Today I staffed our one-librarian satellite office downtown, so it was pretty much like being on the reference desk all day. With computer problems. It wasn’t even 9 a.m. when I decided the day’s word was probably going to be *headdesk* (or ARGH).
- Computer at the desk didn’t want to let me log in. Tried restarting it, so of course it had to install Windows Updates (of course!). While it did that, I turned on a different staff computer to see if the problem was systemic; I logged into that one just fine.
- Computer was still installing updates, so I turned my attention to the reluctantly-opening door. Fortunately, it was an easy fix: the button to automatically open the door got stuck while pushed in, so I pulled it out again and the door returned to its usual self. (I’ve had this problem before when I’ve been here, though that time the door was stuck all the way open. :) )
- Computer was finally done restarting, and deigned to allow me to log in.
- So, of course, I couldn’t get Outlook to let me in. Used the web access instead while I attempted to troubleshoot the Outlook settings… key word being ‘attempt’.
- Oh, look, the computer wants to install *more* updates. All right, all right, install those updates while Outlook tries and fails to connect.
- Huh, Outlook actually loaded my recent mail. Will this continue? …no, probably not. Attempting to forward a message has frozen it up quite badly.
- Put Outlook out of its misery and resolve to use the web interface for the day. Some of the windows updates failed, too. Today is just not a good day for this computer, I guess.
- Start skimming Google Reader items while all of the above stuff was attempting to process. Finish that and go through Twitter feed and Tumblr dashboard.
- Discovered that the downside to using the work webmail is that most of my email folders aren’t accessible (being in a file on my network drive, not on the email server). Guess I’ll have to let my inbox be a mess today and straighten it out when I’m back at my usual desk tomorrow.
- Spent a few indecisive moments deciding what to do with myself next. Realized that one potential task would be better held off until I’m back at my desk or else I’ll have to spend a lot of time messing with formatting (going back and forth between Office 03 and Office 07 can be a pain). So I did what I could (collected most recent mentions/retweets for the library Twitter account and added them to the working spreadsheet) and moved that task to tomorrow.
- Poked at the announcement I’m supposed to be writing. Still not pleased with it yet.
- Webmail keeps logging me out. Logged back in again… and again… and again…
- Handled several calls about scheduling meetings in the conference room contained within the library’s area (it’s a popular spot). There were four meetings scheduled there for today, but the folks using it didn’t need my assistance.
- Had a few reference question calls throughout the day.
Soundtrack of the day:
Ah, Tuesday… somehow this morning I got confused and fleetingly thought it was Thursday (if only!).
- Arrive, turn on some of the patron computers (I was backup librarian for first shift again)
- Took a few minutes while the email was loading to call the vet and schedule an appointment for my tabby cat
- Throughout the day: sort through the messages in the reference email box; forwarded, answered, or assigned the questions that came in (last day of the month, so I’m almost done with my tour of duty, woo!)
- Throughout the day: sort through my email box and the Twitter account mailbox, responding, deleting, or filing messages as appropriate [oh, look, my morning meeting was cancelled! :) ]
- Briefly chased away from my desk by the vacuum cleaner (it’s easier to get out of the way than stand around awkwardly while my corner is being vacuumed)
- Deal with my Gmail account and cruise through the new listserv messages
- First check of personal Twitter feed
- Library Twitter account: update the working spreadsheet with the new mentions/retweets
- Over popcorn, ponder the request for me to write an announcement of new features we’ve added to the library-designed database search platform and look over past announcements we’ve made and the list of new features to include
- Played around with some searches to make sure I was familiar with all of the new features to be announced; emailed for clarification on a few points
- Dropped in on my Twitter feed while waiting for some things to execute on the system
- Remembered it’s the end of the month; faxed in my timesheet
- Returned to planning the schedule of tweets for February that I couldn’t finish yesterday; there are a few gaps, but I’m also waiting for 7 more to be approved by higher-ups
- Scheduled February 1-6 tweets and verified the shortened links for those tweets lead to the correct pages
- Checked on my Twitter feed and skimmed through the stuff in Google Reader and Tumblr while eating lunch
- Received response to my request for clarification about improvements—a couple will be not be included in the announcement I’m to write; also included a follow-up/opinion question in response to a related-but-not question I asked, so I spent a while longer poking around the system in order to have an informed opinion for my response
- Spent the last few minutes before my ref desk shift going over the Computers in Libraries schedule
- Staffed our reference desk for the last 2 hours of the day, which mostly involved retrieving books from the book lift, transferring phone calls to the proper person, and putting paper in copiers/printers. I also managed to do a preliminary draft of that announcement and helped a pair of regulars track down a couple of call numbers that eluded them.
