Sunday, June 27, 2010

How to Choose Projects

lily, in one of the beds near the library

The library is in the happy position of having a number of big projects on the horizon right now.

For example,
-There is increased attention being paid to teaching information literacy across academic disciplines, and the library will need to take an active role in any such endeavors.
-A brand new print-based collection is necessary for one of the academic programs to become accredited by its national organization.
-The textbook collection I've been working on for reserve at the library is a big time commitment, and I haven't even begun the process of making the college community aware of it yet.
-Another project, currently still in the fact-finding stage, would be important to the college and the community at large but might require diverting time and energy of staff currently committed elsewhere.
-We've made some progress toward putting the library into the college's online classes, but ongoing cooperation and regular communication with the distance education department is necessary to fully integrate the library's services and collections.

So, the question becomes which one(s) to tackle. Which ones can we reasonably hope to accomplish? I've learned the hard way that my native enthusiasm can lead me to overextend myself. Maybe it would help to examine whether each of these projects has a stated mission, or at least goals. Is there a visible path from Point A to Point B? While allowing flexibility for experimentation and complications, are there clear expectations for the library's role and time commitments?

It's possible we can accomplish all of the projects listed, and more. But it will require some thoughtful organization ahead of time. Maybe I can add the item "organize projects" to the top of the list, and that can be the starting point...

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