“Slow Librarianship and Sustainable Career Growth”
Kayla Kuni, Pasco-Hernando (FL) State College
This poster will feature a literature review and discussion of what slow librarianship means in a profession that values output (usually in the form of research, presentations, or proposals) in order for career advancement. Over time, the constant pressures put on researchers to produce results can lead to burnout and a reduction in job satisfaction. This poster will consider the options out there to create sustainable futures for careers in libraries while implementing the philosophy of slow librarianship.


“Knowing Ourselves: Crafting a Sustainable and Data-Driven Reference Staffing Model”
Lia Warner, New York University
Phyllis Heitjan, New York University
Alyssa Brissett, New York University
Harini Kannan, New York University
This poster showcases the development and preliminary outcomes of NYU Libraries Reference Services Department’s fledgling data practice to assess pre- and post-pandemic staffing. Our approach is oriented towards understanding past staffing practices, evaluating the sustainability of our current model, and creating documentation to facilitate future assessment. We discuss how we arrived at this data practice and how we hope to build on this foundational set of tools to understand our work with increasing dimensionality and specificity. We also share key insights from the data that reflect institutional trends, with the hope that attendees who engage with the poster might shed light on whether or not these findings resonate with or diverge from their own experiences. Ultimately, we hope this assessment will allow us to create a more sustainable, transparent, and equitable reference staffing model, aligned with a shared reference philosophy that resists neoliberal austerity in the library and empowers us to advocate for resources to support the type of reference that staff and users both benefit from.


“This Slow, Little Art: Cataloging in Translation, An Exercise in Slow Librarianship“
Tiffany Day, University of Memphis
The work of cataloging, in addition to the accurate transcription and formatting of a resource’s identifying details into catalog records, comprises two subject analysis processes: conceptual analysis and translation. Translation is the process whereby the cataloger converts the statement of a resource’s aboutness (crafted during conceptual analysis) into one or more controlled vocabularies and, subsequently, a classification number. However, when working with resources in languages one does not know, translation–of a different sort–occurs much earlier. This poster describes the categories of linguistic translation that occur when cataloging resources in languages with which one is not familiar, as well as those that occur when subsequently assigning controlled subject headings and classification numbers. This reflection and the practice proposed for analyzing these resources is encouragement for and an exercise in slow cataloging.


“Talk Just to Talk: Initiating informal conversations with colleagues where talking is the point”
Sam Mandani, New York University
This poster presentation serves as a snapshot of how actively engaging in meetings where the purpose is to spend time together just to talk is inherently valuable and should be cultivated. I’m trying to develop conversations outside of product output capabilities by encouraging that we talk as adults with insights and curiosities about the things that can matter to us outside of our 9-5 jobs—all while we’re at work. How hunger and desire for intellectual conversations with my peers and colleagues who are smart and capable and interesting can be overall beneficial for our collective mental well-being and job satisfaction if we’re not bogged down with only thinking about work and productivity for the full 8+ hours of our workday. I want to share what I’ve done so far to meet with colleagues while understanding the position of privilege I hold as a faculty librarian when it comes to deciding how I spend my time throughout a given day. Some of my observations include bonding through food, pushing conversations beyond the hallway or water cooler, and pointedly *not* asking questions about work so that they are free to share what they feel comfortable sharing.


“Slowing down the information highway – How careful curation of awareness services impacts patron satisfaction, collection development, and raises the librarian’s profile.”
Elaine Wells, SUNY College of Optometry
When it comes to information, the prevailing wisdom is that more and faster is better. Electronic databases excel in the aggregation of content, retrieving “hits” that look promising but often miss the mark. “Alerting” services seem an appealing way to target precise information and ensure that patrons are aware of the latest developments. This poster will explain how the process demonstrated that the results of alerting services can be overwhelming and imprecise and that librarian-mediated evaluation was necessary to create results appropriate for clinical and didactic use. Citations ultimately provided to faculty received overwhelmingly positive comments. Slowing down the flow, mediating the content, and reducing the amount of information provided to patrons had a positive effect, inserting an aspect of “mindfulness” into a service built to be automatic. Feedback from patrons expressing satisfaction with the usefulness of citations provided important insight into the types of information they seek, leading to a better construction of alerting search statements and enhanced precision in results. Finally, curating the results and selectively disseminating those deemed to be most appropriate allowed the library professional to demonstrate proficiency and added value to a service largely designed to run automatically.


Embracing Slow Librarianship