Jul 292008
 

Bobbi Newman  originated the “what’s a librarian’s day like?” meme and tagged me. A wiki devoted to these posts has been created: Library Day in the Life. It’s taken me three weeks to get to it, but for a little bit I’m lifting the veil  and hoping not to invade anyone’s privacy by talking about work specifics.

This isn’t a typical day – they usually have a bit more breathing space…

12:30am Finish creating blogs for  participants in a training session in 10 hours time and decide that I can’t get all the posts about “how to use this blogging installation ” written before bed.

6:00am Husband’s mobile phone alarm wakes me.

6:15 – 6:35am Use my eeePC during the ….errr…seated…. part of my morning. Answer emails and check links. Email from someone asking whether I know any NextGen Librarians into technology they can interview…a NextGen Librarian from outside Australia co-incidentally starts a conversation via g-talk, so I add him to the list and email it off. Write quick thank-you email to techie tweaking person who stayed up into the wee hours doing some tweaking so I could launch our campus wide WordPressMU installation this morning. (to be subject of a future separate post).

7:10am Gather up all the papers we need for a meeting with Mr10′s teacher and the Special Ed teacher about his Individual Education Plan – this time we are going to appear organised.

7:20am Turn to Mr5 in back seat of the car and notice he has no shoes on. Ask him to put them on. Find out they are AT HOME.

7:45am Walk into meeting with teacher looking kind of organised, except for MY CHILD WITH NO SHOES ON. Plug Mr5 into eeePC with headphones to play Frozen Bubble  so he can’t hear while we talk about Mr10′s education

8:25am Discuss with Mr10′s music teacher Mr10′s dietary requirements for overnight choir trip away. She agrees that yesterday it wasn’t a good idea to put a McDonald’s menu in front of a vegetarian child and ask him to choose his dinner for Friday night. Explain to Mr10 again that cheeseburgers actually contain a big hunk of meat.

8:45am Dropped off at work by husband and Mr5 who are on the way back home to get the shoes and return to school.

[Photo of my office should go here. I have a beautiful office to myself right on the Learning Common and feel very lucky after several years of hotdesking]

9am – 10:15am .Try to finish the “how tos” for the blogging project. Download audio files from a presentation recorded in a crowded room with the Zoom H2. Marvel at the studio quality audio.

10:30am – 12:30pm In library PC lab, give training for people in the campus wide pilot blogging project.  Most people are from the library. Explain which bits are still unfinished despite our best intentions and late nights and promise they will be up by the end of the week.Use a blog as the presentation tool. Show people how themes and plugins and widgets work.

Find myself at the start saying that blogging has given me great confidence and connection with others – not because of the quality of my blogging, but because I’ve found people interested in almost *exactly* the same things as me … and realise that this is true. Delight in watching people add new themes and widgets to their blogs and seeing them laugh and obviously enjoy doing this.

12:45pm – 1:00pm. It’s over. Sit very still in one spot. Very drained and happy. Answer  emails ‘n’ tweets ‘n’ stuff. Organise meetings tomorrow night about the unconference and maybe about a co-authored paper. Shoot an email off to our Copyright Officer to set up a meeting about the copyright statement appearing in our blog footer. After reading email from my husband, I email our IT section to ask whether they think it is a good idea for me to update the BIOS of my new laptop to stop it melting down.

1:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch

1:30pm – 2:30pm Infosharing. Once a month librarians get together to share info and discuss upcoming projects. Discover to my unprepared horror that I am meant to be *chairing* the meeting. Do so. Discuss online subject guides. Show people the blogging project home page and pimp the series of monthly Emerging Technology talks I have helped to arrange for the whole uni.

2:30pm – 3:30pm Meeting finishes early, so I go back to my office. Colleague drops in and asks me to provide a biography and abstract for the talk I am giving as part of a national law librarian’s conference . Chat with another colleague on the reference desk about the merits of LibGuides versus what you could do using WordPress with an appropriate theme. She very nicely offers to take on some research I was going to do into whether libraries are using tweaked WordPress for subject guides, so I give her some pointers about where I was going to look.

