ellie <3 libraries

sooooo much!

A Day In The Life Of A Librarian: Quick Week Recap February 2, 2012

Filed under: meme — ellie @ 4:55 pm

I’m so sad to have missed the notice for the most recent Library Day in the Life!

I’m already well into today and won’t be in tomorrow, so I’ll do a quick recap of highlights of the week.

Monday I began the day by prepping some information and screenshots on my proposed redesign for our link resolver. I spent some of the morning preparing answers to library student questions about collection development for later that evening. Then we had a website meeting where the librarians discussed changes we were interested in implementing, including my link resolver changes, which were approved. I ran down to duplicating to grab some color printouts of little table top signs I had made about noise traveling from the mezzanine area. The reference and instruction librarians (myself included) had a quick meeting to go over the presentation to faculty we would be giving later that day, including finalizing our handout. I went through emails and then off to the ‘Embedding the Library into D2L’ presentation and then home. In the evening I Skyped in to a library school classroom to talk about collection management.

Tuesday I had the afternoon/evening shift, so I was on the reference desk 3pm-10pm. In addition to reference questions, I also set up the black history month display, wrote a request for funding to go to ALA, and staffed our 24/7 chat cooperative.

Wednesday I have the early morning/day shift, so I was on the reference desk 8am-3pm. It was pretty busy most of the day. I printed a color sign to go with the black history month display and got through emails, but that’s about it besides helping students.

Today I am pretty well caught up, so I’ve been going through emails and professional journals. I chatted with a colleague about one of her upcoming instruction sessions and I’ll be on the desk a little this afternoon.


Friday: A Day In The Life Of A Librarian (Who Is On Summer Break) July 30, 2011

Filed under: meme — ellie @ 3:08 am

This morning was last minute errands and food shopping followed by a drive to the airport to pick up friends. A closed stretch of limited access highway along with rush hour and construction traffic meant that a one hour drive home took over three hours instead. So rather than the very long game of Arkham Horror that I had planned to start around 4pm, I relaxed with visiting family and just did a short intro to the game without a full play through.

There is one component of the game that has character cards in alphabetical order. One of my (librarian) friends joked about how unfair it was to expect him to alphabetize. His wife quipped back that he should organize them in call number order by their professions. Then we debated Dewey or LC. He said since it was my game not his, we should do LC. (He’s in publics.) Yay librarian geeks!


Thursday: A Day In The Life Of A Librarian (Who Is On Summer Break) July 28, 2011

Filed under: meme — ellie @ 9:16 pm

This morning we stopped by the county seat to get our marriage license and then delivered it to the local court that will be performing the ceremony on Saturday. Then the afternoon was spent assembling canopies and chatting with my parents and brother who had come over to help. It was also spent dealing with FedEx about a lost package. Tonight I am off to Casablanca for an evening with friends and family.


Wednesday: A Day In The Life Of A Librarian (Who Is On Summer Break)

Filed under: meme — ellie @ 5:03 am

This morning was the hair and makeup trial run. While I was there I started getting some ecards. I didn’t click on any of them at first because ecards are very often spam/malware and the first few that came in were from people whose email I know had been used to send out junk without their knowledge before.

But then as more and more ecards and emails arrived in my inbox I started to assume maybe they were legitimate. I still thought it was really odd that Wednesday would be the day everyone would decide to send me well wishes, but eventually, once I started clicking on the ecards, one of them spilled the beans that my family had organized a virtual shower for me. I’ve moved around a lot since undergrad and my family knew that I was sad that so many of my friends from around the country couldn’t join me for my celebration. So the afternoon was spent reading the emails and ecards that had been streaming in all day.

Then I prepped some home-made cinnamon rolls (from scratch!) for our Saturday morning breakfast and headed out to the airport to pick up my partner.


Tuesday: A Day In The Life Of A Librarian (Who Is On Summer Break) July 27, 2011

Filed under: meme — ellie @ 4:47 am

Today I visited my brother. We swung by Whole Foods for vegan marshmallows for the party then played video games until his wife got home. Then we headed into the city for vegan Philly cheese steaks and WWE Smackdown ringside seats. I’m very close with my family, so it was great getting to spend all day with my brother and his wife. One of my favorite things about being an academic librarian is the regular time off. In my last position at Austin Community College I didn’t get any vacation time, but I had off when the students had off, which lined up well with my brother’s secondary school teacher schedule. It looks like my new position will keep a similar schedule with three weeks off in the winter. And it is a 9 month appointment, so I have summers off as well. All of which allows me to get to spend a lot of quality time with family.


Monday: A Day in the Life of a Librarian (who is on summer break) July 26, 2011

Filed under: meme — ellie @ 4:43 am

I’ve participated in each round of Library Day in the Life so far, so when I realized I wouldn’t be working during this one I was really sad, but then I decided to go ahead and participate anyway, even though I tend not to use this as a personal space. Hopefully it will still fill the intended purpose of sharing what life can be like as a librarian. Some of us have summer breaks!

