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Communicating in these (fill in the blank) times

September 3, 2020

“Remember when times weren’t unprecedented?” Tweets and memes expressing this wistful sentiment are very relatable right now.

As we try to settle into a unique fall semester, we may be evaluating our practices — and everyone’s well-being — more than usual. How are we doing? Are we considering the different circumstances of our patrons, their Internet access, and ways they can borrow items with limited or no contact?

It’s also an opportunity to examine communication with our colleagues. How have our procedures changed because of new protocols or mandates, and can everyone access this information? Is the team staying cohesive and responsive? What is working in a hybrid or changing environment, and what is not?

This was very much on my mind while watching a webinar presentation by colleagues at Pitt. (They are great colleagues, so I am a little biased.)

This presentation, “On the Same Page: Fostering a Culture of Collaborative Communication in Technical Services,” gives us a lot to think about as members of any kind of library team. You can watch their presentation below, or here.

Presentation by Staci Ross, Gabi Gulya, & Brenda Salem, via the WPWVC ACRL Program Committee YouTube Channel.

What I appreciated most about their talk is that they emphasized choosing communication or documentation platforms that work best for your team in your situation. Choosing the latest or most buzzed-about software based on recommendations alone may not be ideal; a system only works if it works for the group using it.

This webinar was part of the Western PA/West Virginia Chapter of ACRL’s summer webinar series. We couldn’t have an in-person conference in the spring, so the (wonderful) program committee scheduled a virtual series of presentations. Most are now on YouTube, and you can watch them here. If you’re in search of a quick professional recharge, take a look!

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