Back in October, CareerFoundry released a list of 17 Tech Buzzwords You Need to Know in 2018. Unsurprisingly, that list included terms like artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data.
Information professionals certainly aren’t safe from these buzzwords creeping into their daily lexicon. But often, talking and reading about these burgeoning technology concepts feels abstract – and it’s hard to decipher if there’s an actionable takeaway. After all, no one can just “start doing artificial intelligence.”
So, we set out to learn what information professionals are actually looking to accomplish in 2019 in addition to technological advancements, and what advice they’d give to their peers to achieve these goals.
We asked information professionals inside and outside the walls of Copyright Clearance Center to share one piece of advice for the new year. Here’s what they said:
Britt Mueller, Library Services Solutions Architect, Iron Mountain
I would say pushing traditional boundaries can create opportunities on many fronts. This one piece of advice has been critical to growing and reimagining my own career but has also had direct influence on the success of a number of projects on which I have had the pleasure to work. It can be hard to do this when traditional approaches are ingrained and often work well. My approach is two fold – 1) bring outsiders into the discussion and 2) consciously approach the issue at hand as if it was entirely new. The fun comes when marrying new ideas with successful existing strategies!
Hal Kirkwood, Special Libraries Association, 2018 President-Elect
Look for opportunities to create partnerships. Information professionals are often perfectly placed to identify connections within an organizations that others won’t, or can’t, see. Creating partnerships strengthens the value information professional or info center, as well as strengthening the overall organization.
Victoria Richard, Manager of Business Intelligence, Greenberg Traurig LLP
I’d say that the best thing info pros can do in 2019 is continue to uplevel their analysis skills. As the automation of research continues to grow, the best Info Pros will continue to add value by providing the “human” perspective that machines can’t.
Emma Davidson, Special Collections Librarian, SLA Chapter Cabinet Chair
My advice for 2019 is simple: invest in yourself. It can be hard to justify the time, energy or expense of self-investment, but it is always worthwhile. My challenge to you for 2019 is to do something which develops you in some way, whether that’s learning a new skill, taking on an interesting volunteer assignment, or attending a training event. Top tip: professional associations are an excellent source for all these things! For example, SLA is holding a symposium dedicated to personal leadership development in New Orleans in January, which I cannot wait to attend, and there are many other opportunities for learning and involvement throughout the year.
John Boon, Senior Information Specialist, UCB
For information professionals looking to demonstrate the value of your information center, it’s not enough to simply provide content and expect the organization to know how and where to access it. One tip for 2019 is to create stronger relationships with your users. By doing things like hosting one-on-one meetings, providing tailored user training sessions, and conducting end user subscription surveys, you can turn content users into advocates for your information center.
Jill Shuman, Director of Engagement, CCC
Information professionals should consider creating a consolidated place to store both internal and external content, coupled with a single enterprise-wide search function. This allows employees access to everything they need in one basic search effort instead of having to check each disparate source individually. This approach saves time, money, and most importantly, protects organizations from loss of institutional knowledge, which could cost millions of dollars.
Maria Hugger, Agile Product Owner, The Library Corporation
Always be learning and updating your resumé. As information professionals, we’re constantly surrounded by new things to learn, so take advantage. Try taking a class on new technology to improve your skill set, joining professional organizations to connect with colleagues and attend educational events, studying a subject that interests you, or learning something more qualitative, like how to navigate difficult work situations. Whether you’re on the clock or off, you should learn from many kinds of vectors on many topics. This will always improve your knowledge base and abilities, even if it doesn’t always tangibly improve your resumé or CV. Should something happen to your job, having that resumé ready to go will make you more prepared (and hopefully less anxious about job hunting). Finally, find yourself some high caliber mentors! Their value is priceless.
Casey Pickering, Product Manager, CCC
In 2019, I would encourage information managers to embrace data storytelling as a strategy for justifying content spend and services provided by the information center. While narrative is compelling, when it is coupled with data (usage stats, as an example), it helps explain to stakeholders why something is valuable to the organization and allows them to have metrics to support data-driven decision making. This can be key when trying to advocate for the information center with people who aren’t as familiar with your department.
Manika Lamba; PhD Research Scholar; Department of Library and Information Science, University of Delhi
We need to keep the users engaged and interested in the libraries activities by introducing exciting and new services. Just like personalised medicine where according to one’s genetic mapping, particular treatment is suggested. On the same lines, we need to lay down measures for the functioning and survival of all the libraries according to their strengths and weaknesses.
- Solving the “Where’s My Stuff” Conundrum as an Information Professional
- Understanding “The Rules” of Information & Content Sharing in a Global Organization
- Creating an Information Center Driven by Data [Q&A with Britt Mueller]
What are your top tips for information professionals in 2019? Sound off in the comments below!