Slow productivity is a team sport: A critique of Cal Newport’s Slow Productivity

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Slow productivity is a team sport: A critique of Cal Newport’s Slow Productivitylibrarianship, management, slow librarianship, Time, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 6/12/2024 with 8 comments

Image credit: Dolce far Niente by John Singer Sargent  This is the fourth in a series of essays I’ve written on time. You can view a list of all of them on the first essay. This was going to be a somewhat different essay before I read Cal Newport’s Slow Productivity. I read the book …

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Open Offices are Neither More Open nor More Equitable

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Open Offices are Neither More Open nor More Equitablelibraries, management, MPOW, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 10/16/2023 with 5 comments

I can’t properly describe the level of annoyance I felt when I read Steven Bell’s latest piece in College and Research Libraries News about open offices entitled “We’re all about openness: Except when it comes to our workspaces.” At first, I thought the piece was about open communication and transparency in the workplace, which is …

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Out of sight, out of mind? prioritizing support of online learners

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Out of sight, out of mind? prioritizing support of online learnersinstruction, librarianship, libraries, online education, screencasting, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 10/5/2023 with 1 comment

It’s been eighteen years and I can’t believe this is still an issue. In 2005, I started my first professional library job as a distance learning librarian. At the time, half of Norwich University’s students were in fully online graduate programs and when I started in this brand-new position, very little had been done to …

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Slow librarianship and prioritizing life over work

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Slow librarianship and prioritizing life over worklibrarianship, slow librarianship, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/8/2023 with 6 comments

I recently wrote an essay for CHOICE’s LibTech Insights blog entitled “Building a Better Library Tech Future with Slow Librarianship.” It provides a brief introduction to slow librarianship, how it relates to library technology, and how our profession’s reification of innovation has kept us from really focusing on the needs of our patrons. I know …

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The power of shame and belonging

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The power of shame and belongingabout me, instruction, librarianship, libraries, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 7/5/2023 with 2 comments

In my last post, I wrote about the absolutely monstrous difficulty I was having getting off the migraine prevention medication (that wasn’t actually preventing migraines) I had been taking for 11 years. I saw two doctors and a sleep specialist about the issues I was having and none of them were helpful. My interactions with …

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The end of Twitter?

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The end of Twitter?free the information!, librarianship, our digital future, social software, tech trends

by Meredith Farkas on 11/18/2022 with Comments Off on The end of Twitter?

The tl:dr is in whatever online communities you frequent, do you ever ask yourself “who isn’t here? Who doesn’t feel welcome here? What barriers are there to participation?” If not, you should. What I like about Twitter is how much more diverse it was than any place I’ve been online, and also how so many …

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Stop normalizing overwork

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Stop normalizing overworkcommunity college libraries, instruction, librarianship, mid-career, slow librarianship, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 10/23/2022 with 5 comments

In the years that I have been trying my best to avoid overwork, I’ve become more attuned to the signs that I am indeed overworking. I usually notice one of three things: an inability to slow my brain down and not think about work during my off-time, difficulty with problem-solving (where my brain becomes like …

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Universal design for work?librarianship, libraries, management, slow librarianship, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 5/12/2022 with 3 comments

I’ve had migraines for over 20 years. I didn’t seek workplace accommodations for them until this year. The biggest barrier to getting accommodations at work was my own internalized ableism, but of course I came by it honestly in our society. There were two elements holding me back. The first was shame about my limitations. …

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So I’m a conspiracy theorist now? A call for retraction

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So I’m a conspiracy theorist now? A call for retractionfree the information!, librarianship, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 3/19/2022 with 11 comments

I know a lot of librarians get mad about poorly informed articles about libraries all the time. It’s rare that I ever really get truly angry about an article. I expect nothing less from the NY Times at this point than both-side-ism and “Nazis! They’re just like us” articles. I expect too-late, tone-deaf statements from …

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“Listening theater” and employee voice

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“Listening theater” and employee voicelibraries, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 12/5/2021 with 10 comments

I’ve been reading a lot about employee voice and silencing in organizations and there’s a phenomenon I haven’t really seen discussed explicitly in the literature, though it’s possible I’ve missed something since I wasn’t doing a comprehensive lit review (apologies if I missed something!). I don’t know if I am coining a new term here, …

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Saying goodbye to American Libraries magazine

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Saying goodbye to American Libraries magazineabout me, ALA, american libraries, career, librarianship, writing

by Meredith Farkas on 5/31/2021 with 1 comment

I’ve been pretty good about not making big life changes during the pandemic. We didn’t get a pandemic dog, even after finally getting our yard completely fenced-in last August. I’ve tamed many, many impulses I had during the pandemic because it seemed like the wrong time to make or unmake big commitments. I didn’t want …

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