Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things that I'm learning, but which don't make exciting blog posts

Indian cucumber root, campus woods, taken with a different camera than usual

I take a lot of photographs, in part to illustrate this blog, and I notice that certain subjects (grasses, tiny wildflowers) repeatedly elude capture. Part of the problem is my camera, which on the bright side is very portable; part of it is my lack of skill as a photographer; and part of it is the various ways that digital images display on a computer screen.

Along the same lines, some experiences as an academic librarian have not easily converted into blog posts. At times things happen too quickly, or too slowly, to suit the format of a blog, but perhaps they deserve some recognition. Here is what I mean:

-The longer I work, the more essential accurate and detailed record-keeping seems. I haven't yet figured out how to make this sound interesting, but I recommend Atul Gawande's The Checklist Manifesto for a fascinating account of how following sensible procedures can dramatically increase effectiveness.

-The necessity of intelligent workplace policies that are flexible enough to incorporate new information is also becoming abundantly clear to me.

-Developing the ability to manage time effectively is an extremely important skill, but one that doesn't draw much attention to itself.

-For a variety of reasons, regular meetings involving key parties seem to be the basis for highly productive and functional teams. It is far more common to complain about meetings than to herald them, though.

See what I mean? Even I'm bored reading this. And so I'll keep it short this week, and hope that I've made my point.

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