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LibDay5: Thur: Life Out of Kilter, But Good

I’m glad I didn’t do today as a one-off for the Library Day in the Life project, because today was Just. Not. Usual. Here’s how my Thursday went:

5am: Got up, fed cat, made my wife’s lunch and then realized she wanted me to review a letter she wrote before we went to work. Figuring that meant she’d need to revise it, I woke her up. She thanked me, but said that it can wait till after my morning ride. I left the bedroom and realized that if I made my lunch, I’d have to shorten my workout. Not doing that. Besides, it’s Taco Salad Thursday at the State Office Building. More on that later.

6am: Started riding my stationary bike while reading In the Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce.  What? You thought I was all about podcasts and nonfiction? I’m eclectic in my interests. I’m a librarian.  I’m so engrossed in the book, that it’s 61 minutes later before I realize I ought to go wake my wife again.  During this time the bike claims I’ve biked 18.2 miles and burned 523 calories. Good insurance against the sour cream laden Taco Salad. More on that later.

Because I’d checked my calendar before leaving work yesterday, I knew I had two scheduled commitments: an integration meeting from 8:30-10, and my scheduled PHP study time from 4-5. So I resolved to make it to work earlier than my normally scheduled 8:30 arrival time so I could print some meeting related documents.

8:05 am – Arrived at work relaxed enough to grab a cup of coffee on the 8th floor before heading to my desk on 7th.  Just as I entered my office, my micrographics manager saw me and wanted to talk because he has the day off on Friday. It’s mostly about the rearranging they’ve done and how they’ve uncrated the new fiche and microfilm scanners. I said I’d stop by later in the day to see them.

8:25 am – Printed off meeting agenda and went up to the meeting.

8:30 – 11:30am – The integration meeting was very positive but long and segued into a communications meeting.  I left with several “homework” assignments before the next building meeting next Thursday.

11:30am – A quick break to bring you a photo of some of the many Alaska specific periodicals we’re proud to house at the Alaska State Library:

Alaskan magazines

If you’re in Juneau, come look them over.

11:45-1pm Arrived back at my desk to a FLURRY of e-mails, many of them dealing with PolarPac, a late 1990s CD-ROM database that people depend on despite it’s age.  It’s stopped working and new security software MAY be to blame. My only role was providing more information on this database as our parent IT group was not previously aware of it. Our bad. I think. There’s been a lot of turnover in both shops since 1998, when PolarPac was installed. We might have told the last group of IT folks. Between them and our library IT guy, I trust the problem will be fixed. It’s being treated as the priority it is.

I finished up one of my homework assignments from the morning meeting — that of setting up a Google Group page that pulled together related files and conversations. MUCH easier than I thought it would be.

The last pre-lunch item was trying to deal with three HUGE boxes of archival boxes brought to our area. We’re not just IT, Web, AV equipment, and ILS management on our floor. We’re also a storehouse for supplies, old maps, and the New York Times back to 1851. I got the boxes to be a little less intrusive and brainstormed what to do with them with the section that brought them to our floor. It was time for lunch. Definitely.

1pm – At the top of the page I mentioned it was Taco Salad Thursday. Seemingly, it is the day of the week that every worker in the State Office Building pines for in a lunch sort of way.  During the noon hour, people can be 15 deep waiting for their salad. But I have a 1pm lunch, so there were only two people ahead of me and my taco salad:

Taco salad with scenery.

It was also great to see my wife. Better than the Taco Salad.

2pm – One of pieces of tech info on PolarPac I was supposed to get was the underlying database format. This wasn’t mentioned in the documentation I found. No problem, I thought. I’ll look in the PolarPac directory, find the file extensions of the data files and hop over to PRONOM, my favorite file format registry. Found the data files. NO EXTENSIONS! Unchecked the “hide file extensions of known types” box. NO EXTENSIONS! Decided to REALLY let the IT pros do their work and get back to me.

Shortly after this, my left lens leapt out of my glasses. Fortunately our Division office manager not only has an eyeglass repair kit, but she fixed them for me when my fine motor skills and poor eyesight were not up to the task. I have great coworkers!

3pm – I did want to see the new machines in Micrographics so went down and visited my micrographics manager. Training in late August has been scheduled for staff plus me on:

The fiche digitizer:

Fiche digitizer

Which can digitize up to 70 fiche at a time.


The roll film digitizer:

Microfilm digitizer

Which can digitize up to a 1000′ of roll microfilm at a time. Can’t wait to feed some old newspapers into it and see what the file sizes look like!

On my way out the door, I saw that my micrographics manager had brought out more of his reference collection, which included a few primers on micrographics. He lets me borrow too, which I’ll take home for the stationary bike.

3:30-4pm – I assisted in the planning for the migration of the State Museum’s lending collection database. I suggest an action plan and ask our parent agency’s IT group for advice on it.

4pm – Thought about doing my PHP study time. I’ve been working through PHP 5 / MySQL Programming for the Absolute Beginner through our ebrary subscription and I’ve been finding it pretty clear. Most weeks I do find time to spend with it. But not today …

  • I was asked for clarification for network drops requested by my micrographics section.
  • Consulted by Historical Collections staff on the mechanics of our new image storage space.
  • Our webmaster gave me an update on the State’s Look and Feel policy for web pages and how our current plans mesh with them.

5pm – It was time to go home. My wife wanted to drive by the location of a morning appointment because it was in an unfamiliar neighborhood. I agreed. When we go to the car, she realized she left the instructions and address in her office. The kind of thing I do a lot. “No problem”, I said, “What’s the name of the doctor?” She told me and I got out my iPhone. In a few minutes, I had the doctor’s address AND a map that gave our current location in relation to the doctor’s office. As we moved the dot moved, so I gave turn by turn directions. It was fun! And we got to the right place.

Then we went home and had dinner that included sauteed chard and onions. Yum! See you tomorrow.


6 Responses

  1. I enjoy your blog – been reading it for over a year and figured it was time to say “hello” and “thank you.”

  2. Those machines look fantastic. Once you’ve had the training, I hope you’ll report back! I’m wondering whether they automatically produce PDFs of the content, or whether the output need to undergo some kind of transformation.

  3. Hi Shari, I will report back. But I can already tell you they are supposed to do PDF. See http://www.cadcam.org/scanners/mekel/buy-mekel-mach-vi-vii-scanners.php

  4. Hi Ella, Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Feel free to comment any time.

  5. I found the info about digitising the microfilms interesting and the taco salad..wow was that a large amount of sour cream?

  6. It was. I really got carried away that particular Thursday. It should have been about half that.

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