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Preview: OPL Plus (not just for OPLs anymore)

OPL Plus (not just for OPLs anymore)

A blog for librarians in all smaller libraries, not just for one-person or solo librarians--all kinds of libraries, anywhere in the world. Management information, links, and marketing tips that you can use right now.

Updated: 2018-03-11T21:25:59.973-04:00


Another Transition for Ms. OPL


As another step toward real retirement, I have decided to close this blog.I've been busy organizing the One-Person Librarian archives at the University of Illinois (a project almost done, but still open to new contributions) and planning the Special Libraries course that I am co-teaching in the Spring (with Lian Ruan of the Illinois Fire Service Institute). So you can see that I still have my

Can You Describe What You Do in Three Words?


Mary Ellen Bates lists some great answers to this question on her blog, Librarian of Fortune. Read the whole post, then see what you can come up with to describe what you do. Here are some of the ones I liked best:Making clients smarter (her answer)Strategic information solutionsBetter decisions fasterHelping organizations thriveInforming client decisions.Encourage knowledge sharingWhat was mine?

An OPL Shows How to Survive a Recession


Penny Sympson, OPL at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Northbrook, Illinois, was mentioned in “Saving Special Libraries in a Recession: Business Strategies for Survival and Success,” a Contributed Paper at the 2009 Special Libraries Association Annual Conference. The paper was written by five graduate students and a professor in the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland,

Dow Jones on the Hidden Cost of "Free" Information


Dow Jones has released the e-book, Pay Now or Pay Later: Exposing the Hidden Cost of “Free” Information. It was written by Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, VP & MD, Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group, with the acknowledged help of SLA members Stephen Abram and Mary Ellen Bates.It is well worth a read. Here are some excerpts:“An unlimited amount of free information misleads us into thinking that there is no

Three Lists of Must Reads


100 Best Blogs for Librarians of the FutureThe folks at Bachelor’s Degree Online (whoever they are) have compiled of list of blogs to follow. Divided into Technology and Education, School and Academic Librarians, Library Issues and Advocacy, Research and Reference, Innovation and Information, Reading and Literature, and Professional categories, they include most of the ones I follow and some I

Resources on the Generations


Sidney Lowe and Susie Skarl [University of Nevada-Las Vegas] have put together a great list of resources on dealing with the upcoming generations (X, Y, Millennials, etc.). Thanks to Stephen Abram for pointing it out on his blog, Stephen's Lighthouse.URLs:"Talking 'bout my generation: Exploring age-related resources"

Top 10 Reasons to Use Your Library


These came from the brochure “Library Services for Primary Care Standards,” published by the Virginia Library Network and "based on recent studies of library user patterns." I don't think it's a particularly great list, but a top-ten list is a good idea--especially in a brochure. And this idea is not limited to medical libraries--any library can do this.I'm sure if you work on it, you can come up

Need Help in Writing Your Library Brochure?


Tanya Feddern-Bekcan [University of Miami (FL) School of Medicine] asked members of the MEDLIB-L electronic list for suggestions for what should (or could) be included in a library brochure. Here is a summary of the replies she received. Note: You don't need to put all of these into every brochure. You should have a basic brochure with numbers 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10,13 (just the who can use the library

Tips for Working Smarter


Cynthia L. Smith [Barley Snyder LLC, Richmond, VA] and Julia E. Hughes [McGuireWoods LLP, Harrisburg, PA] presented a session on “Working Smart: Innovative Ways to Do More with Your Day” at the recent conference of the American Association of Law Libraries in Washington DC. The session was sponsored by the OPL Section of the Private Law Libraries Section.It looks to have been a very good session.

Great Marketing Idea! Digital Picture Frames Lure Potential Users


Amber Draksler and Melinda Byrns of Inova Fairfax Health Sciences Library, Falls Church, Virginia, have a great marketing idea. Load your presentation on a digital picture frame and take it to your potential customers.Read all about it in National Network 34(1):12, July 2009 published by the Hospital Libraries Section of the Medical Libraries Association. NN is available online, but you have to

Promote the Nexus


Peter Persic, Public Relations and Marketing Director, Los Angeles (California) Public Library, presented this marketing/advocacy idea at the annual conference of the American Library Association.Libraries are known for Information. This need is also filled by Google.Libraries are known for Reading. This need is also filled by Barnes & Noble.Libraries are known as Cultural Centers. This need is

Designing web pages for "mature" users


As a "mature" user myself (I am almost 62 and now have to set documents in Word to 150% to read them), this was an interesting article. I've summarized the main points by Eric Schaffer [founder and CEO, Human Factors International, Fairfield, Iowa, USA], UI Design Newsletter, March 2007. You can read the whole thing at According to a study

