library day in the life – day 5

All right! I looked at the clock at 6:44 this morning. Much better than the last few days.

By 8am I’m at my desk testing a few Voyager reports to see if they’ll provide decent information for my colleague’s class assignment. One looks decent; the other crashes. I’m using a 3rd party software to run the reports because it is straightforward and simple when the reports actually run. Unfortunately, the one that crashed has a lot of ifs, ands, and buts because it’s dealing with non-print materials and 40 years of interesting machine-readable cataloging.  Creating multiple Access reports in an attempt to  to get the needed data could be a futile process, and this would have to be low on my list since it’s not a work-related request. But, just to make sure I wasn’t off the mark I headed to the 5th floor to chat with one of the catalogers. My activities for the day:

  • consulted with the cataloging folks upstairs about locations and MARC coding on the records for the type of material I’m attempting to track down. Our conclusion: too many variables and too much time with potentially sketchy results
  • investigated  journal selection criteria for A&I databases based on my to-do list from yesterday’s meeting; created a spreadsheet in google docs that our staff can share
  • reviewed a tenure/reappointment portfolio to offer comments on content and format for one of our year-4 faculty members who needs to submit it for review soon
  • worked on my UPP (unclassified performance plan, aka goals) for 2012, which must be submitted by the end of the month
  • IM Ref from 2-4pm

And so ends another week of Library Day in the Life Project.

day in the life – day 4

Here we go again. 6:40am. At my desk. I really didn’t want to wake up at 4:44. This is getting tiring…

Oh, and my heat conked out yesterday. Overnight, the indoor temp fell to 59. Fortunately, temperatures have been around 60 outside, but everything changes tonight. Winter returns and the highs will stay mostly in the 40s for the next 10 days. I definitely want my heat working!

But on to Library Day in the Life.  You get the quick round up today:

  • verified data sources for my content development colleague to back up the figures a vendor has requested
  • compared the ARL Stats collection subscription with ARL Statistics Interactive (which we have) – would we need both? Ran a couple of sample reports for the dean and assistant dean
  • coffee break with colleague Lisa. We both have daughters getting married this year so we’re comparing notes  : )
  • attended a meeting to discuss abstract & indexing options and resources for our open access journals; this is in preparation for a meeting with two specific editors next week but will serve as basis for all our journals
  • added the missing piece of data I received for our reporting data; did not need the big guns after all ; )
  • responded to a colleague about various library stats she needs for a class she is taking
  • read the charge for a User Experience Team that is seeking members from amongst the staff.  You know me & web stuff – love it! Will have to talk to the bosses about the time commitment
  • ate lunch at my desk and worked on this entry because I need to leave about 1ish – the heating guys will be at the house this afternoon. Ouch. I’m afraid to hear what they might uncover. Can you say $$$

day 3 – library day in the life

You must be bored by now, right?  You can probably guess how my day started… email, calendar, rss. Unfortunately, it started earlier than I planned. Again. My internal alarm went off at 4:45 and I laid in bed, tossed and turned. Sleep did not find me. I crawled out of bed at 5:30 and padded into the kitchen to turn off the crock pot. Tonight’s dinner will be veggie soup.

6:50am At work. Computer on. Connected to the VPN so I could run several Voyager acquisitions reports.

I volunteered to take Lisa’s 9am IM Ref shift this morning. She had a conflict. We have a cool “Trades Bazaar” blog where requests for Help Desk & IM trades are posted. It saves inundating staff inboxes with email requests. We use email for last minute trades, so that isn’t too painful.

I started to feel zombie-like around 8:30 so I decided it was time to make a pot of coffee. Got logged into LibStats and the web chat login. Coffee brewed, poured. Aaahhhh….

I tackled a bit of light reading while waiting for a question or two: Elsevier boycott, thoughts on Google. I  did a quick look at CDC’s new Disability and Health Data System (via Research Buzz)–forwarded that to our data services librarian. Did you know the Congressional Record has an iPad app?

10am Email exchange with NASIG ECC members to explore setting up a test link for CPC’s conference registration page. Oh the power of the collective group think! Sent the test info link to CPC, then documented the process in our ECC manual.

Fielded a question from Content Development staff about a vendor who was arguing about our student FTE. They claimed it was higher than the number we provided, which is information I collect annually from the university Office of Planning & Analysis. I imagine they had enrollment figures rather than FTE but it still irks me.

