Librarians toolbox

When I started to think about the librarians toolbox I first thought about all the cool tools I have at my disposal on my computers, WordPress,  Twitter, Facebook, Googlesuite etc., then I started to think back, to before these tools existed and how I managed then, with embryonic mail clients, Hotmail, coding websites in HTML, IRC or ICQ and Usenet. Then I thought even further back, to snailmail, telex printers, printed indexes and just meeting people face to face. And then it hit me, I had the really important tools with me the whole time. The fundamentals that made me capable of using and evaluating services no matter how advanced they are. I started out with two tools, and then added a third just lately (but I have been living by it way before I heard about it:-))

My number one tool is Ranganathans Five Laws of Librarianship.  Yes, I still use the oldfashioned word Librarianship rather than Library science.

  1. Books are for use
  2. Every reader his [or her] book
  3. Every book its reader
  4. Save the time of the User
  5. The library is a growing organism

With these simple and fundamental laws in the back of my mind I usually find it easy to evaluate a possible service or new gizmo pretty quickly.

The second tool is Adams first law.  Don´t Panic! (preferrably in large friendly letters) Most of the time panic is a total waste of time. I have tried to live by this in that I try to handle things that come up on the assumption that most things are fixable and most people are approachable. This is not to say I don´t have my moments of panic, but I try to not let that slow me down or stop me from doing something I believe is right or good.

The third tool is the “Cult of Done Manifesto“.  By not obsessing with trying to get things perfect I get more things done and tried. With that experience I can move on and use what I have learned to make things better or different. It made me able to pursue the idea of the first Digital and Social conference back in 2004, which I still think is the best, coolest and most fun conference I have ever attended. Mostly because it connected so many wonderful people that have later emerged as leaders and inspiration to all who work with libraries in the interface between the digital  and the social dimension.

So, these are my tools, which will probably stay with me for the rest of my working life. What are your favorite tools?

I'm a norwegian librarian.

Posted in Library 2.0

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October 2009
The Librarian

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