We’ve all suffered through slick, packaged PowerPoint presentations that offer few glimpses of the actual software product. Seldom do we really get to see what we’re interested in. Here is a fool proof strategy to get potential vendors to actually show you how their products can help you achieve your goals.
One of the many positive aspects of solo librarianship is the diversity of the practitioners. Among them are law librarians, medical librarians, corporate/special librarians and archivists, to name just a few. This diversity helps solo librarians to better help one another, solving common problems and sharing/implementing best practices.
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.
Frequent travelers through San Francisco’s airport who love to read have probably stopped in at Compass Books in Terminal 3. The quality and range of their selection always impresses me, as do the knowledgeable staff. Recently, when SFO underwent significant renovations, I feared the store had closed—another victim of the digital age.
Part Three: Client Engagement in Special Libraries—What are the skills and competencies for engagement?
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!
There will, no doubt, be certain jobs and industries that will be dramatically impacted by artificial intelligence (AI). However, that can be said about virtually any technological innovation introduced in the past 30 years. A more interesting question might be, “How does the hype surrounding AI affect my career today?”
We have all been there, and I’ve been there a lot. In the not too distant past, I was required to use an IBM mainframe to do my “word processing” when PC based solutions had far better functionality. Later, I was required to use email software that wasn’t compatible with the internet. The list goes on, and the problem still exists. There is hope: please read on for some ideas on how to break away from legacy software.