Information Outlook: November-December 2017

How can SLA’s Competencies for Information Professionals help you land a job and, even better, position you for a successful career in the special library field? That’s the primary question the November-December 2017 issue of Information Outlook tackles, but certainly not the only one. Check out the excerpts below to see more of what the November-December issue has to offer.

Using the Competencies for Information Professionals
Stuart Hales
“What distinguishes librarians—and workers in many other fields, including law, medicine, engineering, finance, and architecture—are their competencies, the skills, knowledge, and abilities that enable them to perform their duties. While academic degrees may be required for some jobs, the degrees are essentially proxies for certain competencies. What employers are really seeking is evidence that a potential employee knows how to, and can, perform the tasks that a specific job requires.”

A Strategic Roadmap for Professional Sustainability?
Jim Matarazzo and Toby Pearlstein
“Mastering the six core areas of expertise (information ethics being unique in that it permeates all the others) broadens your opportunities as an information professional to compete for a variety of jurisdictions within an employment situation. As a student, mastering these six competencies makes you much more attractive to a prospective employer because it allows your ‘fit’ and skills to be viewed from a much broader perspective. Regardless of your professional status, the competencies can encourage you to think strategically about your skill set rather than define yourself by a job description.”

Lifelong Learning and Competencies: Antidotes to Change
Susan DiMattia
“All too often, graduate students in library and information science, confronting for the first time any one of the statements of professional skills and competencies, panic and declare loudly, ‘I can’t do/be all of these.’ Such an introduction to competencies can be a formidable encounter. My advice to students has always been, ‘Pick three competencies and master those. When you feel comfortable, pick three more and begin the process again.'”

Communicating Competencies for Information Professionals
Deborah Everhart
“To make effective use of competencies, we need to understand why a particular set of competencies is valuable. Competencies don;t have value in and of themselves; they accrue value as stakeholders use them to represent ‘currency’ in ‘exchanges.’ Therefore, we need to understand the relationships among the stakeholders as well as what they are exchanging.”

SLA Member Interview
Dhanashree Date and Ayesha Mallik
“. . . [I]t is very important, given the nature of the information we provide, for us to constantly evolve to remain useful and relevant to the organization. That is what we are really aiming at, and that is how our work has changed with time. We really exist for that purpose, solely. So this realization is essential, and we need to appropriately upgrade our workforce to be able to deliver the required levels of output.”

Creating a Personality for Your Library
Karen White
“The private sector knows how powerful branding can be and pays millions of dollars to create and upgrade their logos and collateral marketing materials. Take a page from their book and attract more clients by creating a brand, or new personality, for your library. The brand imagery will appear on your website, your brochure, your blogs, and everything else you use to promote your services.”

Tackling Licensing Issues in Your Library
Lesley Ellen Harris
“As libraries increasingly acquire content in a digital format, librarians and information professionals are finding they cannot avoid the associated duties of acquiring, negotiating, interpreting, and managing digital content licenses. While licensing content has become an everyday occurrence in most libraries, many librarians and information professionals did not cover this subject matter in school. Although some librarians are comfortable—or becoming more comfortable—dealing with licenses (from negotiating to interpreting them), others feel licenses should be the domain of lawyers.”

Opening Doors through Distance Learning
Sophia Guevara
“What delivery system is most beneficial to your audience? While many distance learning programs rely on course management systems or webinars to deliver content, why not make use of podcasts that people can listen to while on their way to work? The Consortium of Foundation Libraries used podcasts—and developed an iTunes channel for just this purpose—to provide member professionals with an opportunity to learn from others in the field.”

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