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Further Tips to Succeed as a Solo Librarian

Some further tips for you as a solo librarian! You will be fulfilling many functions — tasks that in a much larger library would be undertaken by different departments. There is quite a bit on your plate; on top of that, you are dealing face to face with members of the public and fielding requests, overseeing circulation of resources, and developing library reference collections. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be daunting, even though it’s just you, yourself, and you. Cultivate the right mindset, adopt the proper perspective, and you will thrive as a solo librarian.

Do It Your Way

What’s most important is that you develop a system that works for you. People categorize things differently and prefer different tools. Whether you prefer a whiteboard, electronic organiser, or digital calendar, use what feels the most comfortable. Come up with a method that fits your style to help you achieve what you need to do. Then, stick with it – modifying as needed, of course.

Stay Connected

Professional development serves more than one function. Not only is it a way to keep up with best practices, it often provides an excellent opportunity to network. It is easy to lose yourself in the job, especially when you are the only one working in your library. Networking can be more beneficial than you might expect. And remember, colleagues are a source of great advice when you need it, will share information, and do understand exactly what is required in your position.

Stay Up to Date

Regardless of the type of library you work in, stay up to date with advances in technology relating to your profession. At some point, it may fall to you to recommend or implement better tracking or cataloguing programs, to make your library run more smoothly and make the material, whatever its format, easy to find.

Review the Library Management System (LMS)

The right LMS will make your job as a solo librarian easier. Choose one that includes features and flexibility that may currently surpass your immediate needs like Liberty. That way, you can implement value added services to your users and market those services into the future. Increasing user engagement with your library will make your job as a solo librarian rewarding. It helps you work towards ensuring that you and your library are viewed as indispensable.

Have an End Game

You know how they tell you to “keep your eye on the prize”? What prevents any job from being a J-O-B is to figure out what kind of “mark” you want to make. What do you feel is your purpose in this position? To bring your library from the Dark Ages to the 21st century? To create searchable digital archives? To expand the collection or create a speciality section or area of expertise? To be the first port of call for your organization?

Identify the overarching focus for your time as a solo librarian. Then, staying current, organized, disciplined, and goal oriented, will go a long way to ensuring your success as a solo librarian.