Harder than I thought to do a tip a day! Ack!
5. Remember the 15% Rule
To me, this tip is saying that for users to notice a change, it has to be a sufficient change (or at least a 15% change). I’m not sure that I agree with this tip. I make small changes often and I think that they do get noticed. Sure, I make large changes sometimes too and of course those are noticed, but the small changes are noticed too. What do you think? I think small changes add up to something that users notice…maybe not right away, but eventually. And, honestly, I think small changes are sometimes better. If I were making big changes often, my teachers and students would not be happy…they would be confused!
6. Get Out of Your Box!
I agree with this tip. And, I can learn from this tip. It’s not the usual “get of your box” idea. The idea here is to think about your audience and do things for them with them in mind. We often think that is what we are doing, but it’s not always so. In November, I learned this the hard way. And, I continue to learn it, actually. In November, I did a presentation for my teachers about the new lexile search in our library catalog. I thought that I was helping them figure out ways to use it with students and for students. However, what I was showing them was in conflict with what they were being told by administration (at least, that is how they took it). I never put myself in their shoes when planning my presentation and I was at fault for that. Now, when I plan to speak in front of a group of non-librarians, I need to really think and put myself in their box. That is something I am learning to do.
This one hits home, especially for school libraries. Very often, teachers and administrators and parents do not really know what “we” (school librarians) do. I think it is something easier to understand the importance of a public librarian. They go to the public library when they NEED information. They go there because there is a storytime or they know that someone in the children’s area has a handle on what their child likes to read, so they take them there to get good books for “fun” reading. In a school library, you are part of the staff. They know what the classroom teacher does, but other “specials” like art, library, music are sometimes looked at as “babysitters” or extra. A break for the classroom teacher. On one hand, that is one purpose. If it weren’t for specials, classroom teachers would not have breaks during the day for planning. However, we all serve a larger purpose. We have standards and curriculum needs that we have to meet and give to our students. Without us, students would not be well rounded at all. Would not be encouraged to be artists or musicians. With all that said, this tip tells us that we have to SHOW what we do. We have to spell it out, name it, and shout it out to the masses. If we don’t tell people about our product they will never know what we do. A sidenote from me: we have to tell them about our product in a POSITIVE way.