We are all busy. We have our own lives, jobs, school, and too many projects to let them all slide to the bottom of the pile or to the last minute. As an information profession, you will be expected to manage your time and projects. In addition to reference, cataloging, and bibliographic instruction, rare book and special collection librarians are expected to mount exhibitions of their materials.
Exhibitions showcase special, rare, and unusual items within collections. In many cases, these exhibits market special collections and the wide range of materials, often hidden within the walls of the storage areas. After selecting the subject of your exhibit, in the case of this course a specific author and work, you need to organize your project. Start with the date the finished project is due and work backward. For class, I’ve designed the project and have you delivering parts according to the schedule I’ve set. That’s the project management aspect of the assignment. Your job is to budget your time accordingly so that the project gets finished on time and according to specifications.
Managing a project is an important skill for all librarians and information scientists to master. In fact, it’s an important skill for any job at any stage in your career. As a manager, you oversee your employees and direct reports to make certain the project has goals, objectives, and deadlines. Depending upon your management style, you may check on staff regularly to discuss problems that arise or just confirm that the project is on track. Master project management skills for yourself by setting short achievable deadlines that build upon one another. The key is time management. Set a time to do the work, remove all distractions, and complete that task. Check it off and set the next goal and deadline. Before you know it, the project will be finished with time to spare.