#libday8: Thursday

Oh, look, it’s actually Thursday now! :)  It’s also the last day I have this week to really get stuff done—tomorrow I’m only working a half-day and have a ref desk shift and an all-hands meeting, so I won’t have much time to focus.

  • Paperwork is first on the agenda: printed expense report in order to be reimbursed for the travel cost of working in the other office yesterday (which required rebooting our massive copy/print/fax machine, which takes FOREVER), tallied up reference question stats for January and collected that sheet and my timesheets to turn in for the month, started new stat sheet for February.
  • Email management: skimmed/deleted new messages, did the filing I couldn’t do yesterday. Checked email periodically throughout the day.
  • Reference monthly report: evidently I’m the first person to put stuff in for the January report, so I created the file and pasted in my bits under the appropriate headings—this involves checking my calendar for committee/inter-unit work, picking a few ‘interesting’ reference questions to mention, and checking my finished tasks for things like training/prof dev items to include. January was a pretty quiet month, in retrospect.
  • First check of my Twitter feed and gmail, but skipped greader for now in favor of getting something done before my 10:30a refdesk shift (it’s easy to skim feeds while on the refdesk).
  • Worked on the announcement that I’ve been poking at for two days. Debating whether to present the improvements as bulleted list or group them into like-items and write a short paragraph about each group. Have now written drafts both ways and I don’t know which is preferable. [I’m probably spending way too much time on this, but it’s the first thing like this that I’ve done, so there’s a lot of agonizing time involved. :) ]
  • Sent both variants (plus a detail question) to the systems guy who did the improvements for an initial critique to make sure I’ve represented things accurately.
  • Two hours on the refdesk. Mostly a quiet shift, but I had one of those exceedingly well-timed interactions where a coworker and I had been discussing who was handling an email about a certain topic (I hadn’t seen it yet, so I skimmed it while we were talking) and right afterward I got a phone reference question on a very closely related topic. So I was able to use some of the information from that email to help the patron. :) Also skimmed Twitter and Tumblr during the shift.
  • Did my Twitter stats wrangling for January while on the refdesk.
  • Upon returning to my desk, I sent the final drafts (haha, talk about a contradiction in terms!) of that new features announcement to the systems guy and the head guy; after this they’ll send it to the entire team for review/critique.
  • Responded to an opinion question about checkboxes within the system’s search results (i.e. when you select a citation, how long should that selection persist? Across pages is obvious, but what if you run a new search? Should they stay or go?).
  • Read some of the articles I found on Twitter and Tumblr during my refdesk shift; added a few things to my Tumblr queue.
  • Reviewed the funds summary report to see if I’m one of the subjects that is guilty of not having made any selections yet this fiscal year—looks like I’ve ordered a few books, whew, but I should find some more. Added that to my to-do list for Monday to consider when I’m reviewing the weekend notifications of new items in GOBI3. (I primarily select for library and computer science but also get item notifications for biotechnology.)
  • Over lunch (which didn’t occur until nearly 2pm, haha, but that’s pretty typical for me) I added notable new Twitter followers to my masterlist. I really ought to convert the list into a database or something rather than the massively messy word doc that it is, but when I started it I don’t think I expected the library account to have so many followers. :)
  • Composed and sent the Twitter summary emails; one general summary goes to most of the library staff—and provides the deadline for the next month’s tweets—then more specific summaries are sent to each of the contact people from the areas that contribute content to the account.
  • Finally tackled my RSS feeds, checked in on Twitter again.
  • Worked a bit on the library tweets for February; scheduled tweets for tues/wed and added a note to my calendar for Monday to check up on the tweets still awaiting approval if I haven’t gotten a response by then (need to have a response in order to go any further with the scheduling). Did as much as I could to work around the missing tweets, including tweaking a few #followfriday posts and adding them to the schedule. Verified links for the tweets I scheduled.

And that’s it for me today.

Today’s soundtrack:

#libday8: Wednesday

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:

#libday8: Tuesday

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.

Tuesday’s soundtrack:

There was a conversation at my workplace the other day that I want to pose as a question to my readership: should a librarian ever use the phrase “I don’t know” when trying to help a library member?

Can You Ever Use the Phrase “I Don’t Know”? « Agnostic, Maybe (via cclibrarian)

[Cali: Personally, I have absolutely said ‘I don’t know’ but always followed it up with something like ‘I’ll ask’/’let me look into that for you’]

Reblogged from Turn the page
A library is not a laboratory, a schoolroom, or a lecture platform—it is a library; and the librarian is not a research worker, a social worker, a teacher, or a public speaker—he is a librarian. To be sure, he may at one time or another assume any one of these roles, but he is not then, in the true sense, acting as a librarian. As we have so often said, the unique function for which the library profession has assumed responsibility…is the maximization of the effective use of graphic records for any purpose that contributes to the dignity, beauty, and strength of human endeavor. As all the activities of society come to depend on…all forms of secondary communication, and particularly upon graphic records, the library profession must interact ever more closely with a diverse variety of those individuals and groups of which society is composed. Only through a clear and constant recognition of his own unique responsibility can the librarian hope to maintain the unity, the integrity, and the effectiveness of his services.
— Jesse H. Shera, “The Compleat Librarian” (1964)