Tag Archives: library day in the life

Two Day 2 haiku for #libday8

31 Jan

Questions, answers, goals.
Meeting for Leadership Group.
Home, TheraFlu, bed.

Short day, short blog post.
Will tomorrow be better
Or merely longer? 


Apologies to Josh and Tom Clausen at Mann for stepping on their form.

Day 1 of #libday8

30 Jan

Two confessions: I’m writing this Tuesday morning because Monday was busy as hell, and I came back from Atlanta with a nasty cold so blame any incoherence on the TheraFlu.

Well, at least any extra incoherence.

So, what made Monday so busy:

  • Got in by 8, spent an hour sorting through the several hundred emails that were waiting for me post-trip. Got the inbox down under ten, and the to-do list down under twenty. Addressed some low-hanging fruit, like confirming a meeting with a faculty member about digital projects, discussing the orientation of our new ILR reference librarian regarding same, setting up a meeting with our collection development librarian, etc.
  • Took a short sanity break with some barbells.
  • Got back in time for a meeting with the search committee I’m on. During said meeting, we SPOILER REDACTED SPOILER REDACTED SPOILER REDACTED
  • Seriously, y’all don’t expect me to talk about a search committee meeting, right?
  • Lunch!
  • Got back in time for what was supposed to be a conference call discussing an upcoming digitization projects, which helpfully turned into an email exchange. This gave me more time to…
  • …talk on the phone with the UNYSLA treasurer about reimbursements for the Leadership Summit, and setting up payments for our own upcoming events.
  • …confirm with the rest of the Reference and Outreach Committee the radical rescheduling of our February events that I arranged for while traveling last week.
  • …talk to an SU iSchool student who wants to interview me for a class.
  • …finish work on something for this week’s meeting of the Consolidated Libraries Leadership Group.
  • …get most of the way through my write-up of the 2012 goals for the Digital Projects Group.
  • Whew.
  • The last task was cut short because I needed to head to a meeting of the Public Services Executive Committee, discussing a possible revamp of same. That meeting was quite engaging, and took me through to the end of the day.

Then I went home, and took me some damn TheraFlu. The circle is now complete.

Library Day in the Life, Round 7, Day 3 (no, seriously, I can count)

28 Jul

I’m on vacation.

But, since we’re not leaving town until this afternoon and I didn’t get a chance to catablog* yesterday, I’ll write up Day 3 on Day 4… starting with the end of Day 2. I am not bound by your bourgeoisie linear time.

The meeting Tuesday afternoon went really well, though there was a moment when I worried that my copyright concerns would doom someone to a truly onerous workflow, despite their coming to us for help. Luckily, Steve had a great idea, the web team ran with it, I nodded and cracked jokes at appropriate times, and we left with a plan that’d give everyone less to do and cause fewer potential problems for the library and school. Can’t ask for better than that.

Wednesday started, as my days tend to, with emails. Once that was done, I spent most of the rest of the morning on the DigitalCommons@ILR survey. I got some great feedback from my supervisor Suzanne, and I figured out how to use Qualtrics to make a survey with a number of opt-out sections. I may be able to get it up and running in the repository as early as next week.

I had two meetings in the afternoon, which wouldn’t have been a problem if they weren’t scheduled concurrently. I decided to skip the CUL Archival Repository policy group meeting in favor of an all-staff meeting to discuss changes to vacation reporting policy. I think it was the right call; the changes are such that my ignorance could make things rough for both the person I supervise and the person who supervises me, and since I’ve cited both of them as being awesome in this very blog post you can understand why I wouldn’t want that to happen. (Also, my totally hypothetical friend who hasn’t handed in a leave slip since March or so totally got reminded to address that, and handed in his totally hypothetical leave slip just before he left on his totally hypothetical vacation. Which was, hypothetically speaking, included on said leave slip.)

Penultimately, my various and sundry #libday7 questions about iPads paid off when I submitted a purchase request for one. I’m hoping it’ll make traveling a saner thing for me come Spring, but it’ll also cut down on me taking handwritten notes during meetings that I can only pray not to lose, and texting items for my to-do list to my email account. Also, it will be shiny.

Finally, I spoke on the phone with Cory Lampert at UNLV, with whom I’ll be writing a book chapter. We sorted out when to set our deadlines for finishing the chapter outline — not to mention for turning in our first draft — and where to collaborate (Google Docs, of course). I’m very much looking forward to writing this Fall; if all goes well, I can see settling into a “Fall is for writing, Spring is for presenting” kind of thing in the future.

