Ten New Year’s resolutions for information professionals

Phil Bradley thinks we should commit to some simple new year resolutions.

It’s that time of year when we not only look back on the close of one year, but look forward to the new one, and try and put in place some new habits and ways of doing things. If your mind has gone blank trying to think of any, here are a few to start you off.

Use an alternative to Google. Instead of always using Google, try a different search engine now and then. Try out Duckduckgo.com or Yandex as a powerful option that allows you to do better and more effective searches.

Don’t trust Google. While I’m talking about Google – don’t trust the answers you get. Did you know that a search for ‘cure for cancer’ brings up a result, often in first place from a site that recommends that it’s only necessary to drink a quart of carrot juice a day to cure the disease?

If your go to site for videos is YouTube try out Vimeo.com which is a good alternative site, with different videos, so if you can’t find what you want on YouTube, try that one!

If you’re tired of always trying to find sites that you have bookmarked and just can’t get back there create a free start page at Symbaloo.com which allows you to create links to as many pages as you like, and the tab option means that it’s really quick and simple to organise them.

Need to brainstorm some ideas with colleagues? Try out Padlet.com which is a sticky notes website. Just create a free board, invite your colleagues and you can share ideas, comments, files and videos quickly and easily, with everyone being able to contribute.

Looking for ways to keep up to date with new content and information, but don’t have time in your day to do this? Try out some podcasts in your area of interest – you can download them onto your phone and listen to them while you’re travelling to work or stuck in a traffic jam. Explore Listennotes.com for some options.

Need to check to see if that is a fact, or just an ‘alternative fact’? Head over to Full Fact, which is the UK’s independent factchecking charity at Fullfact.org. It’s packed full of really interesting material, and it focuses on what’s in the news right now.

Want to share links and content with colleagues and clients? If you’re bored of traditional approaches to providing links try exploring Pearltrees.com which is an excellent site for sharing and linking to different resources – it’s an interesting alternative to libguides.

Got a Twitter account but haven’t used it in a while? Get into the Twitter habit in 2018; if you’ve not visited for a while it has changed quite considerably and the 140 character limit has been doubled to 280. Looking for UK librarians to follow? I’ve done the work for you, and you can find a list of almost two thousand at https://twitter.com/Philbradley/lists/uk-librarians

Stuck on how to create new and different images, flyers and posters? Visit Bighugelabs.com and use your imagination on their wide variety of different free resources that will create some spectacular images for you!

With best wishes for a peaceful holiday and easier searching in 2018.