Checklist Manifesto for Information Professionals?


For months I’ve been mulling the similarities of the information profession to other professions. Having worked in HR and IT, I know how much we can learn from other professions, situations and perspectives. The 3 professions I keep sort of “circling to view” are HR, IT (no surprise) and medicine. HR and IT are, like the information profession, usually support and service functions that regularly grapple with the language they use (not always understood by clients or decision-makers) and with their position or value perception in their academic, school, public, corporate or government environment. Compare the programs for an IT or HR-related conference and you’ll be amazed at the similarities to a library, RM or KM conference.

So why do I also look at medicine? A while ago I blogged about a fabulous article by “The Inward Journey of Leadership,” in the Journal of Surgical Research, April 2006 by Dr. Wiley Souba. I’m now following his regular writings on leadership in medicine because, as it turns out – ah ha! – many in the medical profession, just like many in the information profession, prefer to do “the work” rather than the managing or leading. And, if we read and explore the insights of other professions, like medicine, our viewpoints widen and deepen.

Atul Gawande, teaches at Harvard Medical School and writes for The New Yorker. He’s recently published “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.” He looked at other professions, like pilots, who use checklists constantly in their roles

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Pimp our booktruck


So wonderful to see the creativity & fun in public libraries. Ontario Library Association challenged libraries to “pimp their booktrucks” – and they did! Ontario Library Service – North in Sudbury and Springwater Library (in between Collingwood and Barrie — hopefully that doesn’t offend anyone!) took the Gold & Silver medals. Way to go! We’ve been so privileged to work with both of these organizations — fabulous staff & hotbeds of humour.

We need more of this!