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Guide to Effectiveness Through Library Skills

Updated on March 30, 2016

Maximize Library Skills To Its Full Potential In Banking

We started education with the tradition of libraries and information resource centres. The library became our best friend to some who enjoyed the cool and quiet environment. Students would search for journals, online databases, books and articles when they wrote their thesis and essays. They graduated and started working in banks. Some young bankers tumbled upon difficulties or topics they learnt but lacked the industrial or hands-on knowledge. In a fast pace environment, have they forgotten the information and library skills they acquired in tertiary days? Let me share this with you, information skill is a lifelong skill and with regular association with your daily work, you may find that it is much needed to survive till your retirement. The subject guides are topical and I hope you would find use in them.

Tips from a librarian : Start adding bookmarks of important websites into your browser and make them mobile and sharable across different devices you carry. When you have a 30 or more bookmarks in your list, then it is a good time to organise them into folders.

Quote : "Organising and categorising is futile if you do not have a large resource pool to begin with"

Making it Right!

Broadly, we like to make it right for many things in life or career. The right choice, decision, career move and selection. Information is crucial for us to make it right, isn't it? Let's examine information evaluation. If you understood the importance and concept of evaluation, you'd won half the battle in making the right decision. You may consider following these criteria before looking further into the usefulness of facts and details given on the source:

  • Currency: When is the information dated or date of last update if it is a web site?
  • Authority: Who is the creator or publisher?
  • Validity or accuracy: Is the information accurate or valid? Trustworthiness of creator and publisher plays a part in determining the validity and accuracy of the information too!
  • Audience: Who was the information published or written for?
  • Point of view: Is there bias in the information and does the author or website provide point of view?

Tips from a librarian : Write the evaluation criteria on a post-it note and stick in beside your monitor / laptop.

Knowing Your Environment

Tagging and sharing resources all over the place is not going to help you become the rising star in your company. That is seen as flooding or negatively, spamming. You may end up in the "ignore list" of your colleagues or friends. Blind sharing information that is useless (or worse, that you are clueless of) will create wastage of working space and confusion on your browser.

Read and pick up the relevant information. If it doesn't warrant future usage, discard them. Don't even bother keeping them in archives.

Tips from a librarian: Tag only information that you need to recall in future. Keep your desktop and browsing space clean and clutter-free.

Encrypt or Delete

Always remember to store information safely and maintain integrity at work. Do not have customer or business information floating around the emails, pieces of papers, unchecked and incomplete forms etc etc. Shred them if you need to. Encrypt your documents and please remember to lock up at the end of the day. This is the clean desk policy and many companies are practising it. If you just stepped into the bank the first day, I wish you success and may you leave your tertiary habits at home. Revision notes and study guides laying around your desk is no longer a luxury. Refer to internal documents and intranet sites for information you need to perform your job.

Tips from a librarian: You can consult your superior and ask if they stored reference materials in a shared folder for easy reference. If not, why don't you recommend? Shared folders are excellent to share and reduce redundancy. It saves time and cost too!

Perform Personal Appraisal

Understanding your strengths and weakness and having a clear outline of what had been accomplished throughout the year is a necessity. You need to be able to present your contributions and show your strengths to your employers at the end of the year. This determines your pay check and bonus! You also need an unbiased check for weakness, no one is perfect. Knowing your weakness doesn't mean you have to tell your employers where you want to improve. It is your responsibility to improve and for your employers to provide you opportunities in those areas.

Tips from a librarian: Update your resume annually. Keep track of skills you acquired and add a brief description and projects to the skill sets. Library skills isn't about managing information. Your entire life is a document and you need to organise and show the world what you are.

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