July 28, 2008

Information Empowerment

What are you doing to empower others to access and use information for the benefit of your organization's mission? Consider asking to be included on various work groups' conference calls, ask for a "spotlight" in the organization's newsletter, or request five minutes on someone's meeting agenda. Add a "Meet the Librarian" blurb to your organization's website and/or the intranet. Keep it short and sweet: describe the information products and services you offer, be open to feedback, and solicit training suggestions (keep in mind that some employees will prefer group training and others will prefer one-on-one training). Let them know you are there! And smile....

July 21, 2008

Ready About? Transferable Skills for the Embedded Librarian

Yesterday I sailed for the first time in my life. And I mean, I sailed. My boss, whose boat I had the pleasure of sailing on through the Chesapeake Bay, let me steer for a while. All I had to do was choose a fixed point on the horizon and pretend I was guiding the boat toward it. Easier said than done, but it worked. And with a little more practice, the feel of the delay and the muscle memory will help me steer much better. Knowing yoga proved to be an excellent transferable skill for steering a sloop (and spending a few hours with sailors transfers well to crossword puzzling). Guiding the steering wheel was very much like learning tree pose (vrikshasana): choose a fixed point; breathe in; remember your objective; breathe out.

Object, inhale. Objective, exhale.

If your job description is fluid, know what you know, and be ready to demonstrate it if asked. Most librarians have had other careers, and so they have other skills. Use them. Bruce Rosenstein uses this model for marketing specifically, but it works for librarianship in general:
  • Know what you can do.

  • Tell them you can do it.

  • Do it.

  • Tell them what you did.
Yesterday I steered my boss' boat, and although I was only able to maintain this for five minutes, he was watching, so he knows I am capable. He also knows that I have been trained on advanced layout techniques in Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, just to give one concrete example, so if the opportunity arises for me to get into more publication work here (or publish my own library newsletter!), I'll be ready, and he'll know that I'm equal to the task.

Will you be ready if your boss asks you to steer?

July 14, 2008

Beyond 2.0: The Internet Librarian Conference 2008

Get ready for the 2008 Internet Librarian conference! This year's theme is Beyond 2.0: User-Focused Tools & Practices. Pre-conference workshops offer everything from advanced search techniques and social networking for libraries to a two-day K-12 track for school librarians.

The conference, to be held in Monterey, California, will feature many of the biggest names in the Library 2.0 world, including SLA President Stephen Abram, Information Broker Mary Ellen Bates, and Sophia Guevara of the Kellogg Foundation. Special sessions include webmetrics exploration using Google Analytics, and library automation (a hot topic this year)! Also, don't miss the exhibit hall with representatives from top vendors and i-schools. A great place to network and pick up some S.W.A.G. ("stuff we all get").

Be there or.....attend virtually, by following the conference wiki and blog.