Library Day in the Life, Wednesday

Today is going to be a busy one, largely because yesterday I was a little bit of a slacker. Procrastination, thy name is Laura. I have a weekly project phone call with the WEST folks this morning, where hopefully we’ll be able to finalize our final project requirements (for this phase of the project, at least), a weekly Operations meeting (at which I’m mostly an observer), and two interviews for candidates for another metadata analyst position here. I’m also meeting with the head of another department: Now that I’m three months into my job, I wanted to start getting a sense of the bigger picture of CDL, so I’ve arranged meetings with the other Directors to talk to them about their projects and how all the moving pieces fit together.

I started the morning when the alarm went off at 6:30, already thinking about everything I need to accomplish. That can be both good and bad. At least it got me out of bed: showered, coffee-ed, oatmeal-ed, email read and random internet things watched, I got into the office by 8.

8:30: Downloaded the final re-converted set of MARC records for QA. I have a few scripts that I run the records through to check for various tags, and to make the records human readable. Unfortunately, I still can’t run these records, so something is probably wrong with the converter, and they need to go back to the programmer.

9:15: Quick coffee break with two colleagues. Mmm, cappuccino.

9:30: Back to the office, and time to switch gears. I used the QA time I had scheduled to create a check list of QA steps, so that when we’re in the thick of record analysis, I can be sure I won’t skip anything or forget anything. I also spent some time querying the database; hopefully I’ll be able to see there if anything untoward happened in the converter stage for the last set of records.

10:00 – We have a phone call meeting with the WEST team. This is where I practice patience and listening skills. We’re trying to pin down some communication workflow questions, finalize requirements for our last use case, and discuss some of the outputs we have from library records and whether they’ll work for the WEST team. Patience and listening skills.

11:00 – As soon as our phone call is over, we usually rush over to a departmental operations meeting, where we get updates on infrastructure and on various projects being undertaken by the team.

11:30: What was supposed to be a QA work session turned into an attempt to figure out why this set of MARC files can’t be properly run through this utility, or even opened in my text editor. Sounds like there are some problems with the patches to MARC4J that weren’t updated to the repository, and the discussion was quickly outside of my area of expertise, so I got out of the meeting early.

11:45: Updated the final use case for phase 1a development as discussed in our 10 am meeting, and sent it out to the team for final approval.

12:15: Lunchtime. Leftover bulgar and lentil salad, and writing a review of a cookbook for Library Journal. Yes, the review is due today, why do you ask?

1:00 – I met with one of the other Directors to find out more about her team, how it fits into CDL as a whole, and how it aligns with the work of team. We had a great discussion about the changing nature of library resources, and of licensed content, about how an organization like ours supports an academic entity like the UC. I feel like mental picture of our organization will be slowly expanding over the next few weeks as I meet with each of the Directors.

2:00 – Interview with a candidate for the open metadata analyst position.

3:00 – Writing up the draft for my performance self-assessment, which was kind of funny to do since I didn’t have any previously defined goals and I’ve only been here three months. I also wasn’t entirely sure how to write up performance goals for the coming year. Performance reviews can be great, and I don’t have anything against the concept, but I often find them fairly meaningless. And I don’t really know what I’m going to be working on in the coming year, so coming up with meaningful goals is kind of difficult. Ah well.

4:00 – Interview with a second candidate for the open metadata analyst position.

5:15 – Send out five more welcome-and-here-are-your-instructions emails to WEST technical contacts before I can pack up and go home.

I had plans to go for a run tonight, but we’ll see if that happens. I still have to pack for our trip tomorrow, and I’m pretty much starving, so it might be time for dinner already. It’s been a long day, but I’m looking forward to a brief vacation.

It’s been great reading everyone else’s Library Day in the Life updates. Thanks to Bobbi Newman for creating this project and keeping that ball rolling.

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