Communication: the information exchange

A post or two back, I indicated that I’d report my efforts to blog my day-to-day activities to my staff.  Well, I did it.  What struck me is that my department has actually had a form of this ‘report’ for the last several years.  We call it the “Information Exchange.”  Info exchanges are usually sent via email to dept. members the day before our regular dept. meetings.  We’ve been using this to cut down the length of our meetings.  The reports cover committee, team, and individual activities, and are usually (but not always) written by the team leaders. They are included in the minutes of our dept. meetings, too.

So…. it’s obvious that the blog can easily replace the email.  I’ve actually been remiss the last few years and have not sent my info exchanges via email.  I’ve just spent a few minutes at the dept. meeting covering items of interest.  In my first post, called “From the CSDH” (CatSerDeptHead), I probably went into a lot more detail than reported minutes of a meeting would capture.  I’ll be interested to see if I get any feedback from my staff.

Here’s my update, with a few minor edits for this public audience:

There is some very thoughtful commentary in this post related to change:

The pertinent parts I want to point out are slightly past the halfway point, in the sentence that begins “So where do we go from here?”   Read it.  These are things we’ll be talking about in the coming months!
We’ve talked a lot in the last year or two about communication. I guess this is my Information Exchange. I wanted to let you know what your dept. head is up to!

Meetings. Many meetings. (Okay, you already knew that.) Last week, there was space planning, annual tenure & promotion workshop, library leadership (LLC), Brian Hawkins of Educause (separate meeting with LLC), lecture by Dr. Hawkins, LLC meeting with Maureen Sullivan (discussing the ACRL/Harvard leadership institute), open forum for the performing arts librarian candidate, and a meeting with a publisher rep.

The one topic space planning meeting was exciting. We had a fantastic exchange with K-State seniors whose project was to redesign the 2nd floor. The students decided to look beyond that and took on the whole library. With limited information, they came up with some wonderful ideas.  The 2nd hour of that meeting covered potential options for moving IT folks together, providing them with a more convenient customer service space on the main floor of the library. That opens up space for library staff offices, potential classroom space, and consolidation of services. The discussion was a good primer for Dr. Hawkins’ lecture on Wednesday. He discussed the cost of duplicating efforts (teaching, IT, library resources/services, etc.) on university campuses – a model that higher ed cannot continue to sustain.

The CatSer management team also met last week: we’re having some weird things happen with bib records we’re attempting to reload from BackStage. Diacritics issues. And some MARCive records have weirdly formatted 035 fields: they have a double “ocmocm….”, which means they will be a problem when the full records are brought in – no overlay! Agh!

Other things I did:

  • Addressed questions on the library summary statistics and reviewed the draft documentation. We’re trying to finalize our FY06 numbers. The Management Team will be reviewing the documentation in October so we can ensure we’re pulling data from all the right places!
  • Reviewed my final draft of an external review for a librarian going up for tenure at another institution, then signed and prepped it for mailing
  • Turned in my self evaluation to the dean
  • Updated the News blog with info on Banned Books Week and prepared a draft of the Faculty and Staff Achievements post, which went live today
  • Posted the dept.’s annual report
  • Paid invoices and reviewed at least one license agreement

My NASIG work has begun to pick up: the board worked on revisions to an MOU (which meant a phone call to the president & numerous emails to the program planning committee (PPC) co-chairs & the board)and reviewed a travel reimbursement policy. I drafted a site selection committee article for the Newsletter. I’m also reviewing the PPC manual and need to take another look the at committee appointments process manual. Yes, it takes a whole 20 page manual to describe how to fill vacancies on NASIG’s 21 committees! As VP, it will be my job in the spring to fill all our committee slots. Throughout the year, I work as liaison to the PPC and to the Newsletter, so I have to keep on top of their activities. (It sure helps that I was Newsletter editor for 4 years!) And I’m on the site selection committee for NASIG conferences in 2008 and 2009.

This week: university dept. heads roundtable breakfast on Tuesday morning; LLC in the afternoon. CatSer dept. meeting on Wednesday.  I’ll be off to CULS (College and University Libraries Section/KLA) meeting on Thurs. & Friday in Salina. Many of your colleagues are presenting at CULS. (See that info on the News blog.) I’m also glad to see that a few CatSer folks are going to CULS, too!

That’s all for this round!


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