In May I moved from Austin to Minneapolis with my partner. I won’t be starting at Normandale Community College until August, so we decided this would be the year we could finally go to GenCon. (He’s been before, but I haven’t.) We also decided that would make a good honeymoon, so let’s set the wedding for just before then. So this week I am at my parents’ in Pennsylvania helping to prepare.

Today I enjoyed my favorite salt bagels for breakfast while lounging around with my mom and dad. Then we drove the 45 minutes in to town to stop at Costco (we’re bad with crowds, so this was stressful), the mall (my mom was just tickled pink with the makeup tutorial we got at Sephora), and Whole Foods to get various supplies for the party/reception which we’ll have at their house.

We got home and all retreated to our rooms for an hour to rest and recover from all the activity.

The evening was full of  dinner, fruit, drawing arrow signs and the the Sy-Fy network.


Thursday – A Day In The Life Of A Librarian January 27, 2011

Filed under: meme — ellie @ 11:05 pm

First thing in the door is political personality managing stuff that I’m not going to go into here, but I think this kind of training should have been the bulk of that required management class I had to take in grad school. I’m naturally fairly analytical and thick skinned, so I sometimes have to have subtleties of situations pointed out to me and then scramble to keep everyone happy.

Next up my co-presenter for tomorrow shows up and we go over our slides and arrangements for getting there tomorrow. Get an email from the organizer of our session with some more logistics and her phone number.

Get a call from a colleague about a book that could go in either of our fund areas. Sounds like we might both get a few copies.

A coworker stops in with a question about our new email software and I help her out.

I make the changes to the presentation that we talked about during our prep (just adding a slide and looking up a statistic comparison). Then I download from gdocs to ppt because we won’t have internet. I tweak the presentation and save again to ppt, pptx, odp, and pdf. I look up an ECAR comparison so I’ll have it handy. I print my speaker notes for the handful of pages I want to remember specific points for. I put the gdoc up on this site. I make a note to reread my article on the project so my favorite main points will be fresh in my mind. I pack up my business cards to take tomorrow.


Place an order for a faculty request and another to replace two damaged dvds. That turns into a mystery since I had been told the dvds don’t play, but it seems they do (at least on a computer). Apparently a patron had declared them lost, stripped all the ACC barcodes and stickers, then returned them to the book drop. I hand them off to our Senior Library Assistant to check them in our dvd player. He reports back that they seem to play fine. They’re good titles, so I decide to keep them for our campus and order new for the campus that asked me to get them replacements.

Read some book review emails.

Pose for a staff picture.

Ref Desk!

Questions include: textbooks, history 1301 book report, helping with the photocopier, directing students to the reserves area, helping someone copy/paste from word to blackboard – this one was particularly interesting because the teacher had explicitly stated margins and font size, but then asked them to copy/paste into a textbox when uploading the file would have been an option. Help someone with their unofficial transcript – the system doesn’t include the student’s name in the output screen, but it does show their student ID, so I suggested they copy their student ID card into the blank space on the transcript and circle the matching ID numbers.

Highlight moment – I hand a student a copy the History 1301 book report book spreadsheet. “Did you do this yourself?” “I had help.” “Did anyone ask you to do this?” “No.” “Did you get a high five?” “No.”  Then he gives me a high five.

Work on completing the changes to the report I started yesterday. Read my listserv emails. Finalized the changes to the report and sent it off for feedback. Back in the office. Review the staff photos and do some cropping and retouching and send out the changes for voting.

Sent out emails about: procedures for creating our profiles for receiving selection carts from our book vendor, where on the website the report I’ve been working on should be posted, what to do with some damaged books I was asked about, and my lunch choice for the tutoring conference I’m presenting at.

Spend the last little bit of the day working on purchasing in one of my fund areas.

Tomorrow I probably won’t post since I’ll be in San Antonio presenting.


Wednesday – A Day In The Life Of A Librarian

Filed under: meme,Uncategorized — ellie @ 12:07 am

Today is my long day on the reference desk (10am-1pm and 3pm-6pm). Before I get on the desk, I send off a quick email to our Baker & Taylor rep, still trying to deal with the issue from yesterday. I also quick call a colleague that had asked me to, to talk about a presentation to faculty, but she’s not in.

On the desk questions include: textbooks, where are the printers, can I print, need a book for history 1301 book report, need info on Julius Caesar – both the person and the play, and fetched books to send to other campuses. Sometimes if the textbook they want is for English, we can help them find the short story they need to read either in one of our other collections or online.

And background tasks include: email, editing the draft of yesterday’s minutes after questions from someone who had to leave early, printing out copies of the annotated History 1301 reading list that shows which ones we have copies of at my campus, schedule a meeting with my co-presenter to go over our talk, fill out my time sheet and travel reimbursement forms, worked on scheduling a book repair training for circulation staff, saw that the college transfer book display was low again and added some more books.


Back in the office I: Create the new poll for voting for the topic for our next discussion forum and email reference librarians. Updated staff development calendar of events. Work on feedback form of what we like and don’t like about our campus library for new library planning team.

