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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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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The crushing expectations on working women and where’s my fucking village?

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The crushing expectations on working women and where’s my fucking village?career, libraries, management, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/3/2020 with 9 comments

On Friday and Saturday, my Twitter feed was full of anger and frustration over a blog post on the ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children) Blog. Entitled “How Motherhood Has Influenced Me as a Children’s Librarian,” the post was problematic because it suggested (probably unintentionally) that childless children’s librarians could not connect with patrons as much or have …

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Recognition doesn’t have to be a zero sum game

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Recognition doesn’t have to be a zero sum gamelibrarianship, libraries, management, speaking, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 5/18/2020 with 1 comment

As usual, the week the 2020 Library Journal Movers and Shakers were announced, I saw plenty of complaints about the award and, in some cases, awardees. I’ve been reading this sort of hurtful negativity since 2006 when I was named a Mover and Shaker (and a friend of mine wrote a blog comment calling us “the …

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Thoughts on work, well-being, solidarity, and advocacy in our current… situation

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Thoughts on work, well-being, solidarity, and advocacy in our current… situationALA, hi, librarianship, libraries, management, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 4/8/2020 with 3 comments

I have been wanting to blog for weeks. I have several blog posts I started that I just couldn’t get through. My attention span reminds me of my son’s at age 5 when his teacher delicately suggested we should have him assessed for ADHD. It rapidly jumps between various tasks at hand, my family, my …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 3 – Our Achievement Culture: What You’re Doing Will Never Be Enough

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 3 – Our Achievement Culture: What You’re Doing Will Never Be Enoughcareer, librarianship, libraries, management, mid-career, MPOW, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/19/2019 with 2 comments

This is the third in a series of essays. You can access the rest here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order. Of all my annoying qualities, my most self-destructive may be that if you put a ladder in front of me, I’ll try to climb it. Doesn’t matter if the entire premise …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 2 – Ambition: You are Not Enough

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 2 – Ambition: You are Not Enoughabout me, career, gender, management, mid-career, Work, Work-life balance, writing

by Meredith Farkas on 8/7/2019 with 4 comments

This is the second in a series of essays. You can access the first here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order: “So maybe my great ambition, such as it is, is to refrain from engagement with systems that purport to tell me what I’m worth compared to anyone else. Maybe …

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“Devaluing” the MLS vs. respect for all library workers

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“Devaluing” the MLS vs. respect for all library workersALA, librarianship, libraries, library school, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 6/28/2018 with 27 comments

I’m sure some of you remember the big push last year and early this year to require the MLS for the Executive Director of the American Library Association (ALA) — if you don’t, here is an article, column, and blog post about it. One big argument I kept hearing was that we needed someone who understood and …

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Wayfinding and balance at mid-career

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Wayfinding and balance at mid-careerabout me, gender, librarianship, management, tenure track, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 2/20/2018 with 9 comments

It’s LIS Mental Health Week; a week focused on raising awareness of mental health. This post isn’t about mental health per se, but something that I think, for me, is very much exacerbated by anxiety and the constant negative self-appraisal that comes with it. Two blog posts really resonated with me recently. Sarah Houghton (who I believe …

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Bias in climbing the career ladder and Hillary Clinton

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Bias in climbing the career ladder and Hillary Clintonlibraries, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 8/3/2016 with Comments Off on Bias in climbing the career ladder and Hillary Clinton

This race must be familiar for many women: she’s overqualified for the promotion, he’s unqualified, and yet it’s still a contest. — (((Touré))) (@Toure) July 29, 2016 I had lunch with a friend recently and we talked about a guy we both know (let’s call him Joe) who rapidly rose through the ranks at the …

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Should the horrible first job search be seen as a rite-of-passage?

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Should the horrible first job search be seen as a rite-of-passage?about me, career, free the information!, job search, librarianship, libraries, library school, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 11/9/2015 with 13 comments

I felt really sad when I read Kyle Shockey’s post on the Librarian Burnout blog about feeling burnout after library school and being in the midst of the job hunt. By all indications, he is one of those rare recent grads who followed the advice so many of us give to LIS students — don’t …

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The Next Librarian of Congress?

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The Next Librarian of Congress?ALA, free the information!, intellectual freedom, librarianship, libraries, management, open access

by Meredith Farkas on 10/6/2015 with Comments Off on The Next Librarian of Congress?

Late last week, I received an email from the culture editor at the New Republic about writing an article on the next Librarian of Congress. It was the first offer I’ve ever had to write for a non-library-centric publication and the New Republic has a political bent I really respect, so it was an offer …

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The insidious nature of “fit” in hiring and the workplace

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The insidious nature of “fit” in hiring and the workplacelibrarianship, libraries, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 9/28/2015 with 12 comments

Organizational culture is a very real and a very powerful force in every organization. I have worked in a variety of different organizations and each had had its own rituals, norms, values, and assumptions that influenced the way people worked together, shared information, and got things done. Culture is this weird, powerful, unspoken thing that both impacts …

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Our new model for Freshman instruction and how it went

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Our new model for Freshman instruction and how it wentinstruction, librarianship, management

by Meredith Farkas on 7/17/2013 with 5 comments

One year ago, I became our General Education Instruction Coordinator, which meant that I was in charge of our instruction to Freshman Inquiry and Sophomore Inquiry (our first and second year general education courses), 100 and 200-level writing classes, Speech classes, and the Intensive English Language Program. Last summer, I wrote about the new model …

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Library DIY: Unmediated point-of-need support

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Library DIY: Unmediated point-of-need supportinstruction, librarianship, libraries, management, MPOW, our digital future, reference, tech trends, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 7/2/2013 with 18 comments

I recently realized that while I write about a lot of things, I do not often write about the work I’m doing at Portland State and through the Oregon Library Association. I think it comes partly from a desire not to toot my own horn, but it also reflects my nervousness about writing about work …

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