1:00pm Back from lunch. Time to open the ACRL survey. I had to resend a message to 1 colleague who hasn’t sent me data I’ve requested two previous times. May have to call in the big guns. : )  Shot off another question to university Planning & Analysis about full- and part-time grads & undergrads. Had to close up before I had a chance to review new questions that have been added. I’ll save those for tomorrow if I have a chance to work on it.

3:00pm Reference training series – IM tips and best practices + JING.

4:10pm Headed to Radina’s to work on chapter 1 of the novel. Writers group tomorrow night will get to hear the opening unless Cathy is still sick.

day in the life – day 2

Day 2

I’m in the office at 7:30, flipped one switch but not the other to get the computer booted. I stared at it for a minute before thinking I did it again…   It seems like it takes almost 10 minutes to get everything set for the day. Firefox takes forever to come up. (You know, if it’s longer than 10 seconds, that’s forever.)

Quick scan of email and the calendar.  Two priorities for the day (so far): 1) send an email to my NPP journals editors about the upcoming downtime; and 2) work on my comments for the ballot from yesterday’s tenure/reappointment meetings.  I volunteered to take a sick colleague’s IM Ref shift for the afternoon.

8am  Reviewed draft of the email to NPP editors that I forgot to mention I started yesterday.  It seems odd that as site admin I can’t click a button that will allow me to grab editors of all our journals and email them. (Maybe I’m missing something?) I can go to their individual journals and do this, but I don’t want to send 8 separate messages. I reviewed the user guide one more time just to ensure the option doesn’t exist. Nope, can’t do it. The message will get sent from my work email.

Of course, while I’m looking at the user guide, I spotted something else I plan to do. Scope creep could easily set in… Not today.  Investigating the COUNTER stats plugin (and Google Analytics) is on my 2012 goals list.

The daily campus ‘bulletin’ arrived via email so I scanned the headlines and decided to read the university president’s monthly letter. He discusses welcome changes to the hiring processes, including a lift of the hiring freeze and streamlined procedures. It will be interesting to see how these impact our own searches.

9:00 Worked on my comments for the reappointment ballots.

9:40 Ballots delivered. Stopped by my old departments, grabbed another cup of coffee. Back to the office. I realized I haven’t added my name to the library day in the life wiki, so I logged in there but can’t edit because others are working on it.

9:45-11:30 Worked on the outline and started jotting notes down for my NASIG paper/presentation. Shared outline with co-writer/presenter. I realized I will be picking other co-workers brains when I need to describe organizational changes.

11:30 Checked some RSS feeds, including a couple of friends doing #libday8 here, here, and here. Reading about Apple’s Textbook Strategy (which has also been a hot topic for indie fiction writers),

we christened this 'the David' because David L always orders it

11:45 Weekly lunch at CocoBolos. Stacked enchiladas today. Yum.

1:05 Responded to a ‘how many FTE’ question from Casey in Content Development. Showed him how to find that answer for himself on the Intranet.

NPP troubleshooting. Email exchange with one of our journal editors. A missing PDF from a current table of contents has re-appeared. Last week, I’d sent the editor the resolution I found when I routed through the PKP support forums. Apparently, clicking on the file in the galley did the trick. She didn’t have to delete and reload the file. Nice. I like endings like that.

Gave up trying to edit the LibDay8 wiki. Will try again another day.

Started reviewing the last couple of hours of LibStats to prepare for my 2-4pm shift on IM.

2-4pm IM Ref shift. Read a few blog posts. Worked on reference DOIs from one of our journals. I’ve finished all the current issues. I’ll start tackling the archival volumes another day.

I learned that LexisNexis Statistical DataSets is now called Proquest Statistical DataSets when I had to answer an IM about demographics. Duh. Explained how to do a boolean search with phrases in quotation marks in AGRICOLA for another student. Pretty quiet IM shift overall.

I used the quiet time to search the PKP support forums for information on the citation markup assistant. I’m experimented with it on our test journal, and it isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do. Hrmph! I’ll take a look at that again tomorrow.

4:20 Time to close up shop. My head hurts.

library day in the life, round 8

It’s time for the Library Day in the Life Project.

Background: I have 2 jobs: I’m the Library Data Coordinator and the Coordinator of Electronic Publishing, New Prairie Press (NPP), at a large academic library. The data coordinator position was created out of our reorganization in 2010.  I’m consolidating reporting activities, creating a master query database & associated documentation, running the annual statistics, providing requested acquisitions, circulation, & accreditation reports, and completing external surveys such as the ACRL Academic Library Statistics.

