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31 Jul 2009 / Julie

this librarian life: round 3 (the rest of the week)

Welcome to Part Two of the second annual Library Day in the Life! Check out the post that started it all and add yourself to the wiki if you join in on the fun. You can also read the first part of round 3 where i did a more substantial run through and check out Rounds 1 and two.

My job as Statewide Coordinator for Maryland’s VR service, Maryland AskUsNow!, is never the same day to day. There are always new challenges to take on, new ideas to flesh out, and new reports to run.

Tuesday, July 28th

  • got to the office by 7.45. usually work from home on Tuesdays but i’d be out Wed and Thurs.  finished prepping for tomorrow’s new staff training. did some css coding (more like got lost in css coding).
  • didn’t open my email until 10.30- had it zero’d out by 11. fielded some technical glitch questions, defended democracy, promised people cookies, and followed up on tomorrow’s training.
  • was “on call” for InfoEyes questions coming in. InfoEyes is a question and answer service for people with a visual impairment or other print limitation. Maryland AskUsNow!, the MD Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and 10 other libraries from various other states participate in providing service for InfoEyes.
  • sorted out more of our highlighter shipment and calculated our partner institution’s post-it note allocation
  • started working on a custom design for a magnet going to each of the finalists in our Staff Support Website re-naming contest
  • tried to figure out how much $ we’ll have left at the end of our grant (not much) so i can hopefully buy more highlighters
  • was able to IM with Andy and set up our librarian double date (his wife is a librarian and my bf is an archivist). somehow i feel like the idea of a “librarian double date” is one of those things that can cause the end of the world- like crossing the streams, ghostbusters style. :-)

Wednesday July 29th

Was able to sleep in today until 6.30. had my usual “what do i wear to training” issue and was out the door at 8. picked up lunches at Panera Bread and headed over to training in Anne Arundel County.

8:30-9:30 set up for training. 9:30am training starts. I trained 8 librarians from Montgomery County Public Library, Baltimore County Public Library, University of Maryland College Park, Stevenson University, Harford Community College, and Montgomery College on AskUsNow!. These newest members to the AskUsNow! family learned the QuestionPoint software and behavior skills for virtual reference.

In the middle of training i get an urgent message from our grant supervisor asking for our (now late) MFR (Managing For Results) documentation. During a self-guided activity i was able to re-email it to her. Fires don’t stop just because you’re out of the office. :-)

2.30pm- training ends. Technically training is supposed to run until 4pm but this is the second time i’ve ended REALLY early. One theory is that the more trainings i do it the faster i go. Theory #2 is that as more people in the state are trained, this isn’t totally new to anyone. Theory #3 is that i forgot something; but i nixed that one since i’m 100.6% sure i didn’t forget anything. Need to add more activities to the training. Perhaps i’ll start using the old “How would you answer” game.

During this training i also learned to label my lunch boxes when i put them in the staff kitchens when i train… i had 10 cookies in the morning and by the time i got back to set up for lunch, i had 2.5 left. I should know better; librarians love cookies. :-)

i’m in my home office by 3 and sort through work email which luckily didn’t pile up during the day.

at 7.30 i watched my niece perform in Annie. i was unable to get to NJ for the event so they set up a live stream for me so the bf and i could watch from the comfort of my home office.  rock on! Why don’t we do this for library programs?

Thursday July 30th

today i participated in the Handheld Librarian Conference from home. i’m lucky in that i get to work from home 2 days a week. my job lends itself very well to being able to work anywhere there’s an internet connection and cell signal. The conference was good. i came away with a few thoughts that need expanding on (while i’ll do in posts soon), was impressed with how fast they organized after the disturbance in the force and hundreds of librarians not being able to get in to the keynote. It only took about 30 minutes but it was fixed and the rest of the conference went without a hitch.

I really dug the online format but have some suggestions if they’re to do it again:

  • don’t forget about breaks. people need to stand, stretch, eat, drink, and pee.
  • it was rough to not have any vocal interaction.  I imagine that’d be hard with 400+ ppl at once, but after not speaking all day i felt a little isolated.
  • the chat area was a moderated area for questions, i would have totally benefited from an interactive chat area. but i suppose that’s what twitter did.

The sessions were recorded so we can listen to the ones we didn’t go to the first time around and discussion has been encouraged to happen on the website.

also today i took some pics for Michael Porter and David Lee King’s newest video. Check out the call here. I’m excited that i’ll make it into the video!

Friday, July 31st

hit the snooze bar too hard today and ended up turning the alarm OFF. was only a few minutes late but immediately listened to VM and zero’d my inbox. i filed a bunch. organized some things. called a vendors back to try to get an est on my (hopefully) shipped items. (on a side note, this is the second time i’ve used this family run marketing swag business and they’re really peeving me off. I will not be working with them again. They’re HORRIBLE at picking up, calling you back, and seem to be adverse to email. NOT the way to run a business.)

i set up some meetings and a session for next week with my personal trainer (whos website i’m helping to set up).

Andy shared an idea with me and i immediately emailed my statewide marketing folks because i thought it was just an amazing idea. Check it out, he explains it best.

at 2pm i participated in T is for Training, hosted by my fellow marylander and friend, (the real) Maurice. I participate as much as i can but was in rare form today. MLX mentioned there was chocolate cake in her office and it just kind of dissolved from there. It was clearly a friday with fun, overworked library folk. :-) The conversation was great though, you should check it out (episode 26):

after that, i worked on the design for the contest finalist’s magnet and then headed home at 4.30, in the rain, to enjoy a weekend with the inlaws…

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