Thursday, February 07, 2008

share your experience and volunteer

It is amazing what information resides in the brain that you have assimilated to the point you don't think about it, and yet it is so incredibly useful to other people. I'm back from OLA Super Conference 2008 where I made myself available as a volunteer, spending time over two days at the mentoring booth. I spoke with people interested in career shifts, those moving from the US and those who have moved back to Canada from other locations, among others, all looking for tips. I discovered over this time interesting tidbits of information like: the fact that faculties are for the most part unionized in Canada is unusual as compared to the USA, that the process I went through researching to prepare for business library interviews has a shelf life or reuse I didn't anticipate, and my experience as a solo librarian learning how to benchmark myself in comparison to my peers is relevant in other contexts. It can also be as simple as, you have a perspective someone else lacks and can help them gain distance. So do your colleagues a favour and volunteer when the opportunities arise, or create opportunities to volunteer. It is surprising what we know.

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