Ahead of the curve!

Meredith Farkas at Information Wants to be Free gives some tips on how to keep up to date with library trends in just 15 minutes a day.  I definitely agree with her approach here: it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of information available, and how rapidly technology changes.

My method is very similar – it’s mostly through blogs.  I do have a lot of feeds in my aggregator, but when I’m short on time, there’s just a few that I focus on:

  1.  Library Stuff: like Meredith, I find that Stephen’s blog has short, quick posts that usually have great content – like this post on discussing the validity of Wikipedia.
  2. The Shifted Librarian: Jenny Levine is always up on the latest, and now that she works for ALA there’s even more reason to pay attention.
  3. Librarian.net: again, Jessamyn West has a great perspective on the latest trends, but one thing I respect about her writing is she never loses sight of the digital divide and issues facing rural areas.  She helps keep my head on straight when I’m dreaming up Library 4.0.
  4. Carnival of the Infosciences: updated every 2 weeks, with a collection of great posts around the biblioblogosphere.  Think of the Carnival as a large net to catch a variety of news, but only every other week! It’s a great use of your time.
  5. Library TechTalk: you knew I’d say this!  Our bloggers here are doing their best to keep you in the know.  You must subscribe now!

But seriously – to avoid information overload, just set aside 15 minutes a day, and do a little at a time.  If you’re uneasy about doing it on work time, well, how often do you REALLY take your 15-minute breaks?  Now you have something you can do, that’ll benefit your work as well!

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~ by Anali on April 30, 2007.

2 Responses to “Ahead of the curve!”

  1. I like your 15 minute standard. The important thing is not to stress out if you can’t get to your RSS feeds sometimes (unless they are from your boss or significant other or some such!).

    My cardinal rule in processing information, whether by blog, email, text messaging or voice mail, is that you need to think about how you are going to process the information that you do get. When are you going to hit the delete key? If you get 60 pieces of info in one hour, how are you going to triage those? Can you just say “no” and let a piece of info go?

    It’s like weeding. When you haven’t thought about the criteria for weeding in advance of doing it, the going is tough. When you have good criteria, it is easy to do.

    So if you get RSS feeds, and you can’t find the time to look at them on a given day, or you have had a lousy day at work and don’t need the stress of pseudo-work at home, hit the delete key. If it’s important, the topic will come back up. And if you never hear about that topic again, well, there you go. But keep the feeds coming and look when you can.

    Trust in serendipity! Louis

  2. Great tip, Louis! I completely agree – it’s important to remind yourself that your aggregator is not the boss of you, and hit “Mark all Read” if you feel stressed out!

    I know I do that with blogs such as Docuticker – which I really like, but there are often up to 200 posts a week – and it really doesn’t have that much to do with my actual job.

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