Yet again Ned Potter is right on the money with this presentation. It’s just like a real life network really – it’s all about finding the right people and sharing stuff. And just like real life that can actually take a little while, but I think once you get started and find those folk on Twitter, then you can quickly build a really useful network. Anyway enough from me, check out this presentation if you haven’t already!
This post was inspired by recent exchanges on the NZ-Libs discussion list about the usage of databases provided via EPIC. Here I have included my response, and I have included some of the ideas for promoting database resources that came through in the responses. These are just a snapshot of the good ideas that came through and it was heartening that the EPIC Governance Group signalled they were looking for any feedback on collaborative approaches to training and promotion of electronic resources. (This can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org).
To borrow an analogy from Julie Badger’s excellent article “Turning ‘cold sellers’ into ‘must haves’: marketing unsought library products” – article databases have as much appeal as a prepaid funeral. They represent a type of product that consumers may be unaware of, or see no need for, or even have negative attitudes towards. And Badger is talking about databases in the academic library setting – promoting article databases to the general public represents further challenges.
… is the title of a great book by Devora Zack.
Zack is keen to reframe networking “as an opportunity to create meaningful connections, requiring skills such as listening, focus and depth”. Her key point is that introverts should not try to be extroverts – it simply won’t work – but encourages them instead to focus on the gifts introverts have. Having said that, Zack is careful to dispel stereotypes about introverts and extroverts and points out that there are variations within these broad categories and everyone has bits and pieces of both traits. There are also those who end up in the middle and Zack calls these folks centroverts.
If this sounds all like a load of nonsense, I have to say I’m an introvert, although I don’t come across as that to some, and I found this book hugely helpful. And I don’t actually hate networking, I just feel I am very clumsy at it sometimes. My level of introversion really depends on what situation I am in, and how I am feeling. I do genuinely enjoy talking to people and finding out what makes me tick. What frustrates me is that networking skills don’t always feel that they come easy to me. I may turn up to occasions that present a fantastic networking opportunity only to feel somewhat “struck dumb” and have no idea of how to strike up conversations with people. Zack suggests three strategies for introverts – pause (research), process (focus) and pace (restore).
So what are these 3 Ps all about?
Kathy Dempsey has a fabulous Facebook page that she started for her marketing business – Libraries Are Essential. She posts tips on marketing, links to articles and studies, and best practice examples of library promotion. It looks like a fantastic resource for keeping up to date! Check it out at www.Facebook.com/LibrariesAreEssential.