I am primarily a reference librarian with additional tasks pertaining to Twitter and our digital services. This is roughly how my Monday went.
- Arrive, turn on and log in the patron computers in preparation for opening (I was backup librarian for the opening shift)
- Sort through the weekend’s messages in the reference email box; forwarded, answered, or assigned the questions that came in (we rotate handling the ref box on a monthly basis)
- Sort through my email box and the Twitter account mailbox, responding, deleting, or filing messages as appropriate
- Skim through my Twitter feed, Google Reader, and Tumblr dashboard, add a few posts to my Tumblr queue
- Twitter: collect Twitalyzer stats for the week, update the working spreadsheet with the new mentions/retweets, skim the Twitter feed for the library account I manage and add a few items to RT to the library schedule (I use SocialOomph to schedule the tweets rather than posting by hand)
- Deal with my Gmail account and cruise through the new listserv messages received over the weekend
- Deleted an email alert for a user that retired in December (this is a new task for me; I should probably learn xquery, but for now I have the commands to copy/paste into the system)
- Dealt with new emails in reference/twitter/my email boxes (recurs ad nauseaum throughout the day, so I’ll stop mentioning it, same goes for Twitter-checking)
- Spent a good while researching a reference question and answering it, then answered another
- Started planning the schedule of tweets for February
- Stopped Twitter planning to respond to the ‘thank you, but I really had X in mind’ response to the reference question I did earlier (seriously, TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT FROM THE START OR I CAN’T ANSWER YOUR QUESTION EFFECTIVELY—not doing so just frustrates both of us, and in this case, I wouldn’t have had to spend nearly so long researching if I’d had more information up front)
- Second and last check of Google Reader for the day, as it’s now after 4pm and I don’t have time to get back into Twitter planning this afternoon
- Updated the library’s retweet counts in my master list for January
And that’s it for me today.
Music for the day:
Is Email Dead? [infographic]
We concur with the Infographic’s conclusion—email is here to stay. However, email is not always the most effective way to transmit your message. New(er) technologies—like Facebook and Twitter—introduce additional ways for humans to communicate. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish and select the best media available to you.
Infographic: What Are People Doing Online?
As we all use the internet to store more and more of our personal information, documents, music, etc., we need to be mindful of the risks involved and take measures to defend against hacking and other intrusions into our data.
… Her move to the cloud had coincided with the larger and irreversible shift of business, personal, governmental, and every other sort of activity to the cloud. The shift is irreversible because it brings so many advantages. Who would go back to searching for addresses on paper maps after using online mapping services? Needing to save and file canceled paper checks rather than inspecting them online, or doing a thousand other chores in pre-cloud form? In addition to these corporate and public services, whose users are increasingly conducting their business and storing their data in the cloud rather than on paper, our personal data has moved to the cloud as well, with the premise that we’ll be able to retrieve and work on our correspondence, our contacts, our photos and documents, from any computer connected to the Internet. But, of course, the more we rely on the cloud, the more we expose ourselves to its vulnerabilities. These include the breakdowns that affect any complex system. …
I have my doubts about this conclusion. They only tested one specific email (web-based) interface, and from my experience with multiple email interfaces, the effectiveness of the search utility would have a HUGE difference on the outcome of this study. I would love to see someone test this using Outlook 2007, for instance, because the search is horrendous (even Outlook 2003’s search was better).
I use folders heavily, though even within my use case their effectiveness varies greatly depending on what sort of message I’m trying to re-find. Something in a project folder? No problem. An old reference question by subject? Have to search, since they’re foldered by month/year, not subject (there’d be SO MANY FOLDERS if I tried to do it by subject).