As I have prepared my annual end of the year post I am struck by how different and also similar this post is from prior years. 2020 has been a year for the record books on many levels and has shaken up society on a number of levels. I look back at my year end post for 2019 and it seems like a decade ago rather than 12 months. The global pandemic changed the world by upending the economic ordering and shaking up our perspective on the workplace, information literacy, and information processing. This year has shown that the needs for librarians are exceptionally needed and valued across multiple industries as skills in information, knowledge, and data management are critical to successfully building knowledge transfer and a knowledge base when coworkers are no longer down the hall and you can pop-by.

On a more personal-level, the pandemic has affected my professional plans from last year as well as my ability to upkeep this blog and digital projects. I haven’t made as much headway on my goals for learning python or engaging with LinkedIn Learning as much though I think we all deserve some grace given the pandemic. I have realized that maintaining two separate blog type sites for personal and professional musings is too much so I am going to be transition my personal site to a more online repository to focus more on this blog. Content for my personal site will be put on Twitter or Instagram depending on the content (not that I was prolific on the site).

Research Interests:

Remote Work:

The move and organizational traction/understanding around remote work had been coming steadily and the pandemic accelerated that change. Jobs and work that organizations assumed had to be in person shifted to remote work without the sky falling down. Companies large and small now plan on offering more regular work from home options, which gives employees flexibility and also gives employers a larger hiring pool.

From a CNBC article by Lori Ioannou

According to a recent survey from Intermedia, 57% of small and medium-size businesses plan to offer remote work plans to employees for the long term. What’s more, SMB owners have observed that employee availability has increased by 19% by shifting to remote work. They learned the advantages of having remote work policies during the pandemic. Among them: lower operating costs, increased employee availability and job satisfaction.

I thinking is an interesting and much needed development in terms of workplace dynamics so it will be interesting to see in 2021 if/when more organizations return to their office how these policies develop and what changes are permanent vs changes.

Data Management:

The focus on analytics and dashboards for data storytelling has gotten the largest mindshare lately though I think there needs to be equal focus on data management and ensuring the data is correct and everyone has proper understandings around data definitions. If we don’t understand the data and we can’t confirm the it is the right (and correct) data then any dashboard could be wrong or misleading, which could lead to faulty decision making. It is not as seductive as analytics and dashboards though data management is a foundation focus for any organization.

Browse & Search Systems OR Taxonomy Development:

As more teams have been working remotely and there is a lack of that spontaneous and organic knowledge sharing the office knowledgeable(Kbase) is critical. Office silos are often more enforced in isolation so that Kbase is the sole method for knowledge sharing. Yet, if there isn’t a good search system and also organized structure documents can become lost and knowledge inaccessible.