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10 Rules for New Librarians July 1, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Academic Librarianship, Image of Librarians.
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Michael Stephens at Tame the Web posted an excellent top 10 list for new librarians yesterday. In the midst of current local tensions here in Buffalo with our University and our LIS program (well documented earlier in this blog) I found this inspiring and useful, and honestly, quite apropos. Following I quote my 2 personal favorites but you can read more here. What are your favorites and why do they resonate with you? Not JUST for newbies… I feel this advice rings true for all of us:

“Work and Play nice with each other at your jobs, at conferences and in those places where information professionals gather.This isn’t a competition or a contest. It’s not all about you, new grad (sorry, but it’s not). It’s about the user. And creating services. And being the best librarian you can be.”

Now that I think about it, this could be extended to any field. Any customer service oriented profession you can think of wouldn’t exist without the users/customers/students/clients it serves. Users come first. Without them, there’s no us. Next time I hear someone criticize their patrons’ lack of boolean savvy I’ll kindly ask them to read this list… it takes far less time to explain and/or/not to someone than to complain about how they don’t know how to use a database.

“Listen to the seasoned librarians you encounter. They know things. Good things. Listen and they may inform your future decisions and planning. Learn from every conversation, meeting or water cooler chat. (And seasoned folk, listen to your new hires! You do the same: listen, learn and share… break down the generational divide present in some organizations…you’ll be happy you did!)”

One of my academic interests has been looking at demographic trends of generations. In academic librarianship, at least, “millenials” has been one of the big buzzwords, and many have looked at generational differences in terms of both users and librarians. Generation X has different information technology wants and needs than Generation Y than Baby Boomer than Gen Z and so on. But providing good service has always stemmed from the same core values: approachability, needs assessment, working within a budget, empowering users to find, evaluate and use information… developing high quality accessible collections (what others?).

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