I’m sitting on an airplane, headed off on a vacation that I have been looking forward to for months followed by Internet Librarian (IL). The past few days have been a whir of travel preparations and finalizing my presentation.
The process of creating this presentation has been an interesting one for me. I’m a consummate procrastinator, working best under the pressure of a deadline, but with two co-presenters, I felt a sense of guilt over not finishing up sooner. But, it’s done now, and except for a few tweaks based on recommendations from people I respect, all I have left to do is deliver it next Wednesday.
What am I going to be talking about, you ask? Workflow tips and tricks for electronic resources in a small library. Sounds impressive, right?
I must admit, it seemed like a much better idea back when we proposed it six months ago. Not many people have been talking about this at IL/CIL in recent years, so I thought we could bring a fresher topic than ebooks and mobile reference services. And, maybe it will give the non-ER librarians at Internet Librarian an glimpse at what we do, much like the reference and instruction related sessions that I’ve attended in the past have given me a better understanding of that aspect of librarianship.
I have a tendency to learn a new process or workflow and then incorporate it so fully that I forget others may not be familiar with it. It seems so obvious to me now that breaking it out and highlighting the things that create efficiencies is a challenge. I went through several versions of notes and outlines before finally settling on a few broad strokes and listing out some of the successes and failures I’ve had in creating efficiencies within them.
In the process of creating this presentation, I also managed to squash the bug of “but I’m not an expert!” that plagues me every time I think about presenting to my colleagues at the more electronic resources focused conferences like ER&L and NASIG. It made me see that we’re all swimming through this together and learning from each other as we go. Some process that I’ve taken and modified might trigger a colleague to take it and tweak it even more. If I didn’t share that with them, they may never have even realized it was possible.
So, it’s not that I or anyone else who presents or writes on a topic are the “experts” so much as we’re just the ones willing to step out there and share what we know. Honestly, I’m hoping that the feedback or questions I get from the presentation will help generate the projects I’ll be taking on in the next few years.