Essay on Case Study

3809 Words Aug 28th, 2015 16 Pages
Living Large in Lean Time by Mary Ellen Bates, Bates Information Services
It’s getting so that I am afraid to open the morning paper. I can always seem to count on at least one headline with bad news about the economy. “Oil Closes at Record High”; “Builders’ Confidence at Record Low”; “Unemployment at Four Year High.” When organizations continue to tighten their budgets as the economy contracts, every department gets scrutinized. While I continue to believe that, one glorious day, librarians will rule the world, until that time we have to continue to assume that funding for libraries or information centers is not guaranteed.
As an independent information professional and a former special librarian, I have gone through several cycles of
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even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.”

Taking the long view can be tough, but having a hide of bark can help. In a more positive light, organizations that can look beyond the crisis du jour to underlying issues and needs are the ones that will survive. I grant that unless (like us info-entrepreneurs) you head your organization, it’s hard to know what decisions upper management will make that will have an impact on the information center. And, of course, we have no control over the economy or, usually, on the strategic direction of our organization. But we can peer into the future of our profession and take some educated guesses as to what skills and expertise will become or remain most valuable in the long run.

Keep in mind that we are all free agents. Unless we have an employment contract stipulating how long we will remain with the organization, we always have the option to change jobs. And it always makes sense to think strategically about your own professional career trajectory. Do you want to be employed as an info pro in 5 years? If so, then consider building your professional skill set so that you remain competitive.

Members of the Special Libraries Association, for example, can take advantage of a self-paced learning initiative called 23 Things [http://wiki.sla.org/display/23Things]. Members are encouraged to spend 15 minutes a day on professional development, working their way through the 23 “things” — Web 2.0

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