A Week in the Life of a Web Services Librarian: Day Two

You would think in summer, when the sun rises earlier, it would be easier to get out of bed in the morning but the past few weeks I’ve had to force myself out of my cozy bed. I’m trying to get up early enough to get some exercise before work: this morning I went for a three mile run, which, thankfully, was much easier than they have been lately. It was nice and cool this morning which can make a huge difference.

8:20: Arrived at work and settled in. I read something yesterday about why you shouldn’t check email first thing in the morning, so I decided instead to start the morning by finishing up a small task that I didn’t get done yesterday: I finished giving myself an overview of the Math and Statistics curriculum here. Today is a packed-with-meetings day, so I want to try to get as much done in between the meetings as possible.

9:00: Library faculty met to talk about our assessment strategy. We talked about all the data we’re collecting in our different program areas and what that data says about us, and we talked about the data that we still want to know and tried to connect our assessment interests with our mission. It was a good, energetic conversation, and I’m looking forward to part two of this process.

10:40: Quick snack, bathroom break, and email check before another meeting.

10:50: I had a quick pre-meeting meeting with another librarian to talk about why EBSCO displays different things in different ways depending on how you access an article. This might be related to accessing something via the API, this might be related to different access from different EBSCO databases. Who the heck knows? It’s all a black box to me.

11:00: Meeting to talk about our plans for banned books week. We thought we might start focusing each year on a different theme related to censorship, instead of just presenting the same “These books were banned” lists each year. This year we (and ALA) are going to focus on censorship in comics. We’re planning a panel discussion and a mini-comics workshop, among other things. We talked about some of the planning and marketing logistics and divvied up tasks for the coming weeks. Man, summer is going by fast.

12:30: Lunch, and some time spent digging into EBSCO databases to see if I could re-create the behavior we were seeing earlier. Plus a chat with our server admin about firewall rules for single sign-on and a breakthrough in communication with the vendor (sort of) about expected behavior for users. And then checking my To Do list again to see what the heck it is I’m supposed to accomplish today. I feel like my mind has been hijacked a little by issues not related to my To Do list.

1:10: Updated the website with the newly approved revisions to the Collection Development Policy.

1:45: Got totally distracted looking at polka dotted fabric online. How did I get here? Damn you, internet! I also stumbled across this article: At Sea in a Deluge of Data, in which I found this paragraph:

Many employers said their fresh-from-college hires frequently lack deeper and more traditional skills in research and analysis. Instead, the new workers default to quick answers plucked from the Internet. That method might be fine for looking up a definition or updating a fact, but for many tasks, it proved superficial and incomplete.

If this is true, then I think it’s safe to say that libraries aren’t really meeting our educational goals. There is more in this article that I think is thought-provoking and from which we can take some ideas for instruction. But I’ll save that for another blog post.

2:00: Library Faculty meeting, at which we discussed our priorities for renovating/remodeling/re-thinking some of our library space, among a few other things. Faculty meetings can sometimes make me crazy, because they aren’t always very outcomes-oriented and we often end up talking everything to death, which I am also guilty of. BUT I also really appreciate how engaged, creative, and thoughtful my colleagues are. It’s a trade-off, but the efficiency-focused part of me gets a little twitchy.

3:30: Back at my desk, where I quickly filled out a few travel authorization forms for upcoming off-site meetings and events (LODLAM training day and a Code4Lib NorCal meet-up, YAY!). It’s always good, when I’m feeling like my day just escaped from me, to focus on a few quick and easy things I can just do and check off the list.

3:50: started typing up the minutes from the faculty meeting on our wiki.

4:05: Two of my colleagues stopped by my office to fetch me for our semi-regular taco Tuesday happy hour. I looked at my unanswered emails and unfinished to do list, closed my laptop, and packed up to follow them out of the building.

Tomorrow there will be far fewer meetings and way more time to get stuff done. And I have a lot of it. It’s obvious that we’re nearing the beginning of the semester: everything feels a little more important and time-sensitive suddenly.

Time to get to bed soon: the older I get the more I need to get a good night’s sleep to be productive.

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