Librarians are more relevant than ever. We have no good reason to be on the defense and every reason to take the offensive. Conversation in our field is fraught with too much navel gazing and not enough looking at external evidence that many things are going well. We share too many stories about the bad stuff and too rarely share the successes. Yet we are an adaptive profession. Positive change is our tradition; let’s talk about that!
One of the most popular buzzwords in library-land at the moment is ‘curation’. It’s used to describe anything from old-fashioned collection development to human filtering activities on social media like Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. The word ‘curator’ gets used too liberally to describe the stuff people do on the web and, in my humble option, dilutes and pollutes the professional things that librarians do.
There are plenty of articles and studies on information literacy in our professional literature. However, these almost always address the issue of information literacy in public, K-12 and academic libraries, and focus on end users. But what about workplace literacy?
I am often asked “What do I tell IT when they want to replace an existing Lucidea solution with one they promise to build in SharePoint?” Well, there are many advantages with our Lucidea solutions, but here I’d like to share one simple but very powerful differentiator: date handling and date searching. Once you’ve read this, you’ll have a thought-provoking response for IT!
Most librarians (and indeed, most professionals) think of networking as a personal, face-to-face activity. Most also look forward to meeting their fellow librarians and to making new friends, all while learning together about new ideas and trends in the library field. The challenge for solo librarians is that they often cannot leave their libraries to attend live conferences and meetings.
Many librarians choose to work on their own, inside many different types of organizations. All library skills—whether reference, cataloging, or collection development—are useful and valuable to both solo librarians and their users. However, there are challenges (both budgetary and organizational) to going it alone which require one-person library managers to seek out both a network and a professional “support system.”
Solo librarians need powerful time management tools, since they are running their libraries without paraprofessional staff to assist. I’ve learned that many solo librarians (as well as other professionals) use their smartphones to manage and organize their time. Technology to the rescue!
It used to be considered inappropriate for library staff to monitor the usage patterns of their end users, but for today’s special libraries, tracking and acting upon the insights gained is essential for delivering the best in content, tools and services. Learn how to make a successful case for end user tracking.
During my career as a KM practitioner, I developed a profile of the most effective knowledge managers. It’s included in my upcoming book on promoting knowledge management initiatives within the corporate world.
If you are planning to buy an ILS, or want to migrate/upgrade, you need to think about your organization’s needs both strategically and tactically in order to select the right platform. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself that will help.
Generation Z is the cohort that follows Millennials; the starting birth date for this generation is the mid-90s. Their presence and influence in your workplace is going to grow, and they have very specific expectations with regard to information access and knowledge exchange. Get ready for them now.
I’m reading a wonderful book at the moment, called “The Little Paris Bookshop,” by Nina George. In it, one of the characters says, “The others all left with the riddle unsolved; none of them asked the right questions. Asking questions is an art.” In my experience, that is very true …and the ability to practice that art in support of a patron’s or user’s needs is a librarian’s secret weapon.
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.
This is the first post in an occasional series in which I’ll share experiences from my decades as an Information Services Director. Many librarians, researchers or knowledge managers get promoted through the ranks into senior management roles without the benefit of formal training in administrative and operational areas—me included. That can make things …interesting! In this series I’ll share my best tips, my worst mistakes, and lessons learned. Please read on for the most illuminating interview question you can ask when you’re hiring.
I recently saw a great infographic based on Larry Cooperman’s book, Managing the One-Person Library. It’s a “test” that allows you to assess whether you have the right stuff to operate as a solo librarian (and it can also be used as a recruiting and hiring aid). Please read on for some secrets to effective one-person library management.