Friday, 3 February 2012

Libday8 - Friday

Ah end of the week. The time for something inevitably to go wrong for the weekend. As I write I am running a verify/fix programme to sort out a bug that claims a student has 32 items out on loan, when they have 4. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will sort it out...

This morning I met with a member of IT to discuss a change I want to make in swapping our OPACs for cut down web terminals, that only allow access to the online catalogue. We've got an ongoing problem of the OPACs crashing which best efforts haven't resolved. So, switching to the much more stable (tough wood) web search seems the best option. I'm told it shouldn't be too hard to do, but I will await the results!

I've also checked the security tapes today and have employed the porters on a mini manhunt for a student I cannot identify. I probably only need to send an email to them, but at present they are a mystery to me.

I spent time working on an asset list, which has items we are retaining or discarding as part of the renovation. It is now rainbow colour-coded based on who I think needs to take any action. I can't wait to show it to those involved and possibly scramble their minds. I also feel slightly bad that one department has ended up a colour I can only describe as sludge :(

I spent some time this afternoon revising a list of children's authors. It is divided into two sections: the first lists current authors that we should be on the look out for new releases from. The second section lists popular authors (dead or alive) who I think we are missing portions of that we should have. For example, when Enid Blyton lost popularity for not being PC (about which I would happily have a separate conversation) pretty much all her books were removed from the Library. At least, that's what I assume happened, as otherwise the lack of Blyton seems unaccountable. So, slowly I am reinstating her because she is part of the literary canon, whatever.

**Maintenance update, the verify/fix has worked! Hurrah!**

Now to pack up for the weekend, lock the sample chairs in the workroom and email the weekend student helpers with any information or instructions they need. Libday8 done.

Libday8 - Thursday

Oh dear, the inevitable problem of trying to remember what I did yesterday... Luckily my outlook calendar can fill me in on the main interesting things.

The day started with emails as usual, though this doesn't often take too much of my time. I think I am lucky in being relatively new in post still, that not every company has my address to spam. We also have the generic library account which takes care of most communication with students.

Then we had a staff meeting to discuss the chair samples we've currently got in, and the suggested fabric colours for them. I'd been a bit worried about the reception one chair was getting, but more data has evened it out nicely.

Next we ventured on the bus to town for a meeting with other Librarians using Heritage in the local area. This is a great annual occasion, meeting up with lovely people to eat and discuss our likes/dislikes/plans and problems. It is always enlightening to hear how the same system is being used in similar libraries and to hear about innovations or solutions that otherwise I'd be unaware of.

The afternoon involved lots of bits of admin and discussing the proposed tables for the refurbishment with IT.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Libday8 - Wednesday

Yesterday had a slight addendum after I'd left the Library. The porters asked for my help with identifying a postcard where the name of the recipient was in Cyrllic!

An interesting day today, but not actually one I can blog much about.

Most of my morning was spent in a meeting relating to the refurbishment. I don't feel I can say anything much at all about it since we're still discussing lots of things. It's not for the blogosphere at this stage. So, that was my entire morning taken up pretty much, in a single paragraph.

What I can say is that such meetings are exciting, challenging, stressful and enjoyable all in one go. And not something that every librarian gets to do all the time. I feel really fortunate to be trusted with the refurbishment of a space for the next 10 years at least. It's a big responsibility but a great one.

Lunchtime included some unscheduled car maintenance after my windscreen wipers packed up on the way to work. One fuse change later (plus a broken nail and freezing hands) and I am fully functional to get home.

The afternoon was spent setting up a number of sample chairs for students and staff to try, setting up a feedback system and then encouraging people to start commenting. Plus kicking off a few things on the to do list after the meeting this morning.

Last thing today I set some reminders in my calendar for things to do on Friday. Tomorrow is quite booked up already, so a couple of things that will take some time and thought won't get done until Friday.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Libday8 - Tuesday

Every day begins in a similar way for me really, picking up my emails and sorting through them with what I can delete, what I need to deal with immediately, what I need to pick up on during the day, and what I can just file for reference.

