Technology is all around us. We are challenged to learn new software and hardware, new programs and apps, and to embrace the ideal of knowing ‘a little bit about everything.’ Learning something new every day will keep you excited and engaged with your job, your profession, and everyday life.
Off-site and remote storage facilities are not new. They were developed in the 1930s and continue to be important for preservation and long-term retention of materials. They provide a long-term solution for paper and microfilm records, sound and video recordings, and now data.
“Out of Sight” should not mean “Out of Mind.” The worst happens when we least expect it. While it’s great that library items are stored in safe locations, it’s essential that these facilities be included in security, risk management, and disaster response plans.
As special librarians, we connect clients to information and data. Our struggle is influencing the overall process of knowledge creation and the best behaviors for successful decision-making.
The Penang House of Music is a gallery and library dedicated to documenting the diversity of the local community’s cultural and musical traditions, including popular music in Penang. It came into being as part of the Penang Musical Heritage Project (PHMP), with the support of the Penang State Government.
In Special Library Land we often refer to marketing or advocacy. I do not personally like those words as frames for such activities. I like to call it what it is: INFLUENCE.
Community Asset Mapping is a great tool for looking at your potential partnerships, markets, audiences, and more. While it is widely used in the public sector—public libraries, healthcare, social services, urban planning, etc.—it promises to be a potentially very strong tool for special librarians to ‘map’ their internal and external communities.
Information professionals have a reputation for knowing a little about everything. As embedded special librarians and archivists, it’s essential that we remain relevant. One way to do so is to continuously hone your knowledge through continuing education. Another way to remain “in the know” is to share what you learn—within the organization and your professional specialty.
Through being part of a digitization or processing project, embedded special librarians add value to catalogues and databases. Their “In-The-Know” positions mean they can act as liaisons between the project designers and managers and the processors, catalogers, and input specialists. Specialized vocabulary and carefully crafted thesauri add precision to catalogs, metadata, tags, and, best of all, search results.
In my country (Canada), mind mapping is in the curriculum from a very early age. This skill is a foundation for critical thinking and, indeed, project and report creation and development—as well as beginning the research, discovery and exploration process.
I’ll bet you’ve done SWOT a lot. It’s a classic technique but one which benefits, I believe, from fish bone force field diagramming. It’s easy to do and, with good facilitation, mines the brains in the room quickly.
Part Three: Aligning Research Results with Decision-Making—Tools to Inspire Creativity and Encourage Divergent Thinking
In this third post in my series about interesting frameworks and tools for thinking about the value-add we can provide in our product and service design, I’ll outline three tools I use all the time—sometimes alone, and sometimes in collaboration with others.