Proactivity as a Skill

Who are librarians?  Are they generally all the people employed by the library?  I had a patron at a public library refer to me as a librarian when I was working at the circulation desk.  I had a similar experience at an academic library.  Most patrons are not aware of the difference between a clerk and librarian, because they do not have an appreciation of the differences in the skill sets of each.  Librarians are diabolically aware of the skills required to provide user service and the skill sets needed to continue to effectively serve users and patrons in the future are greatly affected by many issues.

One issue affecting the future competencies of librarians is what references services will look like.  With a current emphasis on learning, implementing, and using technology to offer more traditional services, librarians will need to be more proactive in their approach to the services they offer.  This is for the simple reason that information can be found and obtained from other sources besides the library and users are well aware of this.
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Blogging, Content, & Promotion

Courtesy of rojish.com

When it comes to blogging, I have read that content is KING.  The depth of thought and articulated points of the writer, which shed light on new aspects of a topic are attractive to readers and can help build readership.  To that end I am always seeking to add new blogs to this blog’s blogroll and finding new blogs to subscribe and follow.  Finding these and sharing their links and content can help augment my writing and perspective as well as provide additional perspective to the readers of this blog.

If there are blogs you read or write, please share them with the readers of this blog by leaving links in the comments section.  Feel free to promote your own blog as a source to follow or subscribe to.  This goes for any time, I am encouraging promotion and networking.

Shameless promotion is not frowned upon here, as long as it is done tastefully.  I reserve the right, as always, to edit obscene posts on this blog.

To that end, here is some professional promotion:

You can follow me on Twitter at @b_rie and the homepage of this blog is http://www.experimentallibrary.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading and posting!

Non-profit use of Social Media and its Impact: Social Media Study

This is the fourth post of a four part series devoted to social media’s use within nonprofit organizations, Social Media Study.  The first post of the series is Engagement & Empowerment, the second is Increasing Presence & Transparency, and the third is Funding.

Social Media Study

Courtesy of pmtips.com

A 2008 study conducted by Mashable.com of 426 donors responding to 30 questions revealed interesting results that are directly related to the impact of social software on donations to non-profit organizations.  The questions dealt with the age distribution of social software donors, desired conversation topics, and social media use.
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What’s Experimental About Libraries?

This is a good question.  When people think of libraries they think of the physical presence a library has within their community.  People think of libraries as that place where books ‘live’ and are maintained by a librarian.  These places have been parodied in movies and books as old, dusty, dingy, and sometimes dark places.  Some libraries can be described in these ways, but it seems as though some artistic license and some embellishment on the parts of some story tellers has really played a large part in the creation of the general perception of libraries.  Libraries are not thought of in the dynamic light they should be, libraries are viewed as static, old, boring, and irrelevant.

This is where the dichotomy between public perception and reality exists.  Interestingly, libraries are some of the most dynamic places in our communities.  Libraries are portals to vast amounts of information that is almost immeasurable.  The massive amounts of information available on the Internet boggles the minds of most and even baffles some.  Libraries as portals to large amounts of information have enormous implications for the communities they serve as well as the staff who manage and curate all the information available.

In order to stay relevant to their communities, libraries need to constantly be trying out and experimenting with all the different ways they can deliver their important services to their communities.  All of this experimentation allows libraries to really find those technologies that work best for their constituency.  This is why libraries are in a constant state of experimentation and why I started this blog.  I want to explore the different ways libraries experiment with new policies and technology in order to stay relevant in their communities.

Please join me in looking at how libraries experiment everyday with new technologies and services to continue to be dynamic and vibrant spaces for information discovery and consumption.

What do you think?  Do you feel libraries experiment a great deal or not?