Celebrate the end of my summer contract hours by only working 2 hours on my citation video project. All work and no play, don’t you know. Too tired even to run today.
Work another 2 hours on citation videos – now have 2 complete. Drop son off at home after XC practice and drive into the office for a meeting on the migration of NetLibrary content to EBSCOhost. Spend the next three hours getting updates on projects from staff. Budget projections are looking pretty dire – we may need to make some unpopular decisions this fall. Added staff member to this blog in hopes that she will write about all the cool things happening in periodicals – especially highlighting some of our hidden treasures. End the day as usual at the YMCA with a 5K run.
Another several hours on citation videos. Finally discovered an easy way to play the content in PowerPoint while recording in Jing. I quickly re-record my first 2 videos (now half the file size as the originals and much easier to view) and move on to the third.
I still need to call two vendors today about new databases; I wish there was a 24-hour rule in responding to customer requests.
6:30 a.m. Wake up, begin consuming large amounts of coffee. Catch up the latest disaster news from Washington. Trying to contain my excitement that the whole country is counting down to my birthday this year: August 2nd.
7:00 a.m. Wake son for XC practice.
7:30 a.m. Wake son again for XC practice.
8:15 a.m. Drop son at XC practice; drive into work.
9:00 a.m. Budget meeting; the upcoming year looks a little dicey in terms of actually having funding to retain all the resources that faculty and students need. I’m sure this is hugely surprising for anyone reading this!
9:05 a.m. Have officially burned through all the hours in my summer contract. For the next month, working pro bono.
10:00 a.m. Meeting over. Run over to periodicals office to alert staff member that our ERM is being worked on and that we shouldn’t be entering new data. Come up with new student project to check a bibliography to make sure all the books are still in print. Upon accessing Books in Print, realize that we no longer have access to BIP via FirstSearch. Pay one invoice. Sign, scan, and email 3 renewals, asking for invoices.
11:00 a.m. Hear back from FirstSearch that the database changes were announced over a year ago. Cool. We’ve lost access to 9 other databases besides Books in Print. Update some budget numbers.
12:00 p.m. Alert my staff member that we can actually keep adding data to our ERM, no worries.
12:10 p.m. Rush out of library for a 20-minute drive home to pick up my daughter and get her to band practice. Actual time allotted for 20-minute drive: 10 minutes.
12:33 p.m. Drop daughter off at practice (only 3 minutes late!), then over to Blue Cup for lunch. Send out email to director and collection development librarian about FirstSearch changes. Feel slight headache coming on.
1:15 p.m. Grab daughter and drive home. Write this post. Update a-z list to reflect access changes to those 10 FirstSearch databases.
2:30 p.m. Add a note to our FirstSearch databases about them being down.
3:15 p.m. Create new fund/ledger structure for our reference titles so that it will be easier for our reference librarian to track expenses. Previously, funding had been split between monographs, standing orders, and electronic resources with no coding flagging the materials as “reference.” With expenses continuing to rise, this new system is expected to help us better track expenses for this area.
4:00 p.m. Hitting the YMCA for an amazing stress-relieving run.
I can’t say that the following musings will reflect a typical week as it’s July (very few classes going on), I’m on a part-time summer contract, and I only have 6 hours left on my contract. In May my position was re-structured to include managing electronic resources. I am excited about my new responsibilities, but it has made for a much more work-intensive summer than I was anticipating.
5:50 a.m. ignore alarm, sleep until 6:30.
6:30 a.m. coffee, news, check of the interwebs.
8:15 a.m. drop son off at XC practice, hit my favorite local coffee shop (Blue Cup) to work until son shows up after practice.
8:30 a.m. Begin work on a series of quick videos about citing sources – not only how to cite (examples will be specifically geared towards actual resources used in an assignment for our CST110 classes), but why we cite. In the background, trying for the umpteenth time to download the final section of data for my CST110 assessment project. Hoping that the bandwidth at the Blue Cup is better than what I have at home.
8:45 a.m. Blue Cup internet rocks! Files downloaded. Background files for videos gathered. Reviewing goals for the videos.
