop leaderful attitudes and behaviours

Is able to:

  • demonstrate ongoing growth, development and leaderful behaviour regardless of position
  • mentor others in developing their own leadership capabilities
  • empower teams to mobilise their strengths in achieving strategic priorities
  • develop and champion new strategic initiatives
  • become an online learning champion by engaging other staff and providing training and support
Four people sitting at large table with laptops, focusing to one member talking.

Capability: Resilience

Able to adapt to adversity, maintain resilience in the face of challenges, readiness to pivot in a changing environment.

Seeding – resilience


  • That change is necessary and can often be beneficial for growth
  • That to adopt new practices, it is important to release old practices that no longer suit the current context
  • The importance of staff engagement with activities that support organisational resilience

Is able to:

  • Adapt to change within the workplace and see the potential for growth
  • Identify opportunities for skills development
  • Critically evaluate work practices to identify opportunities for improvement
  • Accept reality for what it is, including challenges and opportunities
  • Approach professional interactions from a place of compassion

Growing – resilience


  • That you can change how you approach a situation, even if you can’t change the circumstances
  • The importance of meaningful activity for personal and professional satisfaction
  • That teams are most effective when they share a common understanding of purpose

Is able to:

  • Actively scan for emerging trends relevant to area of expertise
  • Identify areas of potential team or organisational vulnerability
  • Identify whether your mindset about a situation is helpful or negative, and adjust accordingly
  • Improvise in changing situations
  • Develop a common mental model of teamwork with colleagues
  • Communicate effectively with a variety of colleagues and stakeholders to minimise siloed information

Flourishing – resilience


  • The importance of anticipating future needs, trends and options to help individuals and organisations be prepared to pivot in a rapidly changing or crisis situation.
  • The impact of rapid change on individual and organisational wellbeing
  • The importance of trust and autonomy in rapidly changing environments

Is able to:

  • Facilitate organisational pivoting in response to changing circumstances
  • Develop strategies to address areas of organisational vulnerability
  • Apply strategies to maintain the wellbeing of self and others in environments of ongoing rapid change
  • Practice situational awareness, communicating issues that have the potential to create advantage or disadvantage within the organisation
  • Practice adaptive leadership
  • Make autonomous decisions in crisis situations where there is appropriate delegation and their expertise adds value
  • Utilise innovation and creativity to solve new and existing problems
  • Integrate knowledge gained during a crisis situation to ensure you are better prepared if something similar occurs in the future
Laptop on stand standing on a desk, surrounded by plants in pots.
A student sitting at her desk studying

Capability: Knowledge management

Ensuring the security of knowledge and business information, sharing and storing it in appropriate ways.

Seeding – knowledge management


  • Library and University requirements for recording procedures and relevant work information
  • The role of good knowledge management to improve efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge
  • The organisational value of tacit knowledge held and shared by library staff and other relevant stakeholders
  • The value of sharing knowledge in the workplace in building collective knowledge

Is able to:

  • Clearly create and organise records of important work functions
  • Ensure that all important work information is stored in a secure place, and accessible by appropriate colleagues

Growing – knowledge management


  • That sharing with others deepens your own knowledge and is a great service to your colleagues/organisation

Is able to:

  • Collaborate with peers in areas of professional expertise to disseminate specialised knowledge
  • Ensure that critical information is stored in a variety of locations and formats, accessible by a number of trained staff
  • Take responsibility for work tasks and priorities to fill organisational gaps at short notice (assuming correct training and access has been
  • Record learning events/data in context and use them for self-analysis, reflection and showcasing of achievements

Flourishing – knowledge management


  • The reason for knowledge management governance and practices
  • That information is a valuable asset that contributes to organisational success

Is able to:

  • Drive knowledge management initiatives
  • Encourage the transmission of tacit knowledge by championing a workplace culture of open communication and sharing of practices and ideas
  • Identify specialised knowledge existing within the organisation and implement strategies for transmitting and storing it
Person on laptop and phone reading work messaging app in cafe setting with coffee.
Student and mentor working together