These are perfect days for introspection and focused

career planning. We can take advantage of the brief lull before a busy autumn, inside or outside the classroom or workplace.

In that spirit, librarians and other information professionals (current, in-transition and aspiring) will find the new book by Ulla de Stricker, Information Professionals’ Career Confidential: Straight Talk and Savvy Tips, to be particularly useful. The Toronto-based de Stricker is one of the best-known names in the information field, and has recently been in the limelight as one of two change agents tasked with helping SLA navigating its future. The book is also a terrific complement to Knowledge Management Practice in Organizations: The View from Inside; which I wrote about last year.

With many actionable tips, de Stricker presents no-nonsense (yet empathetic) information on how to remain or become a valued information professional. It’s a lean work, in the best sense: informative with no time/space-wasting fillers. She also places considerable responsibility on the reader to use this information for ongoing self-development, and to give back to others (people, institutions and your profession) by mentoring, networking, volunteering and related forms of social capital.


All eight chapters should have appeal for both new and veteran information professionals, which is a tricky accomplishment. It helps us consider how to develop the best mindset for making our work meaningful, purposeful and productive. Full disclosure: in the first chapter, de Stricker writes about my work on Peter Drucker, and its relevance for how information professionals can help shape and create the future for themselves and their organizations.

In this time of flux and uncertainty, de Stricker reiterates that most of us have similar concerns: both people and institutions have to relentlessly prove their relevance and worth. That can be accomplished more easily by applying the messages of this short, but powerful book.