BOOK REVIEW: The Accidental Library Marketer


Kathy Dempsey, the long-time editor of the newsletter MLS: Marketing Library Services, has written a great book on library marketing. It is designed for the librarian who, for any of many reasons, has become the go-to person for marketing in his or her library. Of course for solos, the library marketer is you.Dempsey really gets marketing. She defines it as “the process where the ultimate goal is

Signs for the Reference Desk


Cindy Rosser [Waco-McLennan County (Texas) Library] collected these neat ideas for signs at the reference desk."Pay no attention to those other guys, we're the ones with all the answers!”"IT knows about computers, Reference knows about everything.” (use with caution if you ever want IT to work on your computer again)For school libraries, “We know the answers to your assignments.”And if you have a

Nine things not to have on your Web site


Jeff Wuorio posted the following suggestions on ConnectIT USA. Most are common sense, but some may not have occurred to you.1. Your photo on the home page: It can detract from why the visitor should be there in the first place. “Your Web site should be all about the viewer, not about you.” (Larina Kase, Performance and Success Coaching, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 2. Visual (and audio) overkill:

Networking Tip of the Day—Business Card Poker


Next time you attend a networking event (meeting of your local library association or consortium, for instance), be sure to take a nice stack of your business cards. If your employer doesn’t provide them or if you’re unemployed—especially if you’re out of a job—make your own on your computer or at your local print shop.When you sit down at the table, deal out one business card to each person or

Lessons for Corporate Libraries--and Others


“When the Internet as a popular research tool began affecting the lives of librarians and information professionals and their clients, accountability for contributing to the mission (i.e., bottom line) of one’s parent organization—whether a for-profit or not-for-profit—became the most critical driver behind the survival of corporate libraries.” Thus begins a great article by special library gurus

How to Influence Decision-Makers


In a post on his blog, Stephen’s Lighthouse, Stephen Abram quotes the following from an article in Business Week.“1. Every decision that affects our lives will be made by the person who has the power to make that decision, not the ‘right’ person or the ‘smartest’ person or the ‘best’ person. Make peace with this fact…2. When presenting ideas to decision-makers, realize that it is your

New Zealand Study Finds That Healthcare Workers Don’t Use Internet-Based Research Tools


A study by four researchers in Christchurch, New Zealand found that a frightening 37 percent rarely or never consulted Google and 58 percent rarely or never consulted Ovid Medline or PubMed. Medical and dental staff consulted search engines (83 percent) or library resources (63 percent) at least weekly, higher than nursing or allied health staff. All professional groups consulted coworkers or

Things to Think About in These Bad Economic Times


The 15 June issue of Library Journal (v. 134, no. 11) has two columns that you should read.Be Selfish, Promote Service, The Transparent Library, by Michael Casey and Michael Stephens, p. 23In these times of diminishing resources, it is more important than ever to provide excellent customer service. “Anyone can shine when money and time are in abundance. It takes a positive and progressive

Notes from SLA2009/Colin Powell & Solo Diversity Session


It was a wonderful conference. I attended lots of sessions, but only took notes on two. Here they are.BTW: This was my last SLA Conference. I have to draw the line somewhere--so I don't continue to volunteer for things. (I'm now archivist for Solo and List and Wiki Mistress for the Retired Members Caucus. Neither requires my presence at conferences.)Keynote: General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.),

Recent Website Reviews on InSITE


(from Law Librarian Blog by Joe Hodnicki, Butler County Law Library, Ohio)Law librarians at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, search the Internet for potentially useful websites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary twice a month via their current awareness service, InSITE.The June 15, 2009 issue includes:AfriMAP: Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy ProjectAmerican

A Handful of Practice Area Blogs by Lawyers


Joe Hodnicki [Butler County (Ohio) Law Library] called our attention the these blogs in a recent post on his Law Librarian Blog. See his post at for details and URLs Military Veteran Attorney BlogProducts Liability and Injury Lawyer BlogDrug Recall Lawyer BlogOvertime Lawyer BlogLemon Law Lawyer

NUMBER 1000!! Five Phrases I Hope I Never Hear in Libraries Again


This is my 1000th post! Amazing.Five Phrases I Hope I Never Hear in Libraries Again (based on a true story)by Michael Stephens, Tame the Web blog, 8 April 2006, We’ve always done it this way. I think it’s time to red flag any utterance of that phrase in our libraries and make sure it’s not just an excuse to avoid change. It may

Want to Get Published?


If you have an article that you’re dying to get published, San Jose State University’s Laurie Putnam has several resources to help you.Putnam, Laurie L. [San Jose (California) State University], Professional writing and publishing: Resources for librarians, C&RL News 70(4), April 2009, and Publishing