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6 email mistakes killing your career

6 email mistakes killing your career

“Before it’s too late. . .

  1. Being trigger happy with “Forward”: You see an important update in your inbox that you are excited to inform your boss about. It’s tempting to instantly hit forward — you might even feel a sense of accomplishment getting it off your plate and into your boss’s inbox. But think again. Forwarding an email without a note or explanation forces your boss to spend valuable time figuring out the context of the message, and gives no insight into why you thought the message was important for him or her to read.The fix: First, review and edit the subject so that it gets your boss’s attention and provides the right context. Next, write a clear and concise summary. Reference the email (or email chain) below, calling out the key takeaways. Need approval? Clearly outline the request and the positive impact you hope to achieve. Remember that bosses are always interested in outcomes. Bonus points: When possible, make an informed recommendation regarding next steps. Your boss will likely appreciate your insight.
  2. Getting lazy with grammar:

    It’s been decades since anyone expected you to diagram a sentence, but there’s still an expectation in the workplace to send well-written, grammatically correct emails.

    It’s been decades since anyone expected you to diagram a sentence, but there’s still an expectation in the workplace to send well-written, grammatically correct emails. You won’t convey your intelligence and polished writing skills by sending emails full of run-on sentences, multiple exclamation marks, errant semicolons or (worst of all) emoji.The fix: Convey your message via smart language, not unnecessary symbols or poorly written sentences. If you’re excited about something, provide a succinct explanation why instead of using 12 exclamation points and a smiley face. Use short, meaningful sentences that get to the point. With email, always remember: Shorter is better.

  3. Spewing jargon: Writing perfectly composed emails shouldn’t involve “boiling the ocean,” but you will need to take this process from “soup to nuts…” Groaning yet? Even if you aren’t, your boss will be. If you’re cluttering your email with jargon that provides no real insight into the issue at hand, you’re not helping your boss do his or her job. Rather, he or she is going to roll his or her eyes every time your name pops up in the inbox. Not good.The fix: Rid your email of overused jargon. Instead of including phrases like “noodle on it” or “circle the wagons,” think about what you actually want to say. Do you need time to think about a recommendation because you want to do research or speak to another team? Say so and go do it.
  4. Srsly, don’t even: Your boss is not your BFF, and you should not be writing emails that include informal or trendy acronyms. This includes obnoxious abbreviations and, unless it’s in a social media context, hashtags.The fix: Think about how to sound approachable but informed. It’s fine to be conversational with your boss, but be sure to keep the topic and your views professional. Make your emails relevant, and help your boss relate by tying your recommendations and insights back to real-world events and anecdotes, not by making pop-culture references or using slang for the heck of it.
  5. “Replying All” all day long: Every office has one –- a person who refuses to stop using “Reply All.” Most teams use an email alias/group to communicate important updates and ask questions. These are great tools, but only when used wisely and only if relevant toevery person in the alias/group. “Replying all” in the wrong context will unnecessarily clutter your boss’s already overflowing inbox –- something he or she is sure to be annoyed by.The fix: If senior team members are included in an email group, then use it only when necessary. If you are going back and forth with team members, take the alias off the note. Once you’ve come to a point where you need senior input, then re-add the alias or engage your boss directly.
  6. Filing and sorting: Did you know that one in six Americans say sorting through emails actually decreases their productivity? Although it is sometimes a task you feel you have to tackle to be productive, sorting your inbox may cause you to lose focus and, in turn, lose time. What’s more, keeping emails perfectly filed becomes increasingly difficult as you climb the corporate ladder, so kick this habit now.The fix: Focus on smart prioritization of tasks that you need to accomplish, and make goals with concrete deadlines. When relevant, share these with your team. Your time is far better spent crafting a to-do list based on the projects/moving pieces for the day than by letting inbox clean-up drain your attention and productivity.”


Posted on: May 22, 2015, 6:18 am Category: Uncategorized

How Social Media is Affecting Our Mental Health

How Social Media is Affecting Our Mental Health






Posted on: May 22, 2015, 6:06 am Category: Uncategorized

Library Facebook Images Dropbox is moving.

This is a great resource for anyone posting to their public library’s social media accounts and websites.  Sign up to get access to the esteemed Ben Bizzle’s project to collect and share.

