Alchemical Thoughts

For posts, trying making small lists

Posted on: December 7, 2007

Well, the idea is not as simple as the title implies, but it is close to it. Brian Matthews suggests "using 'interesting' items as an annual outreach tool." He asks: "what are ten things (books, articles, editorials, blog posts, listserv discussions, podcasts, webcast, whatever—format agnostic) that everyone should read?" Basically, the idea is to create short list posts with a sentence or two annotation to go with it. Print versions could be possible, i.e. making a small one-page handout. Here is how he summarizes it:

"In summary: Instead of addressing faculty with scholarly communications, information literacy, budget cuts, or collection development needs, why not approach them with ideas? Big ideas that they will be interested in. You might just be able to get your foot in the door for future conversations, but first you have to give them a reason to care. Think about their interests instead of your own."

Now, while I am not too keen on his tone to the question about those who may be in less than desirable settings (i.e. those libraries who lock things down and are not exactly innovative), overall the idea is a good one that I would not mind exploring. Reason the tone turns me off a bit: "Wow, sorry to hear that your library is still back in the 1950’s. The library profession really needs to learn about salesmanship. If your administration keeps things on lock-down, I suggest you leverage your subject librarian role. (If you’re not a subject librarian you’re out of luck.)" To borrow the label from The Annoyed Librarian, that is a very two-pointopian thing to say. Hey, when you have a plethora of resources and support, I guess you can afford the luxury of saying everyone not fitting the plan is back in the stone age. Anyhow, by now I mostly tune out remarks like that, but they do catch my attention. However, the idea itself is great. Something to try out. 

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December 2007
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