Special libraries, archives, and museums fulfill their missions in new ways as result of COVID, delivering virtual services, collections, content.
As we enter the next phase of our lives and the reshaping of work, life, and society, we must reframe questions we ask ourselves about the future.
Special librarians must accept the new normal of work in the midst of this pandemic. There are many opportunities to reshape the delivery of information
Special librarians are uniquely equipped to research resources for lifelong learning and personal enrichment
Special librarians must see self-education as a form of self-care; skills for special librarians include a desire to learn for learning’s sake
Engaging in self-directed continuing professional education is key for staying active and engaged in the special library profession.
Special librarians working remotely need a self-directed, continuing professional development plan; it’s key to staying fresh, engaged, and alert
Skills for special librarians include developing disaster response plans proactively. Document decisions made during a disaster, know what worked.
Teleworking separates us from our colleagues and the active exchange of information. As teleworkers we must maintain our professional networks
After a disaster that affects a special library comes the final phase of disaster response and recovery; returning to the workplace takes planning.
Skills for special librarians who telework include focus, self-renewal, fighting depression; read for tips from a freelance consultant
Dissemination of Information Is Our Overarching Mission – by Miriam Kahn
Skills for special librarians who telework include setting boundaries to separate work life from home life; suggestions from a freelance consultant
Skills for special librarians include tuning out to avoid burnout; disconnecting from work, taking time every day to revitalize energy and enthusiasm
Writing well is an essential skill for special librarians. Writing expands your ability to articulate concepts and techniques to your clients.
Skills for special librarians and virtual librarians include active reading which increases comprehension and retention of information.
Skills for special librarians and virtual librarians are awareness of trends, new technologies and resources, and building subject specialties
Building skills quickly and efficiently is especially important when we work in a virtual environment and have a diverse clientele.
Nontraditional skills for special librarians include marketing and visibility building; these are critical in a virtual library environment
Classic skills for special librarians include versatility and generalist knowledge; these translate seamlessly into a virtual library environment
Collections development skills for special librarians include placing digital images of photographs in finding aids and catalogues to increase usage
Collection development and technology skills for special librarians include evaluating older formats including moving images
Technology skills for special librarians include evaluating old formats e.g., audio with focus on care, handling, storage, stable environmental conditions
Technology skills for special librarians include evaluating older formats including microforms, audio, video, and photograph prints and negatives
Skills for special librarians include evaluating “obsolete” formats and equipment in context of library’s mission, scope and needs of researchers and users.