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.
In my previous post, I wrote about how analyzing the ways in which thinking and decision-making happen offers interesting frameworks special librarians can use to strategize about the added value we provide in our product and service design. In this post I outline one of my favourites—Dr. Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats.
Sometimes special librarians struggle to define the right level of value-added service to deliver. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and considering what are the most important frameworks and ways to add value.
The Local History and Genealogy Room, known as The Sudbury Archives, is located within the Goodnow Library in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Sudbury was one of the very first inland towns in Massachusetts, and there are many families who can trace themselves, through town records, back to the early 1600s. The library’s historical collections are available to the general public for research involving local, genealogical and/or historical issues.
There’s no one model for libraries, archives and museums to coexist and interact. Each entity can be a stand-alone repository, a mixture of two entities, or contain all three entities. Library, Archive, and Museum (LAM) professionals are trained in organizing and categorizing items in their respective collections. Since this is their specialty they’ve applied the same principles to classify LAM entities separately, due to the LAM's slightly different functions and collection materials.
I can’t lose if I begin this post with a quote from Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I actually do think of this when I consider the impact of integration. With regard to knowledge management applications, KM solutions should not dictate the way people work and how they do things, but rather should dock neatly with existing systems and processes in order to optimize organizational knowledge delivery and exchange.
The simple truth is, there are serious challenges to the long-term sustainability of special libraries, most of which can be turned into opportunities if you develop a strategy for continuous improvement and are proactive.