[The OLD] Attempting Elegance

Director Day In The Life, Friday

Posted in Libraries, LibraryDayInTheLife, reference, Users, work life by Jenica Rogers on January 29, 2010

This morning was my triumphant (?) return to the gym.  Picked Steve up at 7, and we went and walked and ran until 7:45, then I headed home to shower, breakfast, and drive back to campus, this time in a suit jacket rather than running shoes.

9:30-11:45:  Ref desk shift.  Turn on the computer and patron-facing monitor, launch the libraries’ Meebo account, check the Reference Wiki for updates, make sure the stats sheet is for today’s date, and get ready for the (non)onslaught.  I wonder about the future of traditional reference services, but I can’t underestimate the value of face-to-face point-of-need help, either.  A big challenge for small institutions with limited staff, and one I don’t have a good answer for other than doing my part and sitting out here once a week.

  • “I need help with Chicago Style citations.”
  • *crickets* (there are 16 students at our 24 reference-area computers, and the printers are running non-stop, as is the stapler.  The cafe is doing steady business, and there are students sitting in every study area I can see from the desk.  They just don’t need any help.  It is, after all, the first week of classes.)
  • Chat (and laugh) with Archivist about yesterday’s faculty issue.
  • Talk to Reference Coordinator about weeding going on in the Reference Collection, and about the books I ordered with a grant last year, which are finally arriving and getting cataloged, to fill in our basic religion collection — what to put in Reference, what in stacks?
  • “What’s the easiest way to set up Interlibrary Loan privileges?”
  • “How do I find articles for a paper due at the end of the semester?”  This one turned into a longish interview in which I showed how to use our major databases, explained why using MultiSearch with a broad keyword like “Vietnam” is never going to work well, and helped her understand why she might need to narrow her topic *first* and do research *second*.
  • Talked with current chair of the Personnel Committee about scheduling issues, and our Bylaws.
  • Meebo question about international newspapers.

Total actual Helping Patrons questions:  4.  Less than two per hour.  Other stuff accomplished at the desk: Reviewed the digital camera recommendation from the librarians I asked to find us a good new one, emailed HR about our next librarian search, read a bunch of Day In The Life blog posts, poked around in a couple of our databases to stay up-to-date on them, printed some documents in advance of my afternoon responsibilities, checked yesterday’s budget spreadsheets to monitor our spending position, responded to some FriendFeed librarian-y threads, and generally watched the library hum around me.

11:45-12:30:  Lunch with a faculty friend.

12:30-1:30:  Interview with Public Affairs candidate.

1:30-2:  Stop into Human Resources to talk through questions related to attendance, union structures, strategic planning, reorganization, retirements, employee benefits, the online recruitment system, and annual evaluations.  There’s a lot for a new Director to learn!

2:15-4:  Office work!

  • Faxed some documents across campus
  • Checked email and voicemail
  • Logged into online recruitment system and used my new knowledge to expedite the job description approval process
  • Reviewed the ACRL 2011 submission deadlines and documents… I have ideas…
  • Started reading background stuff related to strategic planning, with a highlighter, pen, and post-its in hand.

4: Home.  It’s Friday.  Time for a weekend…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.