10:00 a.m. Leave to transport my son back home. Make homemade waffles, clean kitchen.
11:00 a.m. From several emails, determine that I need to update our EZproxy config for Web of Science. After updating the files and re-starting the server, add an alert to all our Web of Knowledge databases on the a-z list about the new interface going live. Sent an email to my staff member about updating our ERM, e-resource blog, staff, and LibGuides with this information. Contemplate just doing the updates myself, as staff member is out until Thursday, but realize that I am going to have to delegate to survive the rest of the summer.
11:30 a.m. See email about yet another library web form being broken. Realize that I need to focus on getting my videos done. Close email, close blog – focus on videos.
2:45 p.m. First draft of Why we Cite video completed! Feeling like I’m finally accomplishing some summer goals. Heading to the YMCA to run.
Today is the first day of the semester at my university. Students will not arrive back for classes until next Monday, so this week will be full of meetings and planning for the semester ahead.
7:00 a.m. Check email from home. I can’t decide whether this practice is worthwhile or just discouraging but I just can’t stop myself.
8:00 a.m. Arrive at the office, grab a mug of tea, start editing documents for presentation later today to our department chairs about our institutional repository, MINDS@UW, and green OA.
9:00 a.m. Hear back from vendor that access to one of our journals, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, has mysterious changed from 1987-present to 2004-present. Dig through voluminous email files on this title and realize that the publisher actually never nailed down access dates. Curious. Spend the next hour on the phone and email trying to resolve the issue. Sinking feeling that resolution will involve me purchasing journal archive for said title.
10:00 a.m. Start posting this update.
10:25 a.m. More tea!! Sat in on staff break time. Always good to catch up with colleagues after the long break.
11:25 a.m. Back to FAQ page on green OA. Heavily influenced by Peter Suber’s A field guide to misunderstandings about open access, but with a lighter, more positive tone.
11:40 a.m. Colleague dropped by to see if I would support a semester-long trial of EBSCO’s new discovery resource. In a heartbeat! I love the idea of searching all our content through one interface. Even more exciting is the speed through which this dream may become reality. Now the final challenge: funding the dream.
12:00 p.m. Lunch at my desk; spicy Thai noodles…yum.
12:25 p.m. New drafts of OA presentation and handout sent out for review.
1:00 p.m. Handouts made, prepping for presentation.
2:35 p.m. Back from presentation – I think my colleague and I generated some interest in green OA!! Adding handout and PPT to web page and sprucing it up a bit.
3:30 p.m. Ready to start porting some old ASP pages to ASP.net
4:00 p.m. The first day back always goes quickly!
Before you get too excited about how short my work days are this week, you need to know that here at UW-La Crosse, librarians are faculty and on 9-month contracts. We receive a part-time contract in the summer, which usually gives us just enough time to keep our departments above water. Today I completed my contract hours, so from here on out, I’m working because 1) I love being a librarian 2) I supervise a department with 2 FTE and 3) I still have a lot of projects that I need to complete before the hurricane that is September hits.
6:00: alarm goes off – slap the snooze button until 6:30. Wonder why I don’t just change the alarm to 6:30.
6:30: wake up daughter for summer school as she needs to be at the bus stop at 7:15. Drink several cups of coffee, check online networks, home and work email, and listen to the headlines on CNN.
7:15: say goodbye to daughter, shower, dress, read more of The Given Day, make phone calls to schedule appointments, etc. I realize that there is a lot of time wasted between now and leaving home, but in truth I am just not a morning person.
9:00: leave home
9:30: arrive at the office, get some hot tea, check for snail mail, check email.
9:45: I am extremely lucky to have scored a new notebook computer for work and I’m slowly configuring it and moving over files from my old notebook. I move over some more files and begin to gather data to update our acquisitions formula. This year, I’m trying out a new procedure that will hopefully save time in the future, but at the present time it’s just a painfully slow process.
10:30: All-staff meeting to make decisions on some budget stuff. A good meeting. I whittled my inbox down to 1000 messages and thought we had a good discussion about the budget.
