Tag Archives: libday6

Library Day in the Life, Day 5

28 Jan

I am deeply glad I took part in this round of Library Day in the Life: it was great to reconnect with folks and make new connections, plus nothing gets you focused on your work quite like writing about it.

Today I knocked out a few more deep cuts from my inbox, which is now contains an absolutely absurd eight messages. A couple are personal stuff (“Medicate the dog!”), but about a half-dozen have to do with the work, mainly dealing with upcoming travel. I also waiting for a phone call to discussing such matters; seems like dealing with travel schedules will be my first priority next week, since I doubt I’ll get a complete handle on it before the end of today.

There’s also an email exchange I had with Erin Dorney about masculinity, male privilege, and librarianship that I’ve been meaning to turn into a blog post for about eight months. I should actually do that one of these days. On that topic…

This week has made me realize that I’m getting a better handle on things like committees and projects and presentations, but not at all on writing; specifically, writing for publication. (Not that I don’t love you, little blog.) I’ve gotten a few things published, but none of my current writing projects are going anywhere.

On one level, I know that the smart thing to do is just pick one and do it. (I seem to recall a great admonishment making the rounds recently that if you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities; sums up my writing efforts lately, that does.) On the other, I’m wondering if some kind of mentoring, either at CUL or through an organization like SLA, might not be something worth pursuing.

In any case, I had a great time this week capturing my work here, and on Twitter, and even on Flickr. I also really enjoyed following the #libday tag on Twitter and reading other folks’ blog posts about what they’ve been working on. I love this work, and I love this profession. Rawk on, people.

Day in the Life, Day 4.1

27 Jan

The Flickr image set is working.

Library Day in the Life, Day 4

27 Jan

Another day in which I’m only starting to write a blog post in the late afternoon. I did try to give a sense of my day through Twitter — along with the occasional digression of which I am irrationally proud — but I’ve also been trying to chronicle the day with pictures as well. (Please note: at the time of this writing, that photo set is brand new and almost completely unpopulated. I hope to rectify that situation sometime this evening. EDIT: It should be working now.)

With that in mind, here’s a summary (complete with dots sure to please the Deputy Ops):

  • Finished setting up my chat reference schedule for the semester. I am deeply grateful that the folks who have to keep those time slots filled were willing to be flexible; frankly, these people are awesome.
  • Took some time to read what other library folks have been writing about this week.
  • Emails, emails, emails.
  • An interlude, after a day of rest.
  • The first meeting of the Cornell University Library Archival Repository Policy Committee, which seems to have one more word in its title than it has members. Luckily, the members are righteous, the task is both important and engaging, and the meetings seem likely to occur in my library. There’s nothing but greatness there, people.
  • Back to my desk for my first full ref desk backup shift, which runs concurrently with my first ref chat shift at the new time. Nothing’s come in from the physical desk so far, but I got my first two chat questions nearly simultaneously. I managed not only to avoid shrieking in terror, but also to actually answer the questions.

Both ref shifts just finished, so I’m trying to wrap things up for the day. But I think the day may have wrapped things up without my prompting, so maybe I’ll just head home soon.

Library Day in the Life, Day 3

26 Jan

I decided to use Twitter for my LDitL contribution today. And by decided to, I mean I realized that I hadn’t actually been writing down the stuff I was doing anywhere else, so Twitter it is.

There was one item of note beyond my tweets, however: fans of two of the most widely read posts I’ve made will be happy to see this:

I’m sure I’ll be able to tie his return back to library science somehow.

Library Day in the Life, Day 2

25 Jan

It was a balmy 22° F this morning, and I managed to get myself moving enough to grab an earlier bus. Less to do today, but less time to do it in, so the early start is a boon.

Right off the bat, my calendar-generated task list is lighter:  write for 15 minutes, post to the SLA blog. Scanning for topics for the latter could be a good use for the time between more active stuff today.

The anchors to my schedule are the two times in which my day crosses over with the all-day interview being conducted for one of the library director candidates: his presentation at 9am, and his meeting with the entire staff at 3pm. I’ll endeavor to take decent enough notes in the former so as to ask questions a bit more nuanced than, “So, how about them digital projects?” at the latter.

The afternoon slot conflicts with my first reference desk shift of the semester, but I’ve received a special dispensation to go to the meeting. (Why yes, I am a former Catholic; why do you ask?) Which is the other item on my to-do list today, sadly unreflected in either my calendar or my inbox: work out my chat reference schedule for the semester. I need to get a sub for next week, and see if I can change around my weekly shift: it was perfect last semester, but doesn’t work well this semester. Hopefully, noting it here will prompt me to write the necessary emails later.

Now, off to the presentation.


Presentation was very interesting. Big turnout from throughout CUL, and a lot of good questions, too; I took some notes but decided not to ask my questions this morning, both to give them more time to percolate and to give more time to folks who wouldn’t get a second chance to sit down with the candidate.