Library Facebook Images Dropbox is moving.

Sign up at

When Ben Bizzle created the “Library Facebook Images Dropbox” to share highly engaging social media images with the library community, he never imagined it would grow to a collection of over 1,000 images, with more than 800 librarian members. Shared Dropbox folders were never designed to be a platform for that level of collaboration. Therefore, the collection has been moved to a far more suitable web based platform, hosted and supported by Library Market. Sign up today and make sure to bookmark the page for quick and easy access.

The old Dropbox folder will no longer be available beginning June 1, 2015.

Posted on: May 21, 2015, 10:09 am Category: Uncategorized

Results of South Carolina School Library Impact Study Now Available

Results of South Carolina School Library Impact Study Now Available

Via Gary Price at LJ InfoDocket

From the South Carolina Association of School Librarians Web Site:

The South Carolina School Library Impact Study has been completed. During the SCASL conference in March 2015 a concurrent session was held to inform members of the study results.

The findings are available in two reports.


Phase 1: How Libraries Transform Schools by Contributing to Student Success: Evidence Linking South Carolina School Libraries and PASS & HSAP Results (79 pages; PDF)

Usable responses from 787 schools to the South Carolina School Library Survey provided data on:
Numbers of librarians and library assistants
Library expenditures, both total and per student
Hours per week librarians spend teaching information literacy (combining reported data on collaborative planning, collaborative teaching, and independent teaching)
Circulation of library resources, both total and per student
Size of library print and e-book collections
Numbers of computers available to students in libraries as well as elsewhere in schools
Average number of group visits to libraries per week

Phase 2: How Libraries Transform Schools by Contributing to Stdent Success: Evidence Linking South Carolina School Libraries and PASS & HSAP Results, Phase II (52 pages: PDF)

The second phase of the South Carolina study, which is the focus of this second report, is an analysis of data collected in surveys of South Carolina school administrators, teachers, and librarians and test results from the state’s Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) for elementary and middle school students. While high school educators are included in the overall survey analysis, their sample size was insufficient to examine the relationships between their survey responses and test results from the state’s High School Assessment Program (HSAP) for high school students. Where possible, the accuracy of responding educators’ assessments of library teaching of standards was checked against actual state test results by standard.

Notably, this is the first state in which such a study has been conducted where this type of validity check has been possible, owing to the ready availability of standard-level test results.

SCASL also released this infographic.



Posted on: May 21, 2015, 6:39 am Category: Uncategorized

K-12 Report: Assessment Readiness, Money, & Privacy Top Priorities for School Technology Leaders New Findings Revealed at CoSN’s Annual Conference in Atlanta

K-12 Report: Assessment Readiness, Money, & Privacy Top Priorities for School Technology Leaders
New Findings Revealed at CoSN’s Annual Conference in Atlanta
Washington, DC
Monday, March 16, 2015

“Washington, DC (March 16, 2015) – According to CoSN’s (the Consortium for School Networking’s) 3rd annual K-12 IT Leadership Survey, school system technology leaders expressed greatest concern for assessment readiness, funding, and the privacy and security of student data.

The new findings, released today at the association’s 2015 Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA, provide K-12 leadership and stakeholders with a clearer sense of education technology challenges and priorities.

“Strong IT leadership is integral to the success of schools and districts,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “The decisions IT leaders make affect schools and the students they serve far into the future. CoSN conducts this survey to gain a better understanding of the state of the chief technology officer (CTO) and gain deeper insight into who they are. The trends, challenges, and priorities that emerge from the survey results inform CoSN’s activities and help us to better address the changing needs of our membership.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • For the second straight year, assessment readiness is the number one priority for IT leaders, yet less than 30 percent report they are fully prepared for online assessments.
  • Despite 30 percent reporting budget increases, 54 percent still indicate that they do not have enough money to “meet overall expectations of the school board / district leaders.”
  • K-12 IT leaders are increasingly worried about the privacy and security of student data; fifty-seven percent said the issue is more important than it was last year. In 2014, CoSN launched a    Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative to help district technology leaders overcome this growing challenge.
  • Respondents expect their instructional materials to be at least 50 percent digital within the next three years.
  • K-12 IT leaders are not as well compensated as their counterparts in the private sector. Private sector chief technology officers (CTOs) in the bottom 10 percent of the private earnings range still earn more than the average K-12 IT Leader.
  • Female K-12 IT leaders earn less than their male counterparts. Among leaders in the lowest salary range, 65 percent are women.
  • K-12 IT leadership lacks diversity – 88 percent of leaders are white. While that percentage somewhat aligns with the general population of whites in the United States (78 percent), it does not reflect the make-up of the K-12 student body, which is projected this year to have a majority non-white population.
  • Leaders have extensive education technology experience. A remarkable 89 percent have been in education technology for more than six years, 42 percent for more than 10 years, and 31 percent for more than 20.
  • Leaders are very busy. Seventy-four percent are in charge of both instructional and administrative technology.
  • Fifty-eight percent of CTOs / chief information officers / district technology directors report to their superintendents — a best practice identified by CoSN.