12:0o: The meeting is over and my stomach is rumbling loudly. Sit down briefly and catch up with a colleague. My phone starts ringing and after talking to my husband, son, and daughter (who has just gotten off the bus) I realize it’s time to head home.
Once home, I still check my email a few times, but most of my day is spend supervising play dates, folding laundry, and making brownies. And the brownies: the best I’ve ever made.
8:00: in office, tea in hand. Send out final plea asking for feedback on revised SFX menu display. I’ve only heard from 4 out of a possible 11 librarians. Realize that I am perhaps the only person who thinks this is a big deal. Will update menu at the end of the day.
9:00: Focus on fixing header and footer CSS style issues in LibData header and footer.
11:00 Where did the morning go? I never realized how much time troubleshooting takes, nor did I realize how much I would learn from figuring things out myself. The learning is the best part of being a librarian.
11:15: Staff member fills me in on latest publisher saga. After a snafu with our periodicals vendor, publisher will not be sending us two issues from the fall. Consider going electronic only, but the e-license will cost $300 more and I am not convinced these titles get enough use. Also, publisher refuses to work with periodicals vendor for the electronic purchase. Since all our money is with our periodicals vendor, this little snag could pose real problems. Make a mental note to follow up on Monday.
12:45: Break for lunch.
1:00: More CSS troubleshooting. New footer is in place; no more tables! Just learned new IE CSS hack – CSS will no longer validate, but perhaps will display properly. It’s all about choices.
2:00: Call colleague to talk me down from extreme frustration on getting margin thing figured out. While talking to him, re-fresh my file one more time and voila! It’s fixed. Sometimes you just need to talk it out. And re-fresh.
3:00: Run over to the Cleary Center to listen to chancellor’s open forum on campus budget woes. Our library will get possible funding for more hours, but no money for materials such as journals and databases. Not looking forward to trying to wringing another year out of a budget that hasn’t increased in 10 years. Wondering if I should share my 2002 paper on how to central many library services in order to save money. Publishers have been asking me lately why we don’t order more journals consortially. I have to make more progress in this area this semester.
3:40: Sneak out of forum. Run to car (again a little too late) and drive home to pick-up daughter for her piano lessons.
4:30: Post blog posts for past few days and check email one last time. Also, update display for SFX menu.
5:00: Unplugging for the evening.
Pre-work: Same morning routine as all the other days this week. Twist for this morning: took 2 full cups of coffee before my brain function kicked in.
8:00: Arrive in my office. Computer refuses to let me in to our shared file space because I was forced kicking and screaming to change my campus password yesterday. Reboot computer, wait full 5 minutes for it to reboot, re-set links to mapped drive. Access email folders, send password for journal-which-shall-not -be -named to colleague.
8:30: Catch up on blogs, email, check calendar. No meetings!
9:00: Run down to staff lounge for tea, stop procrastinating working on Course Page for Choosing a Topic. It’s fun learning how to create a new page in LibData and checking out how other libraries approach this on their web sites. Wow! Styles are crazy for my course page. Check to see if other librarians are editing the style sheet; they are not. Will ask e-resources librarian for help later.
10:00: Note that I included my old office hours in my little video showing how to find my office (It’s a little difficult to find, but the view is worth the aggravation). When I go to edit it, discover that I didn’t save all the original files. Re-create parts of the movie and think it is even better than before. After I’m finished, find all the original files.
11:30: “Mouse” hand is starting to ache. Might be time for a break. Walking over to the mail room. Stretching.
12:30: Still working on Course page. I think It’s taking shape.
12:45: quick lunch in break room.
1:00: Get news from US News & World Report might be ceasing their print edition. Turns out they are just switching to a monthly edition, but the emails are really flying. I would not be surprised if more of our weekly news titles publish fewer issues.
2:00: Still working on Choosing Topics page. Adding Librarian’s Internet Index. Notice that our description of this resource is still listing the old title, go into LibData and update it. LibData makes it very easy to update database information.
3:20: Leave a little late; run to car to drive to daughter’s school and then take her to her tap class.
4:00-5:00: Enjoying the YMCA’s wireless. Notice that the styles on many of our web pages are not displaying well in IE. Work until keyboard stops working (no enter key!) and decide that’s enough for the day.
