The One-Shot Session: ONE chance to get it right!

I saw an excellent post over at Designer Librarian on employing what she calls the Rule of One to make the most of a one-shot information literacy session.The author, Amanda Hovious, is a librarian with a background in instructional design. She blogs about applying instructional design principles to library instruction.

Amanda recommends planning your one-shot session carefully to make sure your learners get the most they can from it. She offers guidelines on offering an efficient session using the Rule of One:

  • One Learning Goal
  • One Objective Per Task
  • One Strategy Per Objective
  • One Culminating Activity

There is a  LOT of value in having a fully formed Learning Goal for each session. A goal is simple, yet hard to come up with: what do you want students to be able to do at the end of the one-shot session? One sentence is all you get. The Learning Objectives are the stepping stones to getting your students there.

See more about each bullet point over on Amanda’s blog.

Change your perspective: Make happiness a habit!

It’s easy to be unhappy! There’s so much that can get you down. And sometimes unhappiness is like a virus that’s spread through complaints.

Happiness, on the other hand, can be a choice that you make. Through a happy convergence of the blogs I read, I hereby offer you a brief overview of what makes your attitude swing one way or the other.

The becoming minimalist blog lists 9 Places Unhappy People Look for Happiness. Are YOU looking any of these places? (Spoiler: these 9 places won’t make you happier!)

In contrast, The Everyday Minimalist breaks down the key factors of happiness for you, based on a blog post from The Art of Manliness. You might be surprised to learn that happiness does not increase beyond a salary of $75k! (I know, I know, you work in a library and don’t have the problem of knowing that firsthand!)

You may also be surprised to learn the impact that your trips to and from work have on your personal happiness. You’d have to make 40% more at your job to make up for a long commute!

Of course, it should NOT surprise you that job satisfaction plays into your life satisfaction. After all, you spend half your waking hours at work or going to/coming from!

Check those posts out. Since you work in a library, you probably appreciate good research, so here’s an entry from UC Berkeley about the effects of keeping a gratitude journal on your happiness. It’s based on the work of psychologists.

The basic practice is straightforward. In many of the studies, people are simply instructed to record five things they experienced in the past week for which they’re grateful. The entries are supposed to be brief—just a single sentence—and they range from the mundane (“waking up this morning”) to the sublime (“the generosity of friends”) to the timeless (“the Rolling Stones”).

But don’t just go through the motions! You’ve got to OWN what you’re writing down. See further tips about how to get the most out of journaling over at Greater Good.

How do YOU find happiness and meaning in your life?

It’s fall! Work smarter, not harder

By now, your workload is probably hitting overtime. It’s fall! The students are back, the freshmen are lost, the instructors are in a tizzy. How do you intend to manage your workload? Don’t let it take over your life!

illustration by metagramme
Look at that beard. This dude is mellow. Are you?

The time is now to set good habits for the entire semester. If you don’t manage your work conscientiously, you are likely to fall into a pattern of inefficiency and, let’s face, despair. (cue dramatic music!)

Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done. – Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, Rework (Medium)

Matt Steel at Medium shares his workaholic story in his post The Abundance of Slowness. He offers a philosophical reflection on a culture that values working long hours over working smart, and challenges you to change your perspective.

One quick change you can make now to reduce your daily burnout is to limiting the number of decisions you make in a day to lighten your cognitive load. Little decisions add up – and before you know it you become mentally fatigued. Routinize your day to reduce your decisions so that you can focus better on what matters.

Now that you’ve decided to commit to working smarter, here’s a 90-minute Plan for Personal Effectiveness. The secret is setting aside a block of time each morning to do NOTHING else but work on something that really matters to you. Shut off your cell, ignore the phone, and just work without distractions for a full ninety minutes.

What do you do to stay sane? Leave a comment below!

Your Move: What’s ahead in your library career?

I had a friend once that asked me: what’s your five-year plan? He said – if you don’t have one, you’re going to be in the same place five years from now.

I thought about that. And then I got myself a five-year plan. In fact, my plan now goes longer than that. If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there? 

Especially in library-land. What do you want out of your career? Do you want your MLS? Do you have your MLS and want to be a librarian? Are you a librarian and you’re unsure where you’re going next?

These students are figuring it out. What about you?

Get a plan. The plan will change, but it’ll keep you moving.

First – what do you want to do? Are you happy where you are, or do you want a change? The library school at San Jose State has a solid library career development website. The Occupational Outlook Handbook has a page listing careers in Education, Training, and Library Occupations. The SimplyHired blog offers Top Ten Tips for Planning Your Career.

Many library staff decide that they want to pursue an MLS. That’s a big decision! Think about what you would accomplish with your MLS. Odds are very good you’ll be accepted to library school, but think hard about what you’re going to do post-MLS, especially if you’ll be in debt for it. The job market is improving, but library careers can be very competitive.

Still, there are success stories. American Libraries has advice for Toughing it Out in a Tight Job MarketMr. Library Dude offers job hunting advice for MLS candidates. Hint: figure out your career BEFORE you graduate. Also: experience, experience, experience!

Common advice is that “geographic flexibility” will be required if you want career advancement. ProQuest offers that and more advice on how to snag a library job.

As for right now: be a great employee, do good work and network with colleagues. Give and get great references. Be happier at work. Read awesome job blogs, like Alison Green’s Ask A Manager. Green has FANTASTIC advice on writing resumes and interviewing. Check out Naomi House’s I Need A Library Job page to get an idea of what jobs are out there and what skills you need to work on to get them. AzLA has job resources. The MPLA has a Job Line.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend joining Toastmasters to work on your speaking and leadership skills. (Full disclaimer: I’m an officer for Twilite Toastmasters in Tempe.) A Toastmasters meeting is a “learn-by-doing workshop.” It’s fun, it’s a supportive environment, you’ll make new friends, and you’ll gain skills that will help you get ahead.

The Underground New York Public Library*

*Not affiliated with the actual New York Public Library.

I didn’t have a post ready for this week after the loooong, fabulous weekend (hope your weekend was long and fabulous as well), so here’s a blog you should look at. It’s all pictures. You’ll like it.

“The Underground New York Public Library is a visual library featuring the Reading-Riders of the NYC subways.”