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Christina's LIS Rant
Monday, February 06, 2006
  So what if you are an innovator?
Another good thing about blogs is that you can find other people who are in your same boat -- no matter what that is. (Well, maybe not fear of typing?) A problem is when you are in frequent conversations online with innovators and early adopters but spend your life in meatspace with laggards (or at least early or late majority adopters). I was introduced to a blog post via the Carnival of the Infosciences of a librarian who seems to fit this description. I guess she's just blowing off steam, but there's really some care and feeding that has to be done of enthusiastic young employees to harnass that power for good. We've talked about this before in the biblioblogosphere, but it needs to be repeated. You will get blank stares, you will get turned down (even when it's an awesome idea), you will get fear of change... you may get good advice from someone who has a different point of view. After all, your boss cares about the customers, too. You win some and you lose some, let it go. If you find that you just can't get anything done and there are no reasons why, then think about changing jobs. You don't want to burn out. IMHO.

Update 2/7/07: While I was walking the dog, I was thinking that I should add... even if you do work in a place that is all about innovation and supports you 100% (like I do now), there are some projects you won't get to do. There are questions of who will maintain it? How does it work with other programs? Maybe it's just not the right time? You pretty much need to build consensus for big projects because you can't go it alone so try not to alienate anyone.... so take a deep breath and come back to it in a week and see where it fits in on the scale of things.
 
Comments:
Christina:

One thought I had was that what you are seeing is a symptom of the larger issue that librarians are typically bad at marketing. There is this tendency to believe that because we can see all the benefits of using library services we tend to assume that everyone else can as well, and hence, we don't need to market. Similarly, innovators and early adopters are able to see the benefits in new technology right away, and assume that everyone else will be able see the benefits. Then the frustration rolls in when we can't sell the new innovation to our colleagues.

Unfortunately, few - if any - library schools include any kind of marketing / selling skills in their curriculum.
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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