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.
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.
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!
In a recent post, The CKO of Microsoft Services Has a Surprising Perspective on Knowledge Management, KM blogger Nancy Dixon summarizes a conversation about people, process and technology with Jean Claude Monney, CKO of Microsoft Services. Mr. Monney touches on “no collar” workers, who should be added to “white collar” and “blue collar” when we talk about the people side of knowledge exchange.
In his “Knoco Story,” Dealing with the Important Urgent Knowledge First, KM expert Nick Milton discusses the difference between important and urgent information and knowledge. Understanding this difference is key for special librarians and other knowledge professionals as they manage workflow and resources to best support their end users and deliver the most impact.
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.
I wrote my first 12 tips for innovation and product development success at your library based on my own experiences (and as a sort of ode to my 39th anniversary of my MLS graduation). This is a three part series and the next 11 tips are right here. Watch for the final batch in my next post.