As a child, I never really liked playing with sand. Its lack of structure annoyed me, it irritated my skin, and of course you never knew what unpleasant surprises might be lurking below the surface. All that notwithstanding, thanks to SLA NY I’m currently adding the crenellations to the most commodious castle I’ve ever built, and I’m certainly not ready to give up my spot in the sand.
In September 2014, I retired from a satisfying 36-year library career which began in January 1979. I felt truly fortunate to have been employed all those years in a series of five traditional information profession positions after I finished my MLS degree at the School of Library Service at Columbia University in December 1978. All of my jobs were with non-profit organizations. I spent the last 20 years at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the grant-making institution of the financier and philanthropist George Soros. The Open Society Foundations was an amazing place to work in every respect, from the mission, ambiance, and quality of my co-workers, to employee benefits, opportunities for professional travel, and much more. Continue reading
Results-Based Accountability or RBA, sometimes also referred to as Outcomes-Based Accountability or OBA, is used to improve the performance of an organization’s programs or services to produce measurable change. RBA has many connotations, but here is defined as a data-driven decision-making process to get beyond talking about problems and take action to solve them. It begins with researching and identifying desired end results then creating prioritized actions to establish the best possible means to achieve those ends. One question asked during the process is “Are the customers of your products and services better off because of the quality and efficiency of your services?” It is a “cousin” to the Return on Investment (ROI) concept and encompasses elements of advocacy. On the surface, RBA may not seem much different from the traditional methods adapted by information professionals, but if there is substance enough to create some new ways of thinking, it’s worth considering. Regardless of whether a single method or a mix of concepts is employed, a strong communication plan is key.
Success Through Sharing Techniques Continue reading
SLA NY’s Chapter President Marcy Winkler wrote in the previous issue of B2E that one of her goals for this year “is to create an environment where all SLA NY members are open to learning from each other.” The SLA NY Colleague Connection Committee (formerly The Mentorship Committee) – consisting of Donna Severino (Chair), Zachary Leader, Linda Ronan, and the authors – has heeded that call to action as we implement new approaches to our program, making it more beneficial to all members.
Short-term, we are looking at a two-pronged approach to what we can offer our members: a new one-on-one program called The Colleague Connection and a more flexible way to connect via Power Networking. These are designed to offer new opportunities for members to connect, no matter if you are a student, just starting your career, or a veteran in the field. There is always room to learn from your colleagues and we hope to provide the structure and support to make it happen. Our long-term goals include creating an online space for connecting with members and a robust student program based on internships at local companies and institutions.
Program Launch: The Colleague Connection Continue reading
Librarians, and others, can promote and organize podcasts as a medium — just like we promoted and organized books in the centuries after the Gutenberg Bible.
Scroll down for a definition of podcasts.
Almost every day, I board the 7 train, put headphones in my ears, click a button on my phone, lean back in my seat and listen to podcast episodes. Every day. Sometimes I listen when I get home while I am cooking, walking, or waiting in line — any time my hands are busy but my mind is not.
At times I even listen while I could be watching television!
I want others to enjoy listening to podcasts as much as I do, and librarians can help make this happen. Podcasts, like books, have useful and unique content that is delivered in a unique way, but people have difficulty discovering them. Librarians help people discover useful and unique content in all formats, and podcasts is just another format. All the promotion and organization we use for reading — book clubs, classes, posters, readers’ advisories, even cataloging — can be applied to making podcasts more accessible and popular.
Let’s help people become “literate” in listening to podcasts.
What are podcasts? Continue reading
The world of Special Libraries is a wonderful and informative place. Researchers over the years have come to learn to navigate these unique collections to unlock the knowledge within. Many libraries have become well known in the research community and are frequently used. However, one group of libraries remains mostly forgotten and rarely visited by those outside their membership community. These are the libraries of the Freemasons. Continue reading