By popular demand…
I gave an Ignite talk at ALA Midwinter last week, doing 20 slides in 5 minutes (15 seconds per slide!) about the things library staff need to STOP doing in order to make time for things that matter more.
To summarize: If you don’t have any more time to try something new, then something old has to go.
This seemed to hit a nerve with a lot of people there, many of whom have since asked me for “my list”. To be clear, I have a mental list of these sorts of things that could go on for a very long time. But here are the ones I touched on in the very short amount of time I had that day:
- Stop Micromanaging Circulation. We spend too much time acting as guard dogs and making/enforcing circ rules/procedures.
- Hoarding Stuff and Fixing Stuff. Scratched DVDs? Torn books? Boxes of uncataloged materials? THROW THEM OUT. Stop wasting time on them.
- Finding Ways to Say NO. If you’ve ever made a sign to inform people of what they can’t do at your library, cut it out & find something better to do.
- Killing Trees. Snail mail overdues. Paper Newsletters. Trifold bibliographies. Event flyers. Promo bookmarks. Save the rainforest and your time.
- Waiting for Customers. Don’t sit behind a desk playing solitaire while waiting for people to come in. Get off of your butt & out of your building and bring the library to them!
I have many more suggestions of what library staff might stop doing… what do YOU suggest?