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LibDay5: Tuesday: More Meetings, More Reference and a Mistake

Here is how my “library day in the life” Tuesday went:

5am – Woke up, had breakfast, made lunches.

6am – Got on stationary bike, rode 50 minutes burning a total of 479 suggested calories and riding a theoretical 15.6 miles. If you have any information on the relationship between distance on a stationary bike and the real world, I’d love to see it.

While I was riding, I was listening to episode 557 of For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report.  At minute 28 or so, they highlight a story about why Facebook will NEVER feature a dislike button. Hint – Would drive away their advertisers and business users in droves.

For Immediate Release comes out once a week on Mondays and explores the intersection of technology and public relations. I highly recommend it to my fellow librarians.

8:30 – Arrived at work and checked my calendar. Today I had a 9am meeting with my parent agency’s IT group in a building 1o minutes away and a reference shift from 3-4:30pm.

8:40ish, walk with my library’s main IT person to our agency headquarters. The weather turned fantastic from just a few days ago and so the walk was a delight and not the chore it can be when it’s pouring.

9 – 10 am – Department IT meeting. I feel privileged to attend these meetings. Aside from being able to offer input on projects affecting our Division, it helps me with our staff to know about other projects the Dept IT folks are working on. Today’s meeting also briefly discusses social media in a positive context.

10-11 am – Meeting with Division Director who’s just returned from a vacation and update her on various TIS projects that she’s interested in.

11-1pm – Back downstairs to my desk. Review and answer e-mail, including one about the pending delivery of a BookEye scanner for our Historical Collections. We need to make sure that the vendor does their training on a day when the most staff can take advantage. I put out a call to staff for items for my section newsletter. Sadly, it was during this time that I discovered *I* was the bottleneck for an important software upgrade due to an e-mail left unread in the rush of the end of the fiscal year. I took action on the e-mail and hoped that we get back on track in the next few days. Notified my boss of my mistake. Taking responsibility for one’s actions is very important to me. I expect it of myself and my staff.

On a happier note, I sent a note out to web4lib to see how other people have approached training people, especially government employees or academics on Facebook. I had my own ideas of how to proceed, but why reinvent the wheel? Listservs are my friend.

1pm – Lunch with some bonus clothed sunbathing on our 8th floor patio. Not something we get to do often.

2-3pm Responded to more e-mail. Seems like I get a lot. Updated my boss on the status of FY 2011 micrographics services contracts with state agencies. Started compiling list of State Education Agencies with Facebook pages.

3-4:30pm Off to the public reference desk. Most of the time we have a quiet in person reference desk as much of the library’s reference work is by phone and e-mail. We do have three very active public internet/word processing stations.

When it seemed like it was not busy, I kept checking the home pages of State Education Agencies for official Facebook pages. Eventually I found 14 agencies with some sort of Education Agency specific Facebook page and learned that Maine’s Department of Education’s home page points to their State’s Facebook page.  Some of the agencies that didn’t have Facebook pages do have Twitter feeds. I forget how many had neither Facebook nor Twitter.

It was not entirely quiet. Aside from signing people into our internet workstations I:

  • Pulled some Alaska newspapers for a patron from our newspaper compact shelving. We subscribe to every Alaska newspaper we know about and have them in microfilm through the Alaska Newspaper Project.
  • Helped someone create TIFF files from newspaper microfilm using our copy of Adobe Acrobat. Short version – Create PDF from Scanner, then save as TIFF.
  • Helped a patron with some microfilm that just wouldn’t load into the machine right. Determined that there was a serious crimp in the leader. Carefully examine the leader, I decide it can be safely cut and trim it down just past the crimp. Machine loaded fine. Don’t try this at your library without asking the librarian on duty.
  • Helped someone find a local government form.

To research those Facebook links I mentioned above, I needed a 50-state listing of State Education Agencies. I started off with the “Education Agencies by State” link from the USA.gov page State Agencies by Topic, but that gave a 404 error.  I found a 50-state agency listing at the Department of Education at http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/Programs/EROD/org_list.cfm?category_ID=SEA and suggested that link to usa.gov in place of the broken one. In general, I think if you find a broken link, you ought to report to the webmaster if they make it easy to do so. Suggesting a replacement link is optional but I think is nice.

One of the last things I did at the desk was package books in transit to other libraries. We participate the Capital City Libraries consortium. It consists of the State Library, the three Juneau Public Library Branches and the University of Alaska Southeast libraries. Anyone with a CCL library card can check out a book anywhere and return their books anywhere. It’s all transparent to the user and I love and treasure that.

Libraries are big on recycling, so our courier bags are not exactly standard. Here’s one:

Courier bag

I love the 3.5″ floppy disk on the conference bag. At the time it was a great symbol of libraries’ status as technology enthusiasts and now the 3.5″ floppy belongs in a museum. It’s still true that Alaskan librarians have a story to tell and its told every day from Barrow to Ketchikan.

4:30-5pm Finished closing out the reference desk turn stuff off and went downstairs. Shut down my equipment after e-mailing a college for help on finding Alaskan school districts with Facebook pages.

5:30pm – Came home, fed cat, made quick dinner and went for walk to Sandy Beach. Life was good.

See you tomorrow.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Bobbi, I enjoyed reading your post today..our places of work are worlds away (I’m in New South Wales, Australia-I work in a country public library) but the type of work we do is very similar
    warm regards,
    Bronwyn (@geomancer)
    http://wp.me/tJ7C

  2. Hi Bronwyn, My name’s Daniel, but thanks for your kind words. Are you participating in Library Day in the Life too? Where at?

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