In a cybertour on the exhibit floor, Mary Ellen Bates told us about how to surface our value. She based her presentation on the SLA Alignment Project. That research proved that there’s a big disconnect between what do info pros value the most and what their users want. For example, info pros think that conducting research is really important. It’s valued by only 19% of users.
Words that do resonate include: Value-added intelligence (finding information isn’t enough); Provide insights and identify trends (talk about end result, not process); Facilitate good decision making (what’s in it for the user, not for the info pro); and Competitive advantage (everyone has competitors).
Do not use these words: Special librarian; Credible, reliable information; or Manage and disseminate information
Lose the library lingo. We provide in-depth research for content Google can’t find, we don’t do online searching. We analyze information. We make strategic decisions better.
What is your role within the organization? You could say that you’re part of the information mafia or that you make sure your CEO looks good or that you’re the organization’s secret weapon. All very good, practical advice.