I’m pleased to announce that my new book, Succeeding in the World of Special Librarianship, is now available from Lucidea Press. You may be aware that I am a regular contributor to Lucidea’s “Think Clearly” blog, so when they asked me to write their imprint’s next book, it felt like a great opportunity to share my perspectives in a more expansive form.
Are we ready for this? Sometimes a new technology simmers for years and then just seems to explode into the present. There are a few things cresting now in the consumer and business markets that we need to pay attention to.
In Part One of this series, we reframed knowledge management strategies in the context of strategies for improving the health of the knowledge ecology. We’re using the metaphor of building a nest (sometimes referred to as an intranet) where our eggs can hatch and ideas grow, and decisions improve in quality. In Part Two we explored five strategies, tactics and frameworks for accomplishing this. Now, in the final post of this three-part series, we offer an additional five strategies.
In Part One of this series, we reframed knowledge management strategies in the context of strategies for improving the health of the knowledge ecology. We’re using the metaphor of building a nest (sometimes referred to as an intranet) where our eggs can hatch and ideas grow, and decisions improve in quality. Now let’s explore some strategies, tactics and frameworks for accomplishing this.
I once watched a robin build her nest from what was available around my yard. Her choices were interesting. She had lots of material to choose from, but kept picking up the shiny, silver tinsel from the discarded skeleton of our Christmas tree. Her nest was beautiful when done. It was also colder, and non-absorbent, and she was never able to successfully get her eggs to hatch. One of the morals of this story: Sometimes that which we find attracts us is not necessarily what’s best for the purpose.
“Information overload refers to the state of having too much information to make a decision or remain informed about a topic. It is often referred to in conjunction with various forms of computer mediated communication such as email and the web. The term was coined in 1970 by Alvin Toffler in his book Future Shock.” (Wikipedia)
Are you still hearing that hackneyed old comment, “Most everything’s available on the web now, so exactly why do we need librarians?” I certainly am! Arghhh! It’s coming from all quarters and other professionals too. In financially tumultuous times, when every cent is being scrutinized to within a centimeter of its life, we can expect this ugly example of shallow thinking to raise its head again and again. It’s time to remind ourselves of quick ways to respond to these comments.
Libraries and librarians are all about experiences. How would you describe the experience of dealing with you? What are the benefits? In this post, I’d like to explore the knowledge experience and how it has changed over the years with respect to the library/librarian value proposition. As we enter an era of new opportunities it’s wise to see how we got to this point.
What is open? In order to be embedded librarians, information professionals must be open-minded and open to new experiences. On a personal basis I have had many conversations with embedded librarians who report that the experience is, in addition to being a growth experience, also quite enjoyable, professionally satisfying and exciting.
I have been asked to speak on innovation many times. I've also led the innovation teams at a few major library corporations, which is fun, frustrating and rewarding. I've thought about the topic a lot and I've come to a couple of conclusions which I'll share here.
Are you a blogging newbie? I doubt that! Been blogging for a while and now you’re feeling stuck? Has the dreaded writer’s block virus hit you? Feeling uninspired, all out of ideas, or not feeling very creative? Simply don’t know how to blog in your sector? Fear not; blogs still have some life in them!
Over the past few years we have heard a lot about the special role of elevator speeches—those sound bites you practice in case you have the ear of a key decision maker or influencer in your organization for a few floors. I love this tactic, but let’s remember that it’s just a micro-skill and we can’t leave our communication strategies up to chance encounters. Let’s learn how to make our own magical moments.
Our first three posts defined customer engagement and focused on our clients/colleagues. We suggested a strategy for identifying and connecting with the colleagues we serve. We looked into gaining a better understanding of ourselves as people, and we reviewed the core skills for listening. In this post we design a roadmap for engaging colleagues in the various specialized settings of information professionals.
In our first two posts in this series, we defined what customer engagement is in the special librarian’s context, and outlined an approach to building a special library focused customer relationship management system.
Now, let’s ask ourselves what are the major competencies required for success? What should we invest our personal development focus on?
My last post defined terms related to customer engagement and focused on the personal relationship-building component of our mandate with our target colleagues.
A major element of building relationships is knowing your colleagues well. No one’s memory is perfect. You can’t remember everything, and you may be working in teams (although this is useful for solos too). For sustainability and teamwork, you need to build a database that pulls together your knowledge of your clients and colleagues.
This series of blog posts on client engagement is inspired by a reader comment. Thanks!
“I appreciate Stephen Abram's tips. Could you talk more of 'engagement'? How can special librarians 'engage' employees? THANK YOU!”
This reader comment has inspired me to think more deeply about how special librarians and information professionals need to behave differently on the customer engagement front. Yes, special librarians are different!
As information professionals we are often asked to give our advice and our professional opinion on a number of issues and projects. Sometimes it is difficult to offer guidance confidently, yet it is our obligation to do so. In this post I’ll offer my thoughts on why and how to begin.