Libraries, the universe and everything

Things I’ve been reading – July and August 2012
September 1, 2012, 15:40
Filed under: Chartership, CPD, Reading

Continuing the series of selected items from my online reading…

Cover letter guide and template
A post packed full of sensible-sounding advice, and some examples too.

Latin and rare books librarians
This post caught my eye for several reasons, not least because I’ve worked as a rare books librarian without having any knowledge of Latin. I did try to rectify this a few years ago by taking evening classes in Latin at Birkbeck, but really struggled to find the time needed to work on the language in my own time, and improving is still very much on my to-do list.

Good slides matter
Not strictly a post, but a very pretty slide deck. It is a sad fact of corporate life that many people are compelled to use the official branded PowerPoint templates at all times, but even working within such constraints there is advice here for the taking. And for those who are free to construct their presentation from scratch, I’d say this is essential reading.

The best strategy for reducing stress
This really resonated with me, as I know I tend to get worked up about small and really quite unimportant issues when what I’m actually stressed about the bigger picture.

Preparing to present
Another handy way of preparing for a presentation.

The reverse psychology of temptation
Maybe I need to try this – I know that normally as soon as someone tells me not to do/eat something it becomes the only thing I want to do/eat – and it sounds like a fun way to help a perverse partner/friend/colleague change a habit!

Understanding someone’s inner logic
Something which has taken me a while to learn is that if I don’t understand why someone is behaving in a certain way it’s usually because they simply have a different way of thinking about things to me. Most of the time they aren’t deliberately trying to confound or irritate me, in fact we’re probably trying to achieve the same goal. Approaching things with this kind of understanding also links (somewhat tangentially) to a facebook post my cousin put up the other day: “Whenever things are not going our way we have the tendency to overreact and waste more energy stressing out completely – before reacting ask yourself ‘is this an inconvenience or a tragedy?’ Most things are just inconveniences.”

Conquering the job search after a long-term absence
As I’m currently on an indefinite career break this particularly resonated with me, but I think the advice in the final paragraph is relevant to a lot of job searches.

Unsolicited advice!
Top tips for trainee librarians, many of which will be painfully familiar to the more experienced info pro!

Why I hate prezi
An alternative view to the one I usually hear about prezi… I think the main point is absolutely valid though: regardless of the slide presentation medium you like to use, your slides will be little better than a waste of everyone’s time unless they accompany a decent script.

10 habits of remarkable charismatic people
Interesting. Some of these traits aren’t ones I’d automatically use in a description of a charismatic person, but I can completely see how they go together to make up the overall effect. It’s also quite reassuring to think that elements of charisma can be learned, and amount to little more than being genuinely respectful of others.

16 questions to help you write a douche-free bio
I’m not entirely sure what I think of this approach, but I find bio-writing extremely difficult so it’s worth a try…

Are you sure you’re not a bad boss?
Worth a read by anyone in a position of authority…

Monogamy, bigamy and remembering who you’ve been with
A useful insight into how to manage your recruiter relationship. I’ve used recruitment agencies in past job searches, and found it difficult to decide whether to limit myself to a single agency or sign up with several – having now read this advice I’ll know what to do next time!

Stop wasting your boss’s time

SLA Chicago 2012 – part 3
Lots of good stuff in here (and in Sarah’s other conference posts) but the bit which particularly jumped out to me was the point about preparing a 3 second elevator pitch to describe your job – I tend to say “I’m a librarian”, which sometimes encourages further questioning but often people just say “oh right” and leave it at that, a wasted opportunity perhaps…

Empathetic organizations
The importance of empathy.

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