Then the visiting scholar from yesterday arrived, so I signed her card up, sorted out her door access and gave her a rundown of the Library. She was very interesting and interested in everything, one of those people it is very easy and pleasant to talk to. Meeting enthusiastic people is one of the things I enjoy most at work, so that really was a pleasure.

Tea break time and we all get some cake to mark the end of a section in the Voyager cataloguing project. Any excuse!

With the post came some invoices to process and send onto finance.

I then had to fill out our film licensing report for the previous 3 months, and check the proposed films for this term to ensure they all fall within the license. This is one of those jobs that isn't necessarily in my remit, but the library understands the licensing and copyright of materials better than anyone else, so it makes sense. I also quite enjoy it.

Finally before lunch, looking up some items potentially for purchase, including some Enid Blyton to add to our children's literature collection. When she fell out of fashion a previous librarian got rid of practically everything. I've rebuilt the Famous Five over half way, and have begun on Noddy, but it's the long haul to completely reinstate her! With Noddy, we also want to get both recent and older editions as the Gollywogs have been completely redacted from new editions.


A bit more catching up and getting my head round the potential collaboration opportunity, and a query sent off about a possible alteration to our catalogue terminals.

Lots of meeting prep this afternoon - a refurbishment one tomorrow morning, and another with all the Heritage library staff on Thursday. Doing the Heritage thinking today as tomorrow's meeting may take some time. Cross-checking my refurbishment requirements one more time, and looking at the current costings.

Then I began cross-checking journal lists for a planned discard to ensure nothing had slipped onto the discard list or been missed off. Checking this sort of thing isn't my favourite job, but it's so important to ensure everything goes smoothly.

I emailed an archive visit to one of my library assistants who has a strong interest in that area, and did a few more withdrawals found by our Voyager cataloguer.

Libday8 - Monday

I've participated in libday before on Twitter, but perhaps this year I can conjure up a blog post each day - please note I am already late with Monday's (!).

So, what did yesterday hold for me...

Well, I was off with lurgy on Thursday and Friday so my first job of the morning was catching up with emails and my team. Luckily my inbox was lighter than I might have feared, and a lot of those were quite easily deletable.

Of the more noteworthy ones were some messages about our refurbishments plans (more on them below), and a visiting scholar requesting access. So one quick email exchange later and the scholar can be signed up to access our children's literature collection for the rest of her time here.

Next to tackle the refurbishment bits. A final query about the carpet we've chosen, and a double check that the samples we were sent matched the sample building services had (on closer inspection, phew, they did). Then a quick phonecall about a sample chair that had arrived with a damaged base.


A few student queries, and then onto catching up on a collaboration meeting that I missed on Friday. Reading the documentation so far and some notes kindly sent through to get me upto speed.

Checked all of the alarm alerts from over the weekend. Happy to see that the students are behaving, and not setting the alarm off too much.

Started to compile a list of items for the Library Committee agenda, and then a few bits of withdrawing and general catalogue housekeeping.

So actually, a fairly typical day for me at the moment!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Google Docs

Yay. I love Googledocs for collaboration. No sending millions of versions around between people and ending up with two differently amended ones. Just one master document that can even be edited simultaneously by contributors. What's there not to like. TeachMeet used this a lot in advance of our last event and it was invaluable, as the amount of face time we could manage prior to an event was limited. We wrote publicity, articles and kept lists, accounts and even passwords on Googledocs ensuring anyone could step in where necessary to help out.

In conclusion, Googledocs =

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Google Calendar - no thanks

I am not the most organised of people. I guess that should make me a rubbish librarian, but I seem to be ok at that bit. I do, however, have to keep track of what I'm doing with lists and diaries or I would not know where I was or why.

So really, Google Calendar should be a useful tool at work and home. But I'm just not sold. Ok, I can share it with other people, but somehow it just doesn't appeal enough for me to use. I prefer my dates in a diary, or two, and my Outlook. Oh dear. I really should like Google Calendar.

At the moment, we have a physical diary at work that everything goes in. I then have my Outlook, which means appointments pop up as reminders so I can't miss anything. I then have my diary, which contains some of the same things as the work diary and Outlook, but also everything personal, and happening at weekends. I've used this same system for over 5 years, and I'm loathe to change it. It's taken me long enough to train my brain to this way of thinking...