Spent some time afterwards comparing notes with my Catherwood colleagues, and then it was off to my semi-daily interlude of heavy objects. Deadlifts being honestly inspirational, I realized that I should’ve posted about Library Day in the Life to the SLA Academic blog. Since there were still 3.5 days left in the week, I rectified my oversight after lunch. (And thus got to cross two items off of my task list.)

Since I was feeling on a roll, I sent out the emails about my reference chat schedule. I really enjoy those shifts, so I want to make sure they mesh well with my semester’s schedule, a decent portion of which is only now getting settled.

Hopefully, I’ll hear back about that this afternoon, and will have a chance to talk with my supervisor about some upcoming travel opportunities. But the second anchor of my day — the candidate’s meeting with the staffs of all three soon-to-be-consolidated libraries — is coming up fast. Need to get my questions in order, and maybe grab a chance to talk to a friend of mine who works down-campus; haven’t caught up with him in far too long.


Back, with a solid 15 minutes left to finish up this post!

The meeting was interesting, and the candidate gave some very good answers to some very tough questions. I managed to squeeze a couple in, about libraries creating digital resources and facilitating their creation by our constituents (nuance!), and about how the candidate runs meetings (pragmatism!). Felt like I left with a much stronger sense of what the candidate was bringing from his current position, and was impressed.

Wrapping up now, thinking about the bus and dinner and belly-dancing class. Have a good evening, all.

Library Day in the Life

24 Jan

Waking up to discover it’s -15° F is not a good start to a week. It didn’t impact my morning routine overmuch, though: coffee still got brewed, eggs scrambled, webcomics read. Taking the dog out was less fun for both of us, though, since it hurt me to breathe and him to walk. But we got by, and Nina and I both seemed able to stumble off to work in a reasonably effective manner. The bus was packed, which reminded me that classes started today; the lost-looking students confirmed it. I hope none of them freeze to death.

Got in, opened my calendar, and got my four to-do reminders for today:

  • Write for 15 minutes. The post you’re reading will cover that.
  • Post to SLA blog. Snooze for four hours. This is a weekly thing for me, and between what I’m writing now and other stuff I need to do today, I’ll probably wait until later in the week. Besides, I just posted there on Friday.
  • RefBlog editor. I get this duty about twice a semester, and when it comes up I’m responsible for 2-3 posts over the course of the week. I’ll try to get them all written up this morning, and schedule them to go live automatically today, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Clean out inbox. I do this three times a week. It never stays done. But it’s the first thing I’ll do today, since I’ve got 141 messages in there, 121 unread. Typical weekend, really.

Today’s meeting-free, which is a rarity. There will be a few later in the week — presentations from the first applicant for the library director gig, the first get-together of the Cornell University Library Archival Repository Policy committee on Thursday, etc. — but it’s damned light compared to the last two weeks and next week. Which means I actually need to use that time to do stuff.


So, I managed to get my inbox down to something manageable (fewer than 20!), and did some email support for a few folks who manage their own series in DigitalCommons@ILR; also followed up on a reference question for a former student. Wrote up two of three questions for the RefBlog, then realized that if I wanted to get to the gym before lunch, I needed to get going. (Those efforts are chronicled elsewhere.) I also managed to answer some questions for the Web & Digital Projects Group’s two student employees, who are awesome.

After lunch, I found myself briefly distracted by the glorious and profane comic alchemy that was the @MayorEmanuel Twitter feed in the aftermath of an appeals court decision that Rahm Emanuel was not actually eligible to run for mayor in Chicago. But I got myself back on track and wrote up that final RefBlog post.

We got new phones today, which is cool; unfortunately, they’re not working yet, and I need to return a call to California.


Phones working, so now I’m waiting for a return call. (Cross-country phone tag is the best kind.)  I’m very much looking forward to said call, though: it could mean a couple more opportunities to go somewhere and tell folks about what we’re doing here at Catherwood, and I love that stuff. Of course, it’s starting to look like I might be taking something like half a dozen library-related trips between now and the end of June, which could get kind of crazy. Luckily, most of them seem like they’ll be reasonably short, and only a couple of them are definite.


Coming in on the end of the day. It’s been much more about writing than about meetings, which was a nice change of pace. Plus, most of the writing I’ve been doing the past few weeks has been for the Digital Projects Assessment of our three soon-to-be-consolidated libraries, but I got what could be the final draft of that out to my fellow Collection Management Team members on Friday. I suppose that’s one more reply I’m waiting to harvest, but for now it’s freed me up to do other things.

Of course, I could argue that today was just a day in which I answered questions and had discussions via email and blogs rather than in person, and thus not really much of a change. Truth be told, you could distill a decent number of my days down to, “Answering questions and talking about digital library projects, with an interlude of lifting heavy objects.”

You know what? I am totally fine with that.