What We’ve Got Here is a Failure to Communicate

By , April 1, 2010 3:22 pm

by Karen Helde

Some days I think that librarians are really in the communications business. We’re often the conduit between a nugget of information and someone who (a) needs it, or (b) would be better off knowing it, or (c) could help us do our job by knowing it. Technology has expanded our communications toolbox, but it hasn’t necessarily made the whole process work better. Patrick DiDomenico at LawyerKM wrote a post last summer titled The New Communication – 11 Tips to Help covering a number of situations where communication can break down. I like his suggestions for improving our communication habits, and I try to keep them in mind when composing an email, scheduling a meeting or answering a reference question. A lot of what he proposes has to do with trying your best to step into the shoes of the person receiving the information. Smart choices about the medium, structure and content of our communication help ensure that librarian voices are heard and that information finds its way home.

One Response to “What We’ve Got Here is a Failure to Communicate”

  1. Robyn says:

    Thanks for pointing us to that article, Karen. I learned the importance of #s 1-4 within a couple months of my first professional librarian position. I still struggle (and sometimes get into trouble) with #s 9-11. For me, the toughest tip to practice is knowing how much detail to include (#10), especially because that point varies drastically from person to person. Anyway, this was a good refresher course!

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