Telecommuting in Libraries: Benefits and Challenges

December 14 and 15, 2011
Hosted by Jennifer Duncan

Library work is ever more mobile, with both technical and public services work often easily done from a laptop at any location. For those of us who often work at home in the evenings anyway, we know that there is plenty to be done that does not require that we ever set foot in our library’s building. In fact, it is often easier to accomplish some work away from the distractions and intrusions of the workplace. At the same time, societal changes such as increased commuting time, the pollution that long commutes generate, the rise in the numbers of dual working-parents or other caretakers, and the generally increased pace of modern life make working from home (or some other location) more desirable than ever. Employers often cannot offer wage increases and many employees are even seeing an erosion of their benefits; however, telecommuting allows employers to provide an appealing benefit to their employees in tight budgetary times.

This e-Forum will be an open discussion about how to use telecommuting to best manage work-life stress. We will discuss topics such as: arguments supporting telecommuting in general as well as specifically within the library profession; the support for flextime within your institutional environment and how to self-advocate; how to manage your own expectations as well as those of your colleagues and your patrons; the limitations and challenges of working from afar; the importance of face time; time management; and best suggestions for successful telecommuting that facilitates work-life balance. Please be prepared to share your own ideas and solutions.

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Who Should Attend

Anyone with an interest in the topic can benefit from this session and is welcome to participate.

Course Level & Prerequisites

None.

Host

Jennifer Duncan is the Head of Collection Development at Utah State University and successfully telecommuted to her job in Utah from Washington, DC for several months. She has authored articles on flexible work schedules and work-life balance in a library setting.

Dates

December 14-15, 2011

Credits

None

Fee

Free

Technical Requirements

Email account with an Internet connection.

Registration

Go to the discussion archive.

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Questions?

If you have trouble subscribing to the discussion list or have questions, please contact alcts@ala.org. Or, contact e-Forum Coordinator, Kristin Martin, kmarti@uic.edu.