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.

why I write for Blogcritics: reason #27

One of the Blogcritics writers was asking today about the site stats (3.5 million page views per month, if you’re interested), and another writer suggested using Alexa. That particular resource isn’t very accurate, but I found it interesting to compare what it considers to be the traffic number for Blogcritics with my own website. Eclecticlibrarian.net barely makes it on to the graph at this scale.

If you’re a writer and wanting to get more exposure to your work, Blogcritics is a great place to start.

Oh, and I forgot to do the round-up of what I wrote last month, so I’m going to do a July/August combo. Expect to see that shortly after I return from Dragon*Con early next month.

thinking like a user, not a librarian

I should have know that this would be the slippery slope that lead to… a wishlist.

I did something today that was revolutionary. Well, for me, anyway. I tagged an album on RateYourMusic that I do not own, nor have I ever owned. I tagged an album for my wishlist.

I have been treating RateYourMusic as a LibraryThing for music, which it pretty much is, without all the flair and design and integration that LT currently provides. My personal rule (a.k.a. thinking like a librarian) was that I would “catalog” what I owned, not what I wanted or had previously owned. That’s how I roll over at LT, and for my book collection, it makes a lot of sense.

My music collection, however, is much more fluid. I’m less likely to hang on to a CD once I’ve grown tired of it, so I regularly trade out “old” albums for “new” ones. A while back I started tagging albums as “used to own” rather than completely de-accessioning them. Because I’m regularly acquiring new music, I need to know what I’ve already evaluated and passed on, and this is one way to do that.

I should have know that this would be the slippery slope that lead to… a wishlist. Sure, I have wishlists all over the place, from Amazon to the various swap sites I participate in. However, RateYourMusic is supposed to be a catalog, right? And a library catalog doesn’t have wishlist items, right? (Well, unless you count those books that never show up from the publisher/jobber/vendor.)

This is the point at which I stopped thinking like a librarian and started thinking like a user. Having a wishlist mixed in with my have and use-to-have lists means it’s all in one, indexed collection. It feels freeing to let go of the “rules” that keep me from using all of the tools available to me!

#7

This book has been on my wishlist for so long I’ve forgotten why I wanted it in the first place.

Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip

Meh. I am so far behind on this challenge I’m just trying to see if I can read as many books as I did last year.

Solstice Wood has been on my wishlist for so long I’ve forgotten why I wanted it in the first place. However, I promised my copy to someone a while ago, so I decided today that I probably should read it and pass it along before it was too late. I’m glad I did.

The story pulls together the threads of the real world and the otherworld and creates something so intertwined that at times it’s hard to tell which is which. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of six characters, and the perspective shifts each time. Surprisingly, this does not disrupt the flow of the story, and only once or twice was it necessary for the timeline to back up in order to follow the new perspective from where it diverged from the previous one.

All in all, it’s a satisfying read and has a real-world message about relations between different groups of people with different cultures and motivations.

crossing this off my list

This isn’t really on the list, but I had to take time to write it anyway.

I’ve been struggling lately with feeling overwhelmed by everything I have to do, and not knowing where to start. I realized yesterday that I need to do something to organize my tasks and give me short enough goals to feel like I can accomplish useful things every day that will get big projects done.

I had a stack of professional literature on my desk that needed to be read and then routed on to the next person on the list. Since I get annoyed with my colleagues who hang onto routed journals for weeks and months, I started by browsing through them and reading the articles that caught my eye. One such article was Aaron Schmidt‘s Product Pipeline column in the NetConnect supplement to Library Journal. One of the shiny new tools he writes about is Ta-da Lists, a free online resource that allows you to create lists of things to do and check them off as they get done. As with any Web 2.0 gadget, each list can be shared with others and it also has an RSS feed.

In the afternoon, I spent some time catching up on my librarian blog reading. I’ve resolved to try to stay on top of my Bloglines subscriptions. Steven Cohen’s comment a couple of weeks ago about spending approximately an hour a day keeping up with his 600 feeds every day inspired me to try to keep on top of my 150+ more regularly, particularly since I was a week behind on reading them when I saw his post.

Part of my feed-reading catch-up yesterday included Jenica Roger’s Thinking Out Loud. Last week she wrote about her day in time increments, many of which involved adding and removing items from her to-do list. Her physical to-do list with space for doodling and concrete evidence that yes, something was accomplished today. I’ve never been much of a to-do list person, but something clicked when I read that post, and I found myself over at Ta-da Lists creating an account and making my first digital work-related to-do list.

So far today, I have had the pleasure of crossing off five items and adding two. In a way, my tasks and projects have become a sort of personal competition to see if I can clear off the list before the end of the week, and that is exactly the sort of motivation I’ve been looking for. A hearty thank you to Aaron, Steven, and Jenica for your inspiration!