Friday, July 31, 2009


  • Attended our weekly anthropology grant team meeting. I'm the PI for our campus, but our wonderful anthropologist does so much of the heavy lifting. She's so organized, and we couldn't handle this project without her.
  • Made a single pile from all the paper on my desk. I will not leave until it's *poof* gone.
  • Updated our database A-Z list to reflect the change from CCH Tax Research Network to IntelliConnect.
  • Added corresponding listing to our EZProxy config file and sent the link to our business librarian for testing and review.
  • Selected 3 SAGE Publication books for my contribution to the recently published Encyclopedia of Health Services Research. I received a $100 book credit for my efforts.
  • Read a bit about TechQual+ -- a survey along the lines of LibQual+, but for campus IT departments. Sent the information to the other members of the Faculty Council on Technology.
  • Spent some time just browsing in the stacks. No particular goals, just a way to get familiar with our collection.
  • Immersed myself in Google Voice, SMS/IM help documentation. Oh, the possibilities.
  • Dealt with various and sundry emails (What does that even mean?)
  • Read Top-Ten IT Issues, 2009 from EDUCAUSE to prep for next week's Faculty Council on Technology meeting.
  • Slogged through the rest of my journal renewal list. Made some tough decisions.
  • Moved my paper pile to another spot so I could go home. Enough.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tech Troubles Thursday

So it started last night with the library printers being down. Apparently our 1st floor had network issues. Catalog has been up, down, up, down the whole week. Should make an interesting day.
  • Set myself up in the lower level for today's user tests. The 1st floor network was flaking out for some reason, so we had to relocate.
  • Answered my first virtual reference question from the neiulibrary queue using LibraryH3lp. Worked great, though since she addressed me by my first name, I figured it was a librarian at the desk. Turned out, no, it was an actual patron.
  • Waited and waited for the student to show up for the first user test. No go. Not even the $100 incentive was enough to remind him. I did send an email reminder 2 days ago.
  • Monitored the Handheld Librarian conference on Twitter, via the hashtag #hhlib. Turned out that people posted a link to allow conference access. Checked out @theanalogdivide's presentation on Building a Mobile Library Platform
  • Continued working on our WebVoyage CSS customization.
  • Email, email, email.
  • Spoke with our rep and the Journal of Visualized Experiments. We're going to subscribe.
  • Emailed her our IP address ranges and requested any special EZProxy config information.
  • Rescheduled the Altarama demo for next week. That freed up tomorrow afternoon for me. Nice on a Friday.
  • Monitored our last OCLC WorldCat Local user test. Looking forward to reading the report.
  • Sent a LinkedIn request to our OCLC user test facilitator. He was a pleasure, and I'm interested in user testing and may have questions for him in the future.
  • Created online/offline buttons for the LibraryH3lp app on our Facebook page and installed the app. Working great!
  • Caught the Academic Library Panel of #hhlib, with Alexa Pearce from NYU and Beth Stahr at SLU.
  • Updated our campus union officers and representatives web page. Yes, that's another hat I wear.
  • Talked on the phone with a former colleague from San Francisco State U. about LibraryH3lp and SMS reference options.
  • Listened to @libraryfuture speak about SMS for libraries. Like his Tweetable points in his presentation. Smart.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Halfway There

Wednesdays are my late day, meaning I arrive around noon and work the ref desk into the early evening. This gives me time in the morning to work on my hobby or run errands. It's sweet.
  • Attended a brown bag co-viewing of a student participant's interview in the anthro grant project.
  • Read all my non-listserv email
  • Observed another WorldCat Local user session taking place down in Springfield. This was a very savvy user. Had never used WCL but navigated nearly every task easily.
  • Put off filling out individual paper slips for a few old medical books that should have been weeded long ago. Our weeding process is so tedious. I'll take care of them while I'm at the ref desk later and can look each up one by one like I'm expected to do. Ugh.
  • Planned to attend a 2 pm reference meeting, but since the reference coordinator and the information services AUL are out today, we didn't have it.
  • Picked up late lunch and brought it back to the office. It has to hold me until early evening when I can go home. Just missed the cafeteria--closes at 2 pm in the summer.
  • Opened and printed a document delivery request article. Nice quality.
  • Read the rest of my Outlook email, scanned Gmail.
  • Started editing the CSS file for our new WebVoyage installation. I like Firebug but haven't quite figured out how to use it best. It doesn't help that there are 6+ CSS files involved.
  • Worked my weekly 3-hour shift at the reference desk. This involved:

