27. January 2017 · Comments Off on Congratulations to Barbara Alvarez on Embedded Business Librarianship Article/Book · Categories: Uncategorized

Congratulations to Barbara Alvarez, who was a guest columnist on this blog back in the summer of 2015 when she reported on the ALA Conference!

Barbara authored a piece in the ALA Magazine January/February 2017 edition entitled: Embed with Business: Taking your library into the business world found on pages 44 to 48 (the starting page to go to on the pdf viewer is page 46). Barbara also wrote Embedded Business Librarianship for the Public Librarian.

Below are some of my favorite passages from Barbara’s ALA Magazine piece:

“Instead of going to community functions to give sound bites about the library and why people should support it, or presuming to know how it can support them, an embedded librarian will attend meetings, join committees, and network in ways that emphasize the library’s desire to learn and understand the business community as a peer.”

“It is important not to seize this moment as just an opportunity to boost program attendance and door count numbers, but instead to put energy into forming and sustaining meaningful connections.”

“When members of the business community are informed about the resources, workshops, technology, or other ongoing engagement projects at the library, they are often amazed, intrigued, and prompted to learn more. This appreciation grows when librarians develop meaningful relationships and work with business people on committees and socialize with them in networking groups. This appreciation can become mutual advocacy. The library no longer has to tout its own accomplishments and worth because others will advocate for it. It is much more valuable to have peers vouch for an organization than to have the organization vouch for itself.”

“However, embedded business librarianship is not self-serving. It comes from a true and honest attempt to understand, learn, and be an equal partner. This means stepping back and listening-not just telling the business community what you think they want to or should hear. It also means demonstrating the library’s case, not just saying it. Embedded business librarianship recognizes that you do not know or have to know all the answers to the issues or struggles that the business community faces. You are going to work with them toward a solution, not try to be the solution.”

“Essentially, when you develop relationships with the business community, you are developing relationships with the entire community.”

“You may feel you need to be a business expert to get started in this role. That is not true. Having a business background can certainly be helpful, but an interest, curiosity, and desire to learn more about business are the most essential assets. The most important aspect is your knowledge of your library and your own eagerness and desire to make a difference. If a library professional possess these qualities, there is no reason that he or she cannot be an embedded business librarian.”

“As you continue in the embedded  business librarian role, you will go from an outsider who has to be clued into the community’s goings-on to someone who is aware of the latest developments, trends, and events.”

“This is a process that will take time. Have patience with yourself and with the community. Encourage yourself to learn new technologies, trends, relationship interactions, and everything else that comes with your role.”

27. January 2017 · Comments Off on Final Post on the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up · Categories: Uncategorized

This is the last in a series of posts on Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

One final piece of advice from Kondo with respect to storage is found on page 142.

“Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Therefore storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away not the effort needed to get them out.”

22. January 2017 · Comments Off on Post 2: Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo · Categories: Uncategorized

This is a continuation from last week’s post on Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

How often should one be tidying? Kondo urges us to make tidying marathons a special occasion to prevent rebound. The reason being is that one-big tidying session has far more positive mental impact on us than a gradual tidying. Also, with tidying that is done piecemeal we are most likely to give up or postpone completing the tidying session until some other time. Once a successful tidying session has been completed, there will come a point when the person knows just how much stuff they really need, then they can stop discarding and focus on storing items. After doing this, then the person only has to engage in daily-tidying which just means putting things back where they belong.

Kondo believes that the best order in which to tidy is to start with clothes, then books, papers, miscellaneous items, and then items of sentimental value. The reason is that things that are not rare or things that lack much personal value are the easiest to start with.  If you start with precious things first, you can easily get discouraged from continuing. For clothing, I found that Kondo’s recommendation to store things standing up instead of laying them flat works best to see all the clothes in a drawer which would be difficult to do if you just laid one set of clothing over another set.  For books, the suggestion is to only keep the ones that spark joy and would make it into a special book “hall of fame.” I enjoyed Kondo’s remarks that the true meaning of a book is to convey information not to sit permanently on a shelf. Once the book has been read we have experienced what the book had to offer, so we are ready to part with it. For papers, Kondo’s rule of thumb is to discard everything.  For miscellaneous items, store only those things that bring you joy.

Now for the precious sentimental items, these should actually be handled (as with everything else listed above) one by one. Kondo’s main point is that the importance that keepsake items had was fulfilled at the moment they were either created or when the information they contained was read. When we work with the sentimental items we are actually sorting out our past and putting it in order.

My favorite quotes on the keepsake items are cited below:

Page 117, “The purpose of a letter is fulfilled the moment it is received.”

Page 118, “It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure. This is the lesson these keepsakes teach us when we sort them. The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”

Page  119, “The meaning of a photo lies in the excitement and joy you feel when taking it. In many cases the prints developed afterward have already outlived their purpose.”

Finally, I thought it valuable to note that Kondo believes we should properly send off discarded items with a greeting so that we launch them on a new journey.

16. January 2017 · Comments Off on Post 1 on The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo · Categories: Uncategorized

The 8020librarian likes to impart the idea that not everything is important and that a single project or a few small things end up having a major impact.

Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” is well worth the read. The main take-away that I get is that by cleaning up you make a direct positive impact on your personal life. For me, while I have not completely gotten to where I need to be as a cleaner, I have noticed that mentally things become clearer after parting with possessions that I no longer need.

Conceptually, the two main tenets to Kondo’s cleaning philosophy are discarding and then deciding where to store things. Discarding is the most important and must come first. While, I can think of a number of questions to ask myself when discarding (i.e. Do I really need this? Who could use it?, etc.) Kondo’s main question for almost all the possessions you own is straightforward. She asks, does the item spark joy?  Here we are not following rational thought, but rather intuition. If the possession does not spark joy, get rid of it.

For further reading, Kondo mentions the Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi.

I will be back in the next post with some of the tips I learned from the book about how often to tidy, the best way to tidy, and how to rethink our relationship to precious possessions.