In 2011 RAIS (Reference and Information Services) will provide occasional posts—maybe each fortnight or maybe each month—that highlight articles and blog posts about reference and LIS professional development.
Many of the articles will be available either free or through ALIA’s LIS journals, but sometimes you might need to look a little further afield at your public or workplace library.
Here’s our first roundup with a focus on workplace promotion, reference and professional online identity.
The most recent issue of Library Trends (Volume 59, Number 1-2, Summer 2010/Fall 2010) focuses on library workplace issues and includes articles from the academic, public and health library perspectives.
In fact, the health library’s perspective is also an Australian viewpoint, in the article “Australia’s Health Libraries: A Research-directed Future“.
From the abstract:
Health Libraries Australia, a group from the Australian Library and Information Association, is currently undertaking a research project to determine the future requirements for the health librarian workforce in Australia. The study has yielded an in-depth literature review exploring the Australian health care system and health library sector and international trends in health libraries that may impact Australian health librarian education.
Gillian Hallam et. al. “Australia’s Health Libraries: A Research-directed Future.” Library Trends 59, no. 1-2 (2010): 350-372.
The editors introduce this Library Trends issue by writing,
This double issue represents a continuation of our first collection of research articles on workforce issues published in Library Trends, Volume 58, Number 2, Fall 2009. Concerns about the current and future state of the library workforce continue to grow as greater numbers of Baby Boomers move closer to their retirement years. As Manjarrez, Ray, and Bisher point out in this issue, half of librarians were over age fifty in 2007, and a fifth of librarians were over age sixty. A number of factors have made librarianship one of the occupations with the highest proportion of older workers: many librarians enter the profession as a second career; reductions in hiring in public and academic libraries during the 1970s and 1980s resulted in fewer hires of younger librarians; and high levels of job satisfaction contribute to worker longevity in positions.
Joanne Gard Marshall et. al. “Introduction: Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science, Part 2.” Library Trends 59, no. 1-2 (2010): 1-5.
Two articles about reference and customer service from Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ):
Ferrell, S. 2010. Who Says There’s a Problem? A New Way to Approach the Issue of “Problem Patrons”. Reference & User Services Quarterly 50, no. 2, (December 1): 141-151. [Opens as PDF]
Wolfe, J., T. Naylor, and J. Drueke. 2010. The Role of the Academic Reference Librarian in the Learning Commons. Reference & User Services Quarterly 50, no. 2, (December 1): 108-113.
Another Australian perspective of library workforce issues in New Library World, this time a library liaison workforce review undertaken by the University of Tasmania. Vanessa Warren. 2011. Using workforce structures to enable staff retention and development: An academic library case study. New Library World 112, no. 1/2, (January 1): 8-18.
The Progressive Librarian has its archives, currently up to Summer 2008, freely available on the web. The Progressive Librarian is also indexed by Proquest Library Science, which is the LIS journal database that ALIA provides for its members.
The latest College & Research Libraries News is available in full-text online.
Suzanne Markgren’s article on how to manage your professional online identity has gathered quite a lot of interest, and not just from those in academic circles.
Markgren, S. (2011). Ten simple steps to create and manage your professional online identity: How to use portfolios and profiles. College & Research Library News 72 (January 1): 31-35
Librarians are not good at self-promotion. It’s true. When was the last time you shared your accomplishments with your colleagues, your supervisor, your director, your friends? Your mother doesn’t count. How often do you bask in a little professional recognition? Have you ever scrutinized your own professional identity (as a potential employer might)?
Brad Matthies of the blog The Digital Immigrant reflects on digital profiles, referencing Markgren’s article here, titled Digital Profiles.
Older yet still relevant articles on libraries and self-promotion, not just online profiles, include these ones from the ALIA LIS journals database:
Schachter, D. 2008. Launching Your Info Pro Career? Self-Promotion Is Key. Information Outlook, November 1, 52-53.
Self-promotion is about feeling confident in your skills and abilities, and being able to convey that information to others. In particular, being able to convey how you are the right person for a particular position or project. Developing your leadership skills is a good way to work on your confidence and develop effective working relationships. It comes down to really knowing yourself – understanding your learning and communication styles and seeking feedback from colleagues and supervisors, fellow students and instructors.
Hordle, J. 2002. No business like self-promotion. Information World Review, June 1, 28.
If information professionals practised promotional habits more often, they would not only raise the number of personal opportunities but also assist in the rise of the profession as a whole. Most information professionals worry about the skills and experience they do not have, instead of promoting the ones they do. If one is serious about marketing their skills, they should not start without understanding what their employer’s motivations might be. It is crucial that one airs out ideas with people who could benefit from them.
So happy New Year from RAIS Victoria. These links might help a little to start your 2011 professional development off with a bang.
RAIS (Vic.) Convenor