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. 16, No. 5, September-October

10 Questions: Dee Baldwin: Writing the Best Contributed Paper That Was Presented at SLA 2012 Was Only the Latest Unexpected Turn of Events in Dee Baldwin's Extraordinary Career
Dee Baldwin earned a master's degree in Spanish, then took a library job years later in a French-speaking country. When she started her career in the information profession, her long-term goal was to work in a map room in Texas; instead, she spent...
Benchmarking: A Powerful Management Tool: Benchmarking Can Be Used Reactively, Proactively or Strategically to Help Information Professionals Position Their Libraries for Greater Success
In today's tough economy, libraries are under increasing pressure to deliver value while holding down or reducing costs. All too often, librarians find themselves in the position of either justifying their budgets or figuring out where to make cuts...
Beyond Metrics: The Value of the Information Center: Information Professionals Must Get Away from Counting and Measuring and Demonstrate the Difference That Information Services Make to Their Organization
A decade after the release of The High Cost of Not Finding Information (Feldman and Sherman 2001) by the International Data Corporation, there is still a struggle to measure library services and report their impact in a meaningful manner. Calls for...
Collaboration in Special Library Environments
Disruptive technological innovations are creating new opportunities for information professionals to improve teams, workplaces and organizations. One of the great stereotypical myths of our society is that of the solitary genius who invents or creates...
Do Librarians Need PhDs? New Technologies Are Changing the Roles of Academic Librarians and Forcing Them to Think of Themselves as 'Partners in the Scholarly Enterprise.'
Has a PhD become necessary or even desirable for an academic librarian? I have considered that question more than once in my long career, sometimes to the consternation of colleagues. But as information technologies evolve, questions about librarians'...
Don't Touch That String! There Went the Databases
ABSTRACT Web discovery tools can change not only the way users search and retrieve information, but also, how libraries and librarians work with information. When the University of North Florida implemented web scale discovery tools, we discovered...
Insider Insights: How to Research Companies and Industries as Potential Employers
It's 2012, and looking for a job has changed drastically since 2002. Sure, you can go to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics site or the Occupational Outlook Handbook to find information on industries and career paths. But what else is out there? What...
Major U.S. News Sites Losing Credibility
National newspapers, cable news outlets, broadcast television networks, and NPR have all seen their believability ratings decline by double digits over the past decade, with only local newspapers and local TV news bucking the trend, according to a...
Marketing through Enchantment: The Guy Kawasaki Approach: The Keynote Speaker at SLA's 2012 Annual Conference Talked about Baking a Bigger Pie, Eating like a Bird, and Getting a Shoeshine from Richard Branson
For those who were not able to attend the SLA Annual Conference in Chicago and hear keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki's talk on how to enchant people, I thought it would be helpful to write a summary of it. His presentation was full of great tips and insights...
Measuring for Success: Two SLA Task Forces Are Taking Action to Establish Benchmarks for Professional Development and Membership Diversification
Wow! SLA 2012 is now one for the record books, and what an outstanding conference it was! Special thanks go to Cindy Hill and her team on the Conference Advisory Council for leading the planning process, to the division planners who put together 250-plus...
Metrics and Value
Lessons learned from the human resources profession can help us better align our goals with those of our organizations and more easily show our value. We are all expected to show value within our organizations, whether through usage statistics or...
Metrics for Special Libraries
What if you measured the performance of your library or information center, and nobody in senior management paid any attention to your results? A few years ago, two students at Harvard Business School interviewed several people who donate significant...
Nominations Sought for Board Positions
Looking for a way to take your leadership skills to the next level? Know someone who has the skills, desire and drive to help SLA members prepare for the future? If so, the SLA Nominating Committee invites you to nominate yourself or recommend a colleague...
Teaching, Communicating Are Key to Proving Value
Information professionals need to become partners in the teaching and research process and raise awareness of their services at all levels of the organization, according to a project designed to identify ways for academic libraries to demonstrate their...
What Are We Measuring, and Does It Matter? Value Has Replaced Size as the Preferred Library Metric, and Value Ultimately Lies in Supporting the Parent Organization's Mission
"Few libraries exist in a vacuum, accountable only to themselves. There is always a larger context for assessing library quality, that is, what and how well does the library contribute to achieving the overall goals of the parent constituencies." (Sarah...