Weekly Links

Great Links for Librarians

It’s been a crazy few weeks, and I’m looking forward to an unplugged weekend to recharge and reflect. But first, links!

The Complexity of Simplicity: Ten principles that can help keep things simple (one of my favorite topics!). Keep these in mind the next time you attack your library website.

How to Do the Work You’re Not Ready For: Hint, you probably are ready. Go for it!

18 Principles for Highly Creative Living: A mental breath of fresh air. My favorite part? “Use the word ‘yes’ to connect with people; use the word ‘no’ to protect your space, work, time and relationships. Inside every ‘no’ is a ‘yes’ to something else. Know what that is.”

Weekly Links

Managing your time, and more great links for librarians

Time management is always a struggle, especially in libraries where we often cannot predict how our days will play out and where we might be doing two or more jobs. Here are two articles to help manage your time:

The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day: If you’re like most librarians, you likely spend most of your day on reactionary tasks. But there is hope — audit your work, and better balance your time.

Break Your Addiction to Meetings: Check out the awesome decision tree in this post.

This week also includes a strong set of marketing and messaging posts:

Building A Brand Versus Selling A Commodity: Love this definition of brand

4 ways to find — and replace — jargon in your writing: Now that we have identified jargon, it’s time to fix the problem.

Message isn’t working? Here’s a three-point diagnosis: See #2. Your message is for your USERS, not for other librarians.

Weekly Links

How to lead a meeting, and other great links for librarians

If you follow me on Twitter, you know how much I hate poorly run meetings. As a result, I am constantly striving to run better meetings myself. I have two rules: 1. Cookies. 2. Agendas. Agendaless meetings are disasters before they begin. They waste time and can even create more problems than they solve.

We start our weekly links at Inc., where Steve Tobak shares six tips for leading a great meeting.

Other great reads from this week:

7 ineffective habits of scientists who communicate with public audiences: This article was written for scientists but applies equally to librarians. Lose the jargon!

An Event Apart: Silo-Busting with Scenarios: I was introduced to Luke Wroblewski’s work through my local UX book club chapter when we read his book Mobile First. Luke attends a number of fascinating conferences each year and is always generous with sharing his notes from each talk. This particular talk addressed problem solving through scenarios to break us out of our silos. This could help us break across the barriers between circ, reference, tech services, IT, etc., in libraries to best serve our patrons, regardless of where they start their question.

How Can You Communicate With More Authority as a Manager? Many newer librarians (myself included) often end up supervising those who are older and more experienced than ourselves. Alison Green shares some concrete examples here of how to better assert yourself in management and leadership roles.

What business are you in? As we continue to explore the future of libraries, it’s good to explore our purpose. Are we in the book business? The teaching business? The helping business? Or something else entirely?

Weekly Links

Great Links for Librarians

The post-holiday back-to-work rush finally caught up with me this week, and I’ve spent more time than usual relaxing and letting my mind rest. As a result, the regular weekly roundup of links is not to be.

I have taken some of this downtime to reflect on the future of library websites.

One departmental library has already launched a redesigned site, and my department likely will be doing the same later this spring. Our current website has been accumulating for years without any clear strategy. I’m hoping to change that and improve the usability of our site (which is the home to all of our DIY documentation) with a much simpler home page.

The Onion’s brand of satire occasionally hits an issue perfectly, and simplicity on the web is no exception in “Internet Users Demand Less Interactivity.” I want our new home page to get users to the information they need quickly, rather than pepper them with every possible option. I hope starting from scratch also will help us rethink our documentation structure and writing style, getting rid of jargon and awkward phrasing and terminology. It’s a lot of work, but the potential benefits are worth it, and I’m looking forward to getting started.

On that note, here are some articles for further reflection:

Removing library jargon from our home page — what Google Analytics tells us

xkcd: University Website

The Benefits of Less

Weekly Links

Great links for librarians

Some of the best from outside Libraryland this week.

10 Ways to Make Life Good Again: Full of #librarianstress? Take a deep breath and prepare to bring the good times back.

Beware of Reactionary Workflow: Is your workday proactive or reactive? A good argument for focusing your energy on the bigger tasks.

Defeating Busy: Better time management = better work and happier people. I’m looking forward to trying a few of these tips.

Jargon is hurting your company’s bottom line: Can I be honest? There are a lot of library and tech-related acronyms and terms *I* don’t know. What does that mean for our users? Nothing good.

Social media is not your saving grace: Being on a social network for the sake of being there is not going to turn your library into a magical millennial-friendly space. Have expectations and goals to deliver value in that realm.