The K-12 IT Leadership Survey was conducted in partnership with MDR and sponsored by SchoolDude.

For more about the survey, including previous year results, please visit:, #CoSN15.

About CoSN 
CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit or call 866-267-08747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership, and the CETL certification exam.

– See more at:


Posted on: May 21, 2015, 6:04 am Category: Uncategorized

10 steps to a value proposition for your library

10 steps to a value proposition for your library

“Libraries are embracing new opportunities to help better serve its students, teachers and researchers. The starting point is not always by thoroughly analyzing your current users and analyzing the surrounding contexts together with a multi-disciplinary team that really knows your users.

The Business Model Canvas can help you design a really customer-centred service portfolio. It can be used as a great strategic development and communication tool for staff, senior management and other stakeholders.

The Business Model Canvas was invented by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigner. For more information on the whole canvas, see

The Business Model Canvas is an excellent tool to help you describe, analyze and visualize your business model. In other words, such a model can help show you and your team and others how your library creates and delivers value to certain target groups, e.g. Bachelor students, Master students, PhD students, lecturers, Professors, administrators, in various contexts.


The Business Model Canvas,

For this month’s blog, using this model, I will focus on helping you get the key activities, pains and gains of your Customer Segment (1) clear for example, and relate your Value Proposition (2) to this knowledge. With value proposition, I mean the service offer that creates value for your customers or users.

Taking a practical example, I will take PhD students as one of the customer segments you could do more for. At this point, try not to think too much about specific service solutions for your PhD students; focus on their pains and gains first.

Your customer segment

1.  Select a customer segment / target group that you need to focus on. Hone in on it with a multi-disciplinary team that knows your users well.

Bus_Model_CustomerPIE2.  Then identify the jobs and tasks your PhD student aims to get done and list them in a customer/ user pie as shown in the diagramme.

3.  Next, consider the pains associated with these tasks and list any obstacles and challenges.

4.  As a following step, identify what they aim to gain through their jobs & tasks.

5.  As a final analysis step, prioritize the jobs, pains and gains of your PhD student. This will help you come to a list that highlights the most important aspects you need to address in your value proposition, i.e. the most valuable service offer you could create for your students in this case.

6.  Verify this knowledge with your PhD students before going any further.

Your value proposition

7.  Analyze your value proposition by creating a value map.

8.  Now turn back to your PhD’s pains list, and consider pain relievers. Then rank them in order of importance for your PhD student/supervisor.

9.  Then call on their gains and list the gain creators to create valuable outcomes. Rank these gains also in order of importance for your PhD student/supervisor.

10.  Fill this value map with a list of products and services that will answer the pains and gains of your users.

You’re on the road to developing a strong business model for your library.  Other blocks such as what types of customer relationships you have, what channels you have to get your value proposition to your customers, etc. will come in a later blog post.

You will need time to further explore other aspects of the Business Model Canvas to create the more complete picture of the context that will influence and impact the success of your services. If you’d like someone from outside to help get your picture clear with your team also as a team-building exercise, drop me a mail: [email protected].”





Posted on: May 20, 2015, 6:13 am Category: Uncategorized

Convenience and quality: cloud-based personal research tools and the evolving scholarly record

Convenience and quality: cloud-based personal research tools and the evolving scholarly record


Posted on: May 20, 2015, 6:02 am Category: Uncategorized