Pre-work: Same routine as Tuesday. Added attraction – tax materials are complete and just need to be dropped off at the accountant’s office.
8:15: arrive at office, slightly frozen; check email, blogs, and calendar. Talk to staff member about my position responsibilities possibly changing slightly. Discover that I’m actually on the reference desk from 9-10:30 instead of 10:30-12.
9:00-10:30: Many computers frozen, printer jams and paper outages. Eureka moment on how to fix our SFX menu so that the relating holdings information displays properly.
10:30: Work with staff member to figure out re-linked component nightmare in Voyager Acquisitions module. Draft email to librarians and staff asking for feedback on proposed SFX menu changes.
11:15: Hear back from Ex Libris about linking problem with Allen Press title. They are deleting the only record that works because the Library of Congress doesn’t list it in the official record. Quickly contact Allen Press. Learn that “problem ISSN” is actually the e-ISSN. Reply back to Ex Libris begging them to re-instate the ISSN so that we can link to this title.
11:30: Grab a chicken parmesan wrap from the library coffee shop and eat at desk while trying to clear out email inbox. Current emails in inbox: 716.
1:00: Wonder where the time has gone. Email inbox: 570. I think it’s taking such a long time because something has to be checked or read before I can safely delete each email.
2:45: Working on creating “chunks” for library instruction sessions. Simple chunks where students can run their own searches. Chucks like finding books, findings news articles, finding research articles, finding AV materials.
3:30: Running out of steam. I’ve decided to do a Course Page on finding topics so the instructor can run with it. Also thinking about asking students to take a tutorial: What is an article database and watch a “movie” on the differences between scholarly journals and popular press materials.
4:15: Another day gone too quickly. I feel like I got a lot accomplished today though.
Ever wonder just what it is that librarians do all day? Are we secretly curled up in a sunny window reading with our cats? Read about the real daily lives of all sorts of librarians at Library Day in the Life. And below, I give you my Tuesday.
Pre-work: 5:30: alarm goes off. Get the coffee started and eat breakfast. Give cat her spoonful of tuna, drop tuna on the floor on way to her bowl. Cat does not seem to mind. Get son up at 6:15; Realize that daughter is still sleeping at 6:45, wake her up. Leave house at 7:30 and drop daughter off at surround care.
8:00: Arrive at office, check email, get tea, check my calendar.
8:15: Update embedded librarian documents on course management system for new CST110 sections.
8:40: Send out Access query for determining how many standing order volumes we added in a given year so Tech Services Librarian can complete ALS statistics. Start work on figuring out query for our current journals, regardless of format.
9:00: Work on revising our library services web page. I am attempting to organize library services into categories. This task seems like it should be much simpler than it is. Sent out a draft page to web team members. Also ask for feedback on the new RSS feed display.
9:30: Answered staff questions about a Sage survey, signed timecards, and talked about how we fill checklists (each time a journal gets canceled, added, ceases, etc. lots of changes occur in the OPAC, link resolver, shelves, etc. We manage the changes through checklists).
10:00: Preparation for 10:30-1 reference shift. Tea re-filled, scone from our library coffee shop purchased and consumed, ran over to mail room, signed another time card.
10:30 – 1:00: Reference Shift – Typical questions for first week of the semester: Where is the restroom, where is the paper cutter, the printer is jammed, where is the computer lab?
1:15: Quick lunch
1:30: Created a database from ILL requests made from July –December 2008 by our Health Professions folks. We want to actively manage these requests so that we can order new subscriptions if need be. Results are not what I expected: 316 unique journal titles requested. Top two journal titles each had a mere 10 requests. We already have subscriptions for both titles, but requests were for outlying issues.
2:30: Was planning on working on instruction material for upcoming CST110 classes, but got an urgent email about a title not linking properly in SFX. I spent 40 minutes troubleshooting the problem, fixing it, and reporting it to Ex Libris.
3:10- running Xenu in background to make sure broken links reported last semester are fixed.
3:10-decided to run Xenu against all inks on library web site. Lots of broken links. Fixed about half of them.
4:00: heading home.