And as soon as I say that, I laugh, because nothing ever works out that smoothly. But hopefully, any bumps in the road up to the lakehouse where our friends are already waiting for us won’t be too bad.

See y’all next week.

* It’s a word, now.

Library Day in The Life, round 7, Day 2

26 Jul

I had a tough time getting up and going this morning; luckily, I know where to go when I need a little more fight.

The first part of my morning was email, email, email. Gmail’s new inbox-sorting options makes the triage process easy enough that I can probably start doing it more frequently. (Not that I’m going to eschew my calendar reminders; some tasks, it really helps to be hounded.)

In any case, I’ve signed up for a couple of workshops and webinars (RDA and data curation), and gotten a helpful bit of news: both groups who’d been considering presenting during our August Reference and Outreach Forum have asked if they could move to a time later in the Fall. This will not only make our Fall programing easier, it means we can drop the August Forum (which usually only happens if folks need to get word out about something prior to the semester’s start) and focus the R&O Committee’s energies for the next month on orientation.  (Which merits it, just a bit.)

I also got in some correspondence with the co-author of the first book chapter I’m working on this fall, and started putting together the DigitalCommons@ILR survey I mentioned yesterday. I even took a little time to lift something heavy.

This afternoon, it’s a meeting to put together new workflows and support software for the news service the ILR School runs to highlight faculty members who’ve been cited as experts by the media. The set-up we have now is problematic and far from efficient, but I think we’re going to put together something excellent that’ll inform the revamping of other services in coming months.

After that, it’s prepping for tomorrow’s meeting of the CULAR policy group, checking up on and/or editing various pieces of the orientation puzzle, and keeping track of the Internet Duel of the Century.

Keep bringing the hits, Mr. Mustafa.

Library Day in the Life, Round 7, Day 1

25 Jul

I still function.

It’s gonna be a short Library Day in the Life week for me, as I’m on vacation Thursday and Friday. Luckily, I think I can pack a lot into the three days I have, starting with what I’ve been working on so far this summer.

I’m on more than a few, both at Catherwood and the larger Cornell University Library.

  • The library consolidation project’s Collection Management Team just turned in the final version of its Digital Projects Assessment last month, a chunk of writing I was given primary responsibility for last fall.
  • I’m now one of the co-chairs of CUL’s Reference and Outreach Committee, and I’m on the Get Started! Working Group; this means I have two levels of responsibility for next month’s new student orientation events. August’s gonna be crazy. It will probably involve video. I’ll totally post as much stuff as I can here.
  • The work of the Cornell University Library Archival Repository’s policy group continues apace, work that will certainly have repercussions in what I do here at Catherwood.

If all goes well, my future will involve writing lots of grant proposals. That’s gonna be a very new experience for me, so I’ve been meeting with folks at and around Cornell who have more experience. Been making connections, subscribing to email lists and RSS feeds, and making big lists of potential leads. The fall will probably see me playing mix-and-match between those leads and the stuff in “The Future” section of the aforementioned Digital Projects Assessment.

ILR School Projects
Spent a decent chunk of time over the last few weeks helping folks within the School smooth out wrinkles that’d developed in some of the projects they do in partnership with Catherwood. I think the projects in question will be better off after we’re done, and hopefully I’ll be able to apply what we’re developing to other library endeavors.

Beyond the day-to-day repository operation, I’m looking to embed a survey tool into the site and the documents it contains. Nothing too annoying, I hope; just enough to give us even more insight into our users. CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT, BABY.

Social Media
Been thinking a lot about this when not directly working on something else, especially taking our news service and delivering it through Twitter in addition to RSS and email. Oh, and I’m on Google+, like so many of the rest of you. :)

The conference was very cool, though I felt like the benefit from networking was far greater than the benefit from programming, much more so than with stuff like CiL. Maybe it was just that I hadn’t been to an SLA before; it’s probably not fair to compare SLA #1 to CiL #4. And the networking was, really, really good, especially hanging out with the folks from SLA Academic and CIRL.

I’ve made it a goal to get my publish on come Fall, and it actually seems to be going well. I put in two proposals for book chapters in the last two weeks, and both editors came back asking for rough drafts over the next few months. Rawk. Now I just have to write the damned things; luckily, I’m co-authoring the first one due.

So, that’s what’s been going on with me in the last few weeks, leading to today… which, well, mainly involved answering emails about the stuff above and then writing this post. (And its sibling post over at SLA Academic.) After this gets posted, I’m going to prep for a meeting I’m having tomorrow about one of those ILR School projects. I’m trying to make a habit of scheduling in a meeting prep session the day before any meeting; it makes my schedule even busier, but it seems to be paying off thus far.

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

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.