Five Things I Learned in 2010

Inspired by other posts throughout the biblioblogosphere, I thought some of our authors could share what they’ve learned in 2010.

For me, this year has been about overcoming obstacles and adapting to change. What I’ve learned:

  1. We, humans, are meant to adapt. Thing big picture. We’ve adapted to global climate changes, changes from food gathering to agriculture. Change is hard. But you know what’s worse? Being obsolete. We have so many exciting things happening with e-books, e-learning, digital content, freedom of information–libraries are perfectly poised to embrace these technologies and become more than just a place to check out books.
  2. There is always a silver lining. Granted it may be hard to see the silver lining in the midst of the storm but just wait. Right before the rainbow appears you’ll see the glorious silver lining. I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted something, not gotten it, and then six months later realized how lucky I was to have not gotten what I wanted. Sometimes a better opportunity comes along or sometimes you realize what you wanted is not really what it appeared. Trust fate.
  3. Look for alternative solutions. If there is a program or initiative you feel passionate about and someone stomps on your idea, don’t give up. It could be as simple as reframing the idea or even changing the name of the program. Remember that it’s the end result that matters not how you get there.
  4. Focus on outcomes not tasks. Tasks are things that anyone can do. Outcomes directly support your organization’s mission and strategy. Outcomes should be where you focus your time and energy. Yes you still have to check your email and do mundane data entry but find ways to speed up, delegate, or eliminate time-vampires so you can spend the majority of your time on outcome related tasks
  5. Professionalism never goes out of style. As a trainer, learning facilitator, whatever you want to call it, we have the ability to influence others in our organizations. We generally interact with more staff than anyone else in the organization (except maybe IT). Use your power and influence to have a positive effect on the organization. Set the bar high. Don’t gossip or “roll around in the mud with staff” as one of my friends calls it. Don’t speculate on things that you don’t know about. Be honest. Be kind.

So readers, what have you learned this year? Feel free to comment or if you would like to submit a guest post please email me at

On behalf of the Learning Round Table, we wish all our readers a safe and happy holiday season!

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.


  1. “We, humans, are meant to adapt”

    This article was brought to my attention this morning and I found myself pondering something very similar to your response. This “death of the profession” thing has been going on for what seems like ages now and I feel like people have written so many words on it. But your response is all that we need to come back. We won’t go away…we’ll adapt.
    was my comment soundtrack.

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