Information Outlook

Official magazine of the Special Libraries Association. Includes articles on the administration, organization, and operation of special libraries and information centers; research reports in librarianship, documentation, education.

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 6, September

Advocating for Yourself Librarians Can Take a Number of Steps to Market the Value and Skills They Offer That Are Unrelated to Their Presence in a Physical Library
This issue's theme is about advocating for librarians. This is distinctly different from advocating for libraries. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A significant number of librarians today practice our profession outside the bounds of physical libraries....
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A Home in the Best Sense
"Welcome home. I'm very, very glad you're here." [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When I spoke those words during my address at the closing session of SLA 2011, I used the term home with some misgivings. It's a small word but a very powerful one, capable...
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A Much Larger Puzzle: Advocating for Librarians Is an Effort That Must Take Place at Several Levels and Requires Using a Variety of Skills
Advocacy is the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal. This is a fine definition for everyday conversation, but what does it mean to us as special librarians? More to the point, what does it mean to us as leaders of our profession? Advocacy...
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Capitalizing on Content to Grow Competencies
There's so much information out there that our job is becoming one of knowledge management, of content management of organization. Information now is a commodity--there's no real advantage to getting lots and lots of it unless you know what you can...
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Continuous Advocacy Creates Opportunities for Survival: Everyone in Your Organization Needs to Know That You Are the Bridge to Meeting Their Information Needs. How Can You Make That Happen?
In 1992, one of the authors of this article (Matarazzo) teamed with Larry Prusak to guest-edit an issue of Special Libraries on the subject of library value. They invited business executives and academics to contribute their perspectives on the value...
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Design Thinking for Better Libraries
The final dimension of design thinking I want to cover is design thinking as a catalyst for improving the totality of the user experience in our libraries. I think that's where I'm using this most heavily, particularly at Temple University, where we've...
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Developing Your Professional Narrative: Develop a Coherent Narrative about Yourself by Identifying a Weakness and Turning It into a Strength That People Will Remember
Still hanging in there with me as we continue with the branding theme outlined in the March issue of Harvard Business Review? Fabulous! Here's what's next: Developing a professional narrative that encompasses your wide range of skills, experience and...
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DiMattia, Helfer Inducted into SLA Hall of Fame
More than 75 years of leadership, mentoring and service were recognized on June 12 as Susan DiMattia and Doris Helfer were inducted into SLA's Hall of Fame. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The two were honored by colleagues,...
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Education, Networking and So Much More: In a City That Celebrates the Past, Information Professionals Came Together to Discuss and Prepare for What Lies Ahead
The theme of SLA's 2011 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO was "Future Ready," but the more than 4,000 information professionals and industry partners who gathered in Philadelphia for the four-day meeting could barely leave their hotel rooms without...
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Extreme Makeover: CI Edition
I mentioned earlier that competitive intelligence is not competitor intelligence. Competitors are just one segment of the competitive intelligence puzzle--they are not to be ignored, but it's very unlikely that they should be your main focus for most...
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Future Ready: 'Action!': Can You Handle Extreme Demands and a Hostile Environment? Can You Adapt to Unknown Challenges? If So, You Must Be a Librarian
Sitting on the sofa one Sunday afternoon after trying unsuccessfully to gain control of the TV remote from her husband, SLA President Cindy Romaine found herself drawn into an episode Of "Man vs. Wild." The Discovery Channel adventure follows a British...
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Gauging the Use of Academic Science Libraries: Using a Variety of Assessment Tools, Science Librarians at a Public University Compiled Data Supporting the Consolidation of Collections and Services into Interdisciplinary Spaces
In October 2010, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) formed a Task Force on Science Libraries and Collections to investigate how library services for the sciences are provided and how science collections are built on the campus. The...
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Getting out in Front of the Curve
Right now we're like Columbus, Cook and Magellan, searching the corners of the Earth. Magellan went around the world, and he didn't really know where he was going. Cook eventually got eaten by the tribes, but most of the time he went around. Can...
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Interacting with Senior Management: Getting 'Face Time' with Senior Leaders Enables Librarians to Build Professional Relationships and Demonstrate Their Expert Knowledge and Business Acumen
Having recently spent 16 months of my career unemployed and searching for a new job opportunity, I took some time to orient myself in a new direction. This was something I had been thinking about for a few years, but never could find the time to focus...
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Knowledge in Judgment: Making Good Decisions
I'm going to talk to you today--rather oddly, since I'm pretty well associated with the subject--about how knowledge isn't as important as any of us think it is. I'm sorry to disappoint you, especially since I've been studying it for so long. It's...
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Nominations Needed for Board Candidates
Are you a strategic thinker who's interested in taking your leadership abilities to the next level? Do you know someone who has the skills, desire and drive to help SLA members prepare for the future? The SLA Nominating Committee needs your help...
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Providing Thought Leadership: Using Virtual Communities and Social Media, the Dow Jones Knowledge Professionals Alliance Supports Peer Learning and Sharing among Librarians
Long before anyone ever used the term "Information Age," libraries were the quintessential hubs for information and librarians were the consummate knowledge professionals. Today, librarians are the strategic data aggregators, assimilators, organizers...
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Students Use Google, but Not Well
STUDENTS' RESEARCH HABITS * ONLINE COURSES College students often turn first to Google when conducting research, but most of them fail to use the search engine efficiently or effectively, according to the preliminary results of a two-year study....
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