As the site admin for NPP, I manage the back end of our library’s open access publishing initiative. I work with the editors of the 8 journals (with 2 more in the works) that we host. I troubleshoot, manage our CrossRef activities, suggest and/or provide enhancements to the journals, create documentation, consult as needed, and will have new goals for 2012 including preparing an MOA for new journals we may host.

Day 1

Lucky me. I woke up 5:45am, 30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. Sigh. I decided to get to the office early, so I arrived just before 7am with my coffee in hand.  Checked email, library rss feeds, tweets, and FB. Pushed a link from NASIG’s FB page to our LinkedIn group (one of my responsibilities as vice co-chair of NASIG’s Electronic Communications Committee (ECC)).

I also checked my calendar and task list to determine if anything needed to be pushed to a high priority. One email was a request for 2 Voyager reports, so that was added to the day’s to-do list. I prepped for my 8am IM Reference shift, which included reading through earlier shifts Q&As.

8-9 IM Ref.  The 8am shift is usually quiet. Usually. Which means trying to find work that I can do with the potential for interruptions. That usually means reading. I scanned some of my RSS feeds and pulled up my notes for my 9am meeting and answered 1 reference question. My IM relief was online 10 minutes early so I wasn’t late for the 9am gathering.

9-10:30ish Tenure/Reappointment meeting.  We reviewed 3 candidates who are in year 1 of the tenure process. I have to type up my ballots and turn those in by Wednesday afternoon.

Ran the 2 requested Voyager reports.

NASIG’s ECC manages the website, including announcements (What’s New on the home page), calendar updates, the NASIG  Blog & Facebook pages.  I am mainly in charge of webspinner activities but occasionally have listserv duty.

N&E co-chair emailed a document that needed to be replaced on the website. Finished that and gave a head’s up to our web folks about upcoming announcements concerning the election.  There was another email about a typo on one of the conferences pages. I forwarded that to the program and conference planning co-chairs who are working on those pages.

12:15-1:15 Lunchtime. Worked on my novel.

1:30-4 Worked on email to 2 NPP editors regarding the works-cited DOIs I’ll be adding to articles they’ve published. I’d used a query form provided by CrossRef to search for the DOIs last week, but wanted to get the most recent issues of both journals done before I actually added the DOIs. I was preparing the email to one editor when I discovered they’d published a new issue in the last few days. So I had to pull the references from the newly-published PDF to run against CrossRef – it’s a highly convoluted process that I’m hoping to place in the editors’ production workflow in the near future, rather than as an afterthought that as site admin I need to do.  Anyway…that done, I prepared and shipped out my emails to the editors. I’ll give them a couple of days before I edit the article metadata to add the references.

Speaking of NPP, our systems admin stopped by to discuss the upcoming OJS upgrade. We’re going from version 2.3.4 to 2.3.6 and hoping that downtime will be minimal and that nothing breaks.

Played with our Primo installation, which will be going live soon. Signed in and saved some articles & books to my ‘e-shelf.’ Emailed some citations to myself; exported a bunch to RefWorks (super-easy); set up an rss feed for one search I did (for my interest in the 3rd Crusade and related personalities).

Scooted out of the office shortly after 4pm and headed to Radina’s Coffeehouse to work on the novel. Making decent progress.

reading [email], writing, vacations, & inspiration…

Remember this day. Well not today, but Saturday, January 21, 2012.  I began the revisions on my novel, willing myself to complete them in 3 months. Oh my…what have I gotten myself in to?

A lot of my colleagues just returned from ALA Midwinter in Dallas. Conference rooms, meetings, and networking! Oh my!

I went to Savannah. For a vacation. : )

It was the first week of classes, so the emails and new meetings appointments started to fly. This was one trip where I didn’t attempt to check email regularly, so I spent the first couple of days back at work wading through and prioritizing  hundreds of them.

chicken pot pie

I suppose one must suffer through this task after enjoying fried green tomatoes and chicken pot pie from Lady & Sons, and shrimp from Uncle Bubba’s.

And I can’t forget my friend’s wonderful cooking and Southern hospitality!

Nothing like walking on a beach in the middle of January and seeing the folks back home reporting  temperatures well below freezing and snow…

Nothing like sleeping in late and not having to leave the house ’til lunchtime.

On that note, my stomach is starting to growl. It’s writers group night, which I almost always begin by heading out for supper, finding a WIFI spot, and working on my writing. Tonight, I am hoping to share the revisions I’ve made to the opening of my novel. It’s only about 500 words, but it’s drastically different than my first draft. Can’t wait to get their critiques!

Oh…inspiration…check out the post on my fiction blog: