libday7: day 5

The day began with a mish-mash of sorting through email, updating my calendar, and other simple tasks like approving the time sheet for the one employee I supervise. I gave myself a little extra time to work through the email I had flagged for today. Fridays always end up with a pile of messages that are pending action from someone else or are things I didn’t consider urgent enough to get to earlier in the week.

physical representation of the virtual

Spent more time on the print journal holdings project. I am estimating another 10.5 hrs of work still needs to go into transferring and checking data, and it’s encouraging to see that the end may be as soon as next week. When I came to a stopping point, I set it aside for a few to take care of some journal renewal instructions that came through today (changing formats).

Pretty soon it was time to meet some folks from Information Services and the VP for lunch. I’d received a call this morning from her administrative assistant to see if I was available to join them. Apparently she does these lunches regularly, but this was my first. I’d planned on getting Boka Truck for lunch, but I can do that another time. Plus, can’t beat air conditioning on a day like today.

After lunch, I caught up on some social media feeds, then started back in on the print journal inventory project. Managed to get through a sheet or two before my calendar alerted me that it was time for 2-for-1 frappuccinos from the coffee shop attached to the library, so I gathered a small posse and went for an afternoon pick-me-up. Armed with caffeine and sugar, I delved back into the spreadsheets.

I was inspired for today’s daily photo, so I took a break from the spreadsheets to get out in the stacks. I think it turned out pretty well. Another break came a bit later with a small rubber band skirmish. The really big ones that ILL use are perfect for the 20″ or so space between my cube and my colleague’s cube.

With about a half hour left of my day, I decided to pause working on the project and clear out any remaining tasks in my inbox list. This included requesting pricing for an online reference book and investigating why the URLs for recently migrated Gale databases were not showing up in the list of URLs associated with our account. Final item on the to-do list was investigating why a faculty member could not download a dissertation but we can. I could not replicate it, and I think it’s user error.

Called it a day and headed on into the weekend. Yee-haw!

libday7: day 4

Began the day by going through the handful of email messages that arrived overnight, with half of them being links to articles shared by colleagues. Then I fired up iTunes and started in on the print journal inventory project again.

Made some progress with the project, but then it was time to pick up tickets for Busch Gardens (they send us there every year as a benefit and to shut down campus for half a day). When I got back from that, I finished up the spreadsheet page I was working on and then did odds and ends until I had to leave for an early lunch.

After my early lunch and at the time I would normally be at lunch, I worked a two hour shift at the reference/circulation/information desk to cover for a colleague who was originally scheduled then. It was really quiet, with a few folks coming up to check out books and some parents with prospective students wandering through. Had one emeritus faculty member who was quite upset to learn we’d withdrawn a couple of history journals he liked to browse and photocopy. They’re in JSTOR and in the “what to withdraw” tool from Ithaka, so we figured we were covered for about 99.9% of the folks who’d want them. Did not take into account emeritus faculty who do not use computers.

Spent some time after the desk going through Twitter, reading librar* articles shared by colleagues there. And retweeting a few myself. Also cracked open my afternoon Coke Zero. Ahhh…

The only item left for today’s email inbox to-do list was to add a new eresource to the website. We’d acquired it a few weeks ago, and I’ve just been waiting for the subject librarian to send me the description she wanted to use. Got it late yesterday and bumped it to today’s task list.

Up next was going through the stack of eresource invoices that appeared on my chair while I was at lunch. I check to see if they’ve been paid already and if they’re on the cancellation list before either verifying with the subject librarian that they want to renew or giving them to my assistant to pay if I’ve already received renewal instructions. Some publishers send invoices well in advance, some only 30 days (or less) before the renewal date. I try to get renewal instructions from the librarian in advance of the license deadline, which varies from resource to resource.

This took me up to the end of the day, or at least the part where I leave to go sweat in the gym for a while.

libday7: day 3

The day began with sorting through the new email messages that arrived since yesterday, flagging actionable items with due dates, responding to those that could be done quickly, and deleting the irrelevant stuff.

Then I began to work my way through the to-do list, starting with verifying which ebook publisher licenses we have set up in GOBI and if any others need to be added. I tried to do this yesterday, but my login wouldn’t work. But, now that I’m in, I think I need admin rights to see them, so once again it’s on hold.

getting over the afternoon slump

Being thwarted in that, I dug back into an ongoing summer project — adding holdings years and correcting holdings errors for print journals in our OpenURL knowledgebase. I was lucky to have a floater assigned to me long enough to get the physical inventory done, and now it’s a matter of checking on anomalies (physical holdings but no catalog record, no physical holdings but with a catalog record, and neither physical holdings nor a catalog record but still listed in KB) and entering the holdings years into a spreadsheet that gets uploaded to the KB. I’m also adding location information, since we currently house print journals in four locations on campus, as well as adding notes about shelved-as titles.

Since I was on a roll with this project today after nearly a week of being distracted by other tasks, I decided to stick with it after lunch. I’m at 55% completed and I was hoping to have it done by mid-August, which will require a bit more diligence than I’ve given it for the past couple of months.

I had a brief afternoon interlude with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a can of Coke Zero. Ahh…

I also paused to help a friend who is tech support at a medical non-profit in town. She was trying out their new remote desktop support service, so I let her take over my computer for a brief moment. Hope that was kosher with campus IS, but I figured it was for a good cause, and librarianly of me to aid in someone’s information needs.

Then it was back to the spreadsheets and the data and the ZOMG WILL THIS EVER END.

Hit a stopping point and decided to use the last 15 min of my day to wrap this post up and catch up on some professional reading.

libday7: day 2

Started off the day by going through the email that accumulated over the weekend and while I was out yesterday. Most of it was junk or informational only, but a few actionable items included some renewals and a renewal that the overseas publisher did not appear to receive from our subscription agent.

This was followed by writing up my libday7 summary for yesterday, and starting this post. Then I began to tackle the to-do list.

We keep track of eresource renewals both in our ILS and in a spreadsheet that includes last year’s price, the anticipated increase, and the actual amount paid as the invoices come in throughout the year. This helps us know if we will be on target for the budget or if we need to make adjustments. I’m not concerned about doing the same for serials, in part because that would be insanely cumbersome to manually update, as we have to do with this tool. However, I am interested in keeping track of our continuations, particularly as they tend to be standing orders with no rhyme or reason to when issues will be published/delivered/invoiced.

So, that being said, I spent some time figuring out how to query our ILS to create a report of continuations paid this fiscal year with their amounts and invoice dates, as well as generating a list of continuations and their fund codes. My skills with Access queries are limited, so this involved crashing the program several times, but eventually I got something that may be useful.

Over the middle part of the day, web services librarians from around the area met here to share projects, and I got a few ideas of things I need to take care of here. It’s always good to share with colleagues.

In the afternoon, I spent some time doing some things that I really don’t like about my job, but they’re necessary. I tell myself that it’s not perfect, but it’s better than it could be (and has been), so like a wise woman once told me, “you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life.”

With that done, I moved on to more pleasant things, like finding a list of Oxford Digital Reference Shelf URLs to make sure they’re properly set up in EZproxy. This list either does not exist, does not exist in an Excel-friendly format, or I couldn’t find it. Luckily, I found a work-around by sending folks to the titles in the Oxford Reference Online, which has proxy-friendly URLs.

With the day almost done, I assessed the items on my to-do list and bumped several to tomorrow. Finished this post and called it a day.

libday7: day 1

This was an odd day for me. Several of us loaded up in a van and two cars to go visit some of the libraries at the University of Virginia. We were mainly interested in how they are using the spaces, and in the renovations that have happened over the past 15-20 years.

By the end of the day, we had toured parts of Alderman Library, Brown Science & Engineering Library, Clemons Library, and the Scholar’s Lab in Alderman. We also spent some time with University Librarian Karin Wittenborg, who is responsible for raising funds and advocating for most of the renovations. It was an eye-opening, educational experience. And an exhausting one.

McGregor Room in Alderman Library
cell phone quiet booth
replacement for formerly staffed service desk
creativity in the Scholar's Lab