staying current without being overwhelmed: my approach to reading the library literature

Marie Kennedy on Dec 18th 2012

RSS has enabled me to read more widely than ever, allowing me to view tables of contents of all different kinds of scholarly journals and blogs. i’ve added a bunch to my RSS feeds about management and leadership in the last couple years, as i begin to think about my future place in librarianship. this delightful technology has allowed me to fill my google reader account with more than fifty feeds that i’ve organized into a folder titled “scholarship.” life gets busy, you know, and i’ll sometimes look at my google reader and there will be hundreds of entries waiting to be read. it’s overwhelming. “declaring RSS bankruptcy” is a real thing, and i’ve been prompted more than once to click on “mark all as read,” and just wait for the google reader to fill up all over again. that approach is pretty common, i’d guess, and it doesn’t really help me stay on top of what i really want to be informed about. i’ve created a little cheater folder to help myself.

i titled a new folder called ” * MUST READ scholarship” and put the ten RSS feeds for journals/blogs i can’t live without into that folder. because the folder title begins with an asterisk it is the very top folder in my google reader, which means i see it first when i go into the reader. if there’s content there, i read it and feel like i’m current with what i absolutely want to know about. if i have time then i’ll head over to my regular “scholarship” folder and read through the other forty or so journals/blogs.

it’s a small thing, for sure, but it’s really helped me manage what was quickly becoming a depressing situation.

if you have tips/tricks for how you manage the wealth of literature reading possibilities, please share in a comment.

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