Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Four Habits of Highly Effective Librarians

Todd Gilman, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, has written a nifty essay on being effective as librarians. The whole is worth reading, but in summary, the four habits are:

  1. Openness
  2. Responsiveness
  3. Collaboration
  4. Communication
While it's surely possible to get a lot done without these traits, our jobs would be much better, and we'd frustrate other less, the more we develop these habits. Not coincendentally, this dovetails with three other things I've been thinking about lately:
  1. Tasha Saecker's excellent Library Director 2.0 essay, which emphasizes some of the same concepts.
  2. Recommendations from our staff planning task force, which in looking at issues affecting our library, did not recommend that we take up or abandon any services, but that we should work harder organizationally to exhibit some of these habits. They had a lot of other good and specific recommendations, but these traits encapsulate many grass-roots concerns.
  3. "Radical transparency", as in the cover story in the March issue of Wired, is surely the trait/habit/virtue of openness. This good article in the Long Tail blog covers some of the same ground.

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