There was an interesting presentation at the American Association of Law Libraries this year entitled “The Evolving Role of the Solo Librarian: How to Do It All Without Losing Your Mind” [http://www.aallnet.org/sis/pllsis/Groups/solos_aall08_presentation.PPT] by Lauri Flynn and Julia Hughes which I thought would be worthwhile to point out to other solo librarians, law librarians and otherwise.
Here are some of the “secrets” discussed for successful solos:
- Become expert at time management
- Simplify systems
- Become expert at reference interview to find the shortest path to the correct answer
- Learn how to delegate some tasks to others (i.e. teach them how to find the answer for next time)
- Develop good organizational skills
- Keep your focus
- Set weekly goals and try to achieve them
- Passion !
- Stay passionate about your work and what each day might bring
- Remember, we have one of the most interesting jobs in the organization
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
- Details can often be overlooked or simplified
- It doesn’t have to be perfect, just to work for your users
Think strategically (do what has the most impact first)
- Market the Library and yourself – use “brazen self promotion”
Flexibility – ability to shift perspective as needed – go with the flow
Focus on current organizational priorities and be sure all efforts support those priorities.
Be proactive – send news & updates of info to attorneys & staff
Be creative in solutions
Be available for new responsibilities and challenges