Wednesday 31 December 2014

Some books related to work

Finished this Fall
I've been some reading lately around work topics: planning, assessing; etc.

Assessing Service Quality: Satisfying the Expectations of Library Customers by Peter Hernon and Ellen Altman
This one covers several related topics. It covers the whole idea of library service and what that means to different people. It looks and how you determine the value of a library and the services it offers. It looks at different ways of measuring those services, both qualitative and quantitative. It looks at the difference between service quality and customer satisfaction and shows the relationship between them. And it looks at what to do with the information you gather of both to improve and change what the library does.
Lots of tools, but also a lot to think about.

The Patron-Driven Library: A Practical Guide for Managing Collections and Services in the Digital Age by Dee Ann Allison
This book covers even more than the title suggests. On the collections side, it talks about how to enhance and improve the experience of those who use the collections. We see the power of collaboration, whether it is through social networks with our users, through collaboration with our colleagues in other libraries, or through a number of channels in terms of advocacy. The old "how we measure our success" raises its head again here in the discussion of metrics to base decisions on. It covers the various tools and add-ons available in terms of making the collections more visible and getting people interested in using them. It covers the various formats digital content comes in and how to manage and make choices. We also see how changes to the world of publishing, and about how data is stored and shared all influence the collection.
On the service side, we see experiences from those in the field to see that using real-life experiences when teaching information literacy gives better learning outcomes. We see how experimentation when linking services to collections adds value. There is discussion on how to assess the services the library offers and how they are tied to the collections. The last chapter also offers a look at the future of the library and what kinds of uses will be provided.
There is also a chapter on the "new professional librarian" that looks at different workplace opportunities, the competencies we now expect from our professional staff, and how to take advantage of the skills and abilities we have on hand as well as developing staff.

Productivity for Librarians: How to Get More Done in Less Time by Samantha Hines
This book was extremely practical. It started by looking at productivity and how it relates to libraries and librarians. It then looks at various influences on productivity: motivation, procrastination, and time management. The following sections looks at various systems of productivity, as outlined in popular management books. I found the summaries of each system, and the quiz to help you determine which systems might work best for you very interesting. Some I knew well, and others I was less familiar with. The next chapter looks at productivity for those with management responsibilities, again with many good points and approaches to situations. The next topic was very useful indeed, "sticking with productivity", and could be applied to more than just this topic. It really discusses various ways to keep with a program of change, ways to stay motivated, and tactics to deal with barriers that may arise. The final section includes information and links to resources that may be helpful in terms of changing your productivity habits, or learning more about different topics covered here. An extremely practical and useful book.

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