3:30pm – 4:30pm Meeting in boss’ office with a few others who have been working on our “Library Tools” webpage. It is ready to go live. It contains our LibX toolbar, a google gadget we have coded for the library, links to new books RSS feeds, information about how to set up our library in Google Scholar preference.This gets the OK.

Spend a lot of time discussing another page we have created. We don’t have a Single Sign On, so we have put all the login boxes for our catalogue and federated search and document delivery system on one page. This would give users just one place to go to access information on our system unique to them. We all agree it is a great idea, but a bit confusing for many reasons… and besides, it’s very, very hard to find a name for each login box that means anything to our users…

4:30 – 5:30pm Meeting in my office with two colleagues to discuss the next round of 23 Things. Some new staff members did not do it the last time, so we are working out the best way for them to join in.

5:30 – 6:30pm Write up draft calendar and programme for next 23 Things on a wiki and email a copy off to people.

6:30 – 7:15pm Triage and fight fires in my email in-box, which has  over 200 new mails since I cleared it on Friday. Get together USB drives with material on them for training I will give at our regional campus tomorrow.

7:30pm Sneak off to the second floor and hunt down Sarah Water’s The Night Watch for leisure reading. Borrow it *after* all the desk staff have gone home and feel the satisfaction of abusing staff privilege.

7:45pm Get home and talk to kids and husband about their days.

8:00pm Put kids to bed.

8:20pm Get dinner husband has made and put in fridge for me. Feel grateful. Blog.

I’m not going to tag anyone specifically, but most of the “day of a librarian” posts have been from the US, and I’d love to know how other librarians’ days are in Australia.

  11 Responses to “Meme: What’s a librarian’s day like?”

  1. I’m interested in what you decided with LibGuides vs a WordPress blog. Right now we are using wordpress for the library blog and it seems that something always needs updating or isn’t working. Not an issue for me, but I think some of our librarians wouldn’t be comfortable with it. I’m getting ready to demo LibGuides, with the idea that it will be something easy for them to use.

  2. I’ll be interested to hear about LibGuides vs WordPress too. We currently just use regular webpages, created with Dreamweaver, but have been looking into the possibility of LibGuides.

    I’m also interested in your experience with the LibX toolbar. I created one which we haven’t publicised but I’ve been using it myself – but it broke when I switched to Firefox 3 (on the Mac, I haven’t tried Firefox 3 on PC). I’ve kept meaning to find out if this was a general problem, or if I need to fix something in Firefox, or if I need to fix something in the toolbar edition – don’t suppose you know anything?

  3. Katherine, you deserve the title “SuperLibrarian”. I could never keep track of all the things I do during the day and when I do them.

    We are at last preparing to have a Library Blog when our new web pages are unveiled. I would also like some hints from you (or any of your readers) about the best tool for the job.

  4. [...] interesting to read, with Kathryn Greenhill being the one who tipped me over to do this, with her Meme: What’s a librarian’s day like? So its all your fault [...]

  5. [...] Last line:I’m not going to tag anyone specifically, but most of the “day of a librarian” posts have been from the US, and I’d love to know how other librarians’ days are in Australia. [...]

  6. [...] you might be interested in once your graduate. See if you can imagine yourself as a consultant, a emerging technologies specialist, a children’s librarian, a youth services librarian, or a reference and access services [...]

  7. [...] It’s Library Day in A Life Round 4, where a number of librarians document what their day was like. I did the first round on 29 July 2008, Meme: What’s a Librarian’s Day Like?. [...]

  8. [...] Meme: What’s a librarian’s day like? By Rachel Singer Gordon — Library Journal, 09/15/2009 So, you want to become a librarian? Welcome to a vibrant and exciting profession! [...]

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