Special librarians too often hide much of the true professional added value of their work. To mitigate that, I think the following activities should be added to communication with end users—either collectively or individually—so librarians can demonstrate value and impact.
Timely communication is critical to successfully introduce and promote KM initiatives and keep the organization informed of progress. Develop a plan for the communications vehicles you will use and be sure to include “push” channels.
Over the course of the next seven years the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) will embark on a renovation of its original museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to the tune of $1 billion dollars. NASM is reported to be the most visited museum in the United States and the 3rd most visited in the world, with 8.6 million visitors through their doors in 2017 and hundreds of thousands of digital visitors who frequent NASM’s website and collection search center.
Reviewing and recommending technology, software, products, and services is integral to the evaluation process. As you evaluate new and old technology, recurring costs, and services, it’s important to consider how they fit within your mission and serve your staff and researchers.
The results are in! Our library sector blog posts always have strong readership, but we noticed enthusiasm for three library posts in particular, demonstrating readers’ interest in what guest bloggers Miriam Kahn and Stephen Abram have to say about trends and opportunities for special librarians. They’re worthy of a reprise, and just in case there’s anyone out there who missed them the first time… please read on!
Taking grant writing workshops, attending funding agency webinars, and reading grant writing tips can be incredibly helpful, but sometimes you need a little extra help from a grant specialist. A grant specialist is not just a grant writer, they’re an expert in leading a museum though the entire grant acquisition process.
While digital preservation efforts are being led by members of the cultural heritage community working at institutions traditionally responsible for saving materials, the challenges of digital preservation require the involvement of new participants.
One of the hardest aspects of the grant acquisition process is finding appropriate funding opportunities that match the museum’s proposed project. Many facets of the grant acquisition process can be taught and replicated, but conducting grant prospect research is an area that will change each time a new project needs funding.
Selling is like a journey—there is no finish line. Remember that getting buy-in to KM is an ongoing, permanent process. You are selling all the time!
If your museum isn’t applying for grants or hasn’t been successful with previous applications, you need to understand why in order to circumnavigate the roadblock. This is a necessary first step before any grant work can begin. Self-reflection, outside assessment, and solicited expertise are employed whenever a personal or professional roadblock comes up—and the same applies here. It’s time to unblock your writer’s block and get back (or jump in) to grant writing.
As with many archival projects, large institutions lead the way to new discoveries, workflows, and practices. Discussions about digital preservation have been too frequently (but understandably) presented in terms that apply only to large, well-funded institutions.
Timely communication is critical to successfully introducing a new KM initiative and keeping the organization informed of implementation progress. Complete and effective documentation supports training, communications, and user assistance. It is a good way to demonstrate knowledge sharing and reuse, and allows users to learn about all elements of a KM program.