productive librarian

One of the things that I love about being a librarian is that it aligns with my dilettante avocation. I’m curious about everything. Undoubtedly, curiosity ranks high as a personality trait for librarians. I know a few librarians who have none and how they ended up in the profession, I’ll never know. Maybe they fall into that failed PhD pool that folks are blubbering about. Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. It’s about productivity.

My last post was about keeping a reference desk diary, which I believe to be a valuable tool for new and old librarians alike. It could be in print or online, but if online, password protect it, because you must respect your patron’s privacy and shouldn’t give their personal data to the internet.

But, besides the reference desk diary, there are other tools that help librarians be more productive. My curiosity leads me into various areas, especially into creativity and productivity areas, which are not anathema to libraries and librarians, as you might first imagine. At first glance librarians and libraries might not be considered bastions of creativity or productivity nor might they need tools for such activities. But whoever thinks such thoughts are wrong. There aren’t a lot of websites or blogs that specifically address librarians/libraries and creativity and/or productivity.

Am I tying these things together poorly? Sometimes things I think go together like a peanut butter and banana sandwich (I live in Tennessee and still think that Elvis is the King) may not be obvious to others.

Anyway, there are productivity tools out there that librarians can and should take advantage of, and Charlie Gilkey is one of my favorite resources. He offers free monthly and weekly planners, which, if you had time, you could easily whip up yourself. But why? He did the work for you. Think productively! Using his planners helps me stay on track each month and manage my time better than I did before. Visually mapping how to allocate my time into writing book reviews, reading grant applications, writing accreditation documents, editing book chapters, editing book reviews, and all my other time commitments is super helpful.

Okay, so here’s the best thing about using a weekly or monthly planner. Oh, I have a mammoth tear-off calendars that doubles as a desk blotter and I’ve never been good at keeping those. They didn’t work for me. And I have outlook calendar, too. And I use cozi, and I use google calendar. None of those really work for me.

I like Charlie’s planners for task management. They just work. But, the great thing about his planners is that I look at them, and I get such a sense of accomplishment. Somedays I struggle with feeling as though my time means anything. I go to meeting after meeting and feel as though I accomplish nothing. Then other days after glancing at Charlie’s planner and seeing all the tasks I’ve scratched off and everything I’ve completed, I am amazed by my wherewithal.

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