Presentation on theme: "The Library A fly-on-the-wall documentary filmed at the Enterprise Library and Information Service May 2005 PART EIGHT."— Presentation transcript:
The Library A fly-on-the-wall documentary filmed at the Enterprise Library and Information Service May 2005 PART EIGHT
Time flies! As the filming in the Enterprise LIS draws to a close, the crew were interested to learn more about how the library assistants prioritise and manage their time on a day-to-day basis. As the crew were aware that the library assistants’ usual jobs could have been affected by the presence of cameras, the library assistants were asked about their general strategies for time management.
Limiting time waste The library assistants had lots of examples where strategies were in place to avoid the wasting of time.
Limiting time waste Specify to callers how long you have to spare - “If people ring or come to see me and I can only spare say 10 minutes, I will always tell them that upfront.” [Owen Oracle] Use appointments if possible - “If anyone asks at the enquiry desk for one-to-one training sessions or advice on literature searching, we always encourage them to make an appointment. We would very rarely drop everything and see to them straight away.” [Petra Part-Time]
Limiting time waste Do not procrastinate! - “I have learnt that it is never a good idea to put off tasks, even if they are less interesting than some of your other work. Putting off an unpleasant task doesn’t make it any easier or more enjoyable.” [Martin Meekly] Set up protocols for handling telephone enquiries (to avoid spending time relaying messages, going to find someone who knows etc.) - “For a lot of the frequent telephone queries we get, such as literature search requests, we have a checklist to follow which I find really helpful.” [Rebecca Rush]
Limiting time waste Devise a rota so all appropriate staff have a fair share of staffing enquiry/circulation desks etc. - “The rotas for the enquiry desk and issue desk work really well as we all have the same number of sessions, meaning we all have the same amount of time away from the desk to concentrate on other work.” [Martin Meekly] In crises, learn to say “No!” or “Not today!” - “I think you do have to be assertive and be honest about when you simply haven’t got the time to do something.” [Owen Oracle]
Limiting time waste Delegate appropriately - “I think the senior staff here are very good at knowing when to delegate and when not to. For example, I can’t ever imagine that they would delegate a task that would take longer to explain to someone else than it would to do it themselves.” [Petra Part-Time] File correspondence logically, and date stamp incoming mail - “Again we have a procedure to follow when dealing with the post in the mornings. This is great as it means it’s always done in the same way whoever does it, and it is easy to answer any queries we might get as you know where to find things” [Rebecca Rush]
Managing Meetings Owen mentioned that he thought the monthly Enterprise LIS staff meetings were a good example of time management. Owen was asked to describe why he thought this was so.
Managing Meetings “Well we always have a set agenda to follow so everyone comes to the meeting knowing what we are going to discuss. Minutes of the last meeting and anything else we may need to read are circulated well before the meeting so we all have chance to look at them. We have a strict time set for the meetings, making sure we always start and finish on time. The deputy manager usually chairs the meeting and she is very good at keeping us on track, so we don’t go off on a tangent and start discussing other topics. If there is not enough time to resolve an issue it is usually postponed to the next meeting so that we have ample time to discuss it.” [Owen Oracle]
Prioritising The Enterprise LIS is a very busy service, and often the library assistants and working on many different tasks and serving lots of customers all at the same time. The library assistants were asked how they organise their workload and how they manage to keep on top of things!
Martin Meekly “I usually divide my work into those essential tasks that I must do, important tasks that I should do and then those tasks that would be useful, that I could do if I have enough time. I then rank these in order of how urgent and important they are.”
Petra Part-Time “If I am short on time, I usually look at each task and ask myself what would be the implications if I deferred or dropped the task. That way I clarify in my mind what order to do things in and which tasks are not essential and can be left until later.”
Owen Oracle “I think prioritising your work can be quite complex sometimes. Obviously urgent tasks are usually the ones you do first, but it is important to keep in mind which tasks are going to give the best “pay-offs” and by that I mean those tasks that will give maximum benefit. For example by spending a bit of time processing a backlog of new books you will be satisfied you have completed a job that has been pending and you will benefit your users, as they will be able to borrow the new books once they are on the shelves.”
Rebecca Rush “I’m quite a morning person so I find it is better for me to tackle the tasks that need more thought and concentration before lunch, and then I tend to use the afternoon for more routine work such as shelving or labelling books.”