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the thing about meetings…

So you know when you’re in library school, and you’ve got to do all that group work, and you fall back into the old grade-11-calculus-doubting-mode where you constantly demand to know “When are we EVER going to use these skills?!” ?

Well my fellow librarians, all that group-work skill you picked up while slaving over your portion of that inevitably shoddy frankenstein of a report actually DOES come in handy in your real job! Yep, that’s right, you heard it here first folks!

One of the biggest surprises for me so far has to be the amount of meetings that an academic librarian ends up taking part in. There are SO many meetings! Long ones, brief ones, informative ones, boring ones, ones where you are totally distracted and ones where they serve delicious food…(ok, I’ll admit the ones with food almost inevitably end up being the distracted ones…and they also somehow feel brief. So, these adjectives are not mutually exclusive).

I have suddenly become that person that has to “check their schedule” (because my own schedule no longer relies on just ME)…and I kind of like it!

And that’s just the thing. As a new librarian, the sooner you realize how to communicate and behave in a meeting environment, the more pleasant and productive your meetings (and your work) will be! Some basic points to observe:

– Speak in turn.
– Read the agenda BEFORE the meeting has begun.
– Bring note-taking materials.
– Take. Notes. (with followups and takeaways)
– Brush up on your appropriate vocabulary and speak very VERY politely.
– Be strategic, get your message across without stepping on toes or offending anyone.
– Meetings are not the same as debates.
– Be engaged

And here’s the REAL thing: the sooner you stop seeing meetings as obligations, and start to see them more as learning opportunities, the better.


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