Monday, September 8, 2014

Learn Something New Every Day

You all know my mantra for librarians is to learn something new every day, with every reference interaction, with every project. How do we do that? By keeping an open mind, by not tuning out when answering reference questions, particularly repetitive ones, by thinking "outside the box." I once asked a colleague how he could stand doing repetitive research, particularly after 40 years in the same field. He said, "There's always something new to learn from the encounter, from the research." I took that attitude to heart and starting looking beyond the repetitive projects to understand "why." I began to really understand how the records worked, how the information was really arranged. I went beyond practice to understand the theory, the rationale behind the ideas and routines. It's made me an expert in various types of records. So the next time, you think something is routine, (other than directions to the restroom or elevator) think about how or why the database works in a particular way, why the information is arranged just so, or why you always have to ask for the information twice.

The New York Times has a great blog / service that can help you learn something new every day and stay current. It's their Learning Network. While the website is geared for K-12 teachers, librarians can learn a thing or two from it. Here's the link to the NYT Learning Network "How to Use Our Blog" page . I'm intrigued by the literacy skills. The piece is entitled "I Hate These Word Crimes"

 What have you learned today?

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