Back on ref. with more of the types of questions above.

In between questions I: Make the changes that the dean requested to my report on our tech survey. Research CC licenses for the report. Finalize that training I’ve been working on coordinating.


Tuesday – A Day In The Life Of A Librarian January 26, 2011

Filed under: meme — ellie @ 2:06 am

In early today, covering a ref shift, then I’ll have my ref shift, then I’ll drive off for a meeting that will last all afternoon. During the ref shift I hope to work on the slides for a presentation I’m giving on Friday.

The meeting is the Team Leaders and Facilitators meeting. Everyone who is a team leader or a facilitator (which is nearly everyone) gets together once a month with the dean to update each other on various projects. I usually take the minutes and post them to our internal wiki, so I quick get that page set up now that I’m thinking about it. I take my little netbook, which is fine for typing, but not great for formatting.

I get an email from our Baker & Taylor rep telling me they physically can’t do something that I know they can do (because they’re already doing it for me) and do my best to explain, but am pretty sure in trying to be detailed and explicit that I also come off as a snot. I should probably have called instead of emailed so I could have included tone of voice to balance out the message, but I hate the phone and I’m on the desk.

Slow morning on the desk so far. 45 minutes in and I had 2 textbook requests and 1 where are the printers.

Desk picked up after about 10am. Rushed off to lunch at noon and then off to the meeting. Did manage to get my slides finished and shared with my co-presenter.


Monday – A Day In The Life Of A Librarian January 24, 2011

Filed under: meme,Uncategorized — ellie @ 10:54 pm

Today is the first day that our textbook collection is available to all students. Last week and the week before, students needed a signed form from Student Services. There’s usually a line of about 20 people at my campus, which is one of the smaller ones. The campus that houses the textbook collection has had lines of over 100 students waiting. Today we only had 3. But then they rolled in after we opened and I spent the morning calling the campus that houses the collection and putting books on hold. We had a little assembly line going this year. Circulation checked to make sure the students’ records were clear and gave them the handout on how to find their list of textbooks along with the form we have them fill out. My officemate verified whether we had any copies of each title and I placed the calls. I think it went pretty well, but we did have to run to ask questions rather than have the student right in front of us.

That was 7:30-9:30 pretty heavily the only thing I was working on. Sometime it slowed enough I could catch up on some email.

A faculty member in one of my collection areas sent me her assignments for this semester along with a thank you for the subject guide. That always makes me smile. Another librarian sent me an email asking if it was ok to change the codes on two books from her area to mine and I agreed. There was an email from an adjunct saying we were out of one of the types of flyers we keep at the ref desk, so I printed off a master and left it with our administrative assistant to make some more copies. I also replied to a thank you email for the new Technology Toolbox guide I helped with.

Then I would have gone out the ref desk, but my office mate isn’t feeling well so we switch hours so she can go home earlier. (She wouldn’t just go home, I tried.)

With my newfound office time I edit the draft report of our Student Library & Technology Use Environmental Scan. One of our librarians used to be a copy editor and graciously lent us her services.

But first I check my email and send out replies to a request for me to schedule book repair training for our new circulation staff. We opened a new campus last semester and also had some staff retire and some move on to grad school and other endeavors, so we have a lot of new hires at the moment. As chair of the Staff Development Team, I’m in charge of coordinating trainings.

Worked on the report for awhile, called the editor for a clarification, worked some more. Got interrupted by a phone call from a new colleague with some questions about our ordering software and fund tracking system. I was able to explain all our terms (Appropriation, Expenditure, Encumbrance, Free Balance, Cash Balance) and that the ordering  carts did not automatically update immediately into the Millennium financial status module.

Finished off the new draft and sent it out to the team and higher ups.

Update the white board with my hours for this week.

Continue to be distressed that TeuxDeux seems to be down, so I don’t have my to do list. Make a mental note to transfer those notes into Google Tasks if the site comes back up. (Our school just transfered to Google Apps for Education.)

Took a break to read some listserv emails.


Sent off a copy of a printing poster I designed to our PR Facilitator. She’s working on getting signage consistent among all 8 campuses and I’m hoping to help steer us to more positive language. We’re big on the big red no symbol right now.

Ref desk!

First things first, I wipe down everything with disinfectant since I’m taking over for my colleague who is now going home sick. Questions include: textbooks, textbooks and more textbooks, helping students set up their email accounts, helping students enlarge on the copier, helping students get on the wireless, explaining that Blackboard doesn’t work with IE, try Firefox, and helping students find leisure reading. It’s only the second week of classes, so we won’t get the research questions for a while yet.

In between questions I read the assignments the faculty member emailed me earlier, answer a bunch of chat reference hang ups, rejoice that TeuxDeux is up, notice that my staff pick has been taken and select another one, notice one of our displays (applying to college) is decimated and select more books for it, work on tweaking the “first look custom profile” from Baker and Taylor for one of my fund areas, mostly adding lots more BISAC codes, especially in self-help since it’s a common assignment to review a reputable self-help book, and work on ordering for one of my subject areas.