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Friday, November 8 • 10:45am - 11:25am
The Hard Work of Soft Skills: Prioritizing emotional labor for more effective services and more engaged staff

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Throughout libraries, but in acquisitions and technical services especially, focus is often placed on production and efficiency. Focus on task-oriented work shapes the way we design, implement, and assess our daily work and our projects. However, both common sense and literature across disciplines suggest that attention to the affective aspects of our work – sometimes characterized as “soft skills” – has a huge impact whether our work is successful. In an era where acquisitions and collections librarians are tasked with taking on tough and emotional projects – collections reviews, journal cancellations, course affordability, and more – ability to effectively plan for and address affective aspects of our work is more important than ever.
In this session the presenters will provide an overview of “soft skills” and their importance in library work both as a supervisor and as a project manager. We will then discuss how to support skills development at the individual and unit level. Finally, we will outline strategies for prioritizing attention to soft skills in the daily work of the unit as well as in project-based work. Attendees will leave the session with a better understanding of the affective aspects of library work, tools to strengthen skills, and ideas for developing more successful projects and more fulfilled employees.

avatar for Cris Ferguson

Cris Ferguson

Dean Of Libraries, Murray State University
avatar for Rachel Fleming

Rachel Fleming

Scholarly Communications Librarian, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Friday November 8, 2019 10:45am - 11:25am EST
Gold Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel