The 10-Minute International Librarian #3: Think of a success… and share it!

If you’re working in a busy library, it can often be difficult to take a step back.

There are too many short-term priorities, urgent things needing fixing or addressing to be able to take the time to think back.

But it’s important to do so, both in order to feel pride in a job well done, and in order to learn for the future.

As part of a global field, there is also so much to learn from other people, facing similar challenges, trying to find effective solutions.

So for our 3rd 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, think of a success and share it!

The most interesting examples are the ones where you have faced difficult situations, and where you have had to be innovative in order to succeed. Try to evaluate what the key factors in this were.

This can help you – and others – learn useful lessons for the future!

Share your stories on social media, in the comments to this blog, or through your own blog or newsletters, so that others can read about what you’ve done.

Good luck!

This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Strategic Direction 3, Key Initiative 2: Support virtual networking and connections


As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box.

One thought on “The 10-Minute International Librarian #3: Think of a success… and share it!

  1. Clare O'Dwyer

    Library & Learning Skills : riding the rona wave

    It’s hard to imagine that our working lives had been so different up until just a short time ago.
    In March, the rumblings of a serious health epidemic impact on Libraries were crashing around us. With what seemed like no notice many University libraries suddenly shut down, public libraries closed, and then the State libraries around the country.
    What would this mean for Melbourne Polytechnic Library and Learning Skills Services?
    Librarian, “…people are still surprised the library is open and grateful for having access to collection and support from librarians…”
    At that time, I’ll admit that I felt it would be inevitable that our libraries would close for about six months. In retrospect, I am glad that we were deemed an ‘essential service’ and kept three out of seven of our libraries open. Our in-person and online library services continued when many others closed the doors.
    Librarian, “… I love coming to work (onsite) our students are very grateful the library stayed open, they were not expecting it…”
    Paradoxically, at a time of high anxiety and real fear, our Library and Learning Skills team found their mojo and were innovative, adaptive, supportive, creative, warm and caring. These two teams had always had the traits of high performance: calm, empathetic, caring, sensitive, intelligent, funny and most importantly courageous. Our library management team initially met daily to quickly reimagine our services and student needs, to adapt to the new Rona context. But one thing had not changed for us: the importance of supporting our students as in the past but also now in a time of disruption. Some changes were small and others were incredibly big for a team with no extra budget but with big-hearted courage.
    Teacher, “…The students benefit positively in many different ways from having a teacher from Learning Skills in the classroom.”
    Librarian, “When I started back to my work on Mondays, I felt like I went out of a prison. I felt I was gaining back my life.”
    Actions speak louder than words in supporting students. The Library website was renewed, and curated online guides to support student remote learning were created, updated and refined. Learning Skills teachers and Librarians quickly updated their digital literacy skills to become topflight ‘zoomers’ that enabled them to consult with students remotely. This also enabled Learning Skills to be embedded into the new Zoom classes and for Librarians to create video content using Kaltura to deliver remotely. Metrics are now reviewed daily instead of monthly to rapidly enable adjustments on demand to meet student needs. A new Learning Skills initiative in partnership with Librarians is about to launch, where over 1,000 students are identified as in need of literacy and numeracy support. This is expected to be initiated in a month.
    Teacher to Learning Skills, “… I appreciate everything you do and know that I can’t take up all your precious time every week: Thank you for your awesomeness, as always ????…”
    Librarian, “… from students previously asking for Wi-Fi to an EAL student walking in saying ‘zoom, zoom, zoom’ sounding like a Mazda ad!”
    The “Rona-ruption” (disruption) has been a time for all of us to bear witness to courageous leadership at MP, that helped to keep us focused, on track, and feeling safe. Our calm and sensible CEO, from her Sicilian kitchen, reminded us to take care of ourselves. Our ED, in warm Irish lyrical tones, was a strategic master guiding us. ED Learning & Teaching generously invited Library and Learning Skills to the table to work with his team in open, exciting and collaborative new ways.
    We are all so grateful for these moments of leadership that kept our own management steady and calm.
    Librarian, “We focused on the strengths of each staff member to provide the best service possible in person and online…”
    Clare O’Dwyer
    Manager, Library and Learning Skills

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