    • Keying in the past 2 weeks of Meebo IM stats from a paper tally sheet to our SurveyMonkey stat file
    • Pulling all the rest of the old NCI Monographs off the shelves for discard as well as some other old books in ref. The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs is less so when it was published in 1993.
    • Discovering both printing stations on the first floor are down as well as the other public ones in the library. That's always fun. One student sent a bunch of jobs before seeing the signs. I felt so bad for her. All that research gone.
    • Diving in to Instant Messaging Reference: A Practical Guide by R. Bridgewater and M. B. Cole. Specifically chapter 8, with info on LibraryH3lp. I'm charged with our transition to this service.
    • Test driving LibraryH3lp, including setting up our queues and substituting our Meebo chat widgets with LibraryH3lp ones on our website and in our LibGuides. Tomorrow: our Facebook page. Should be seamless to the librarians who staff the service.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Short" Day

  • In by 8:15. That's highly unusual, but I have to leave early today for an appointment.
  • Checked SurveyMonkey to see if I've gotten anymore responses to my survey of the biology faculty re: print v. online collections. Nope.
  • Scanned the Library email account to see if there's anything I need to handle. We received our Google Voice invite!
  • Created a new Google Voice number for the Library.
  • Made my morning rounds of Facebook (including adding our SMS number to our Library page!), Gmail, then Outlook email.
  • Printed out this little gem to tape to my wall so I can stop once in a while and wonder why I'm so stressed.
  • Set up some new email distribution lists in Outlook. Why is it so difficult? Yes, I want anyone I add to a list added to my contacts.
  • Added a new database to our A-Z list and corresponding subject list.
  • Accepted a one-year appointment to the CARLI I-Share OPAC Team.
  • Helped colleague set up a PBworks wiki for a campus committee.
  • Updated my online CV.
  • Assembled a bookstore tapas lunch. Half of the stations in our cafeteria are closed in the summer, making for a pretty boring menu. Sometimes I have to get creative.
  • Ate at my desk. This is typical--not in a woe-is-me way. When I'm at work, I'm here to work. I save my downtime for the evening.
  • Continued to evaluate LIF journal fund for possible cuts. Considering things like biology thesis citations, SFX requests in the past year. Still very difficult.
  • Compared my LIF list to the list of native PDFs available from a potential document delivery provider.
  • Observed a WCL user test with a student at UIS. UserVue is pretty cool.
  • Posted a tweet from our library account about our catalog being down. Turned on SMS notification from @CARLIoffice so I'll be notified and can post when it's back up even though I'm leaving the office soon.
  • Packed up a little work for home after my doctor appointment.
Late afternooon update:
  • Ordered a few more articles to try out a potential document delivery system for ordering articles from low-use journals we have to cut.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Week Begins

  • Updated participant packets for today's OCLC WorldCat Local user testing. These were revised somewhat following last week's pilot test.
  • Since I was out last Friday (yes, only one day), I came back to over 100 emails. Went through and "triaged" the time-sensitive ones. The rest will have to wait.
  • Sat in on the 1st user testing session of the day. No technical difficulties. Tried to work on other things so as not to make the participant nervous.
  • Checked in with colleagues who observed the session downstairs via UserVue.
  • Picked up my interlibrary loan book: Designing the Digital Experience by David Lee King.
  • Ran to the union to grab a quick bite to eat in the testing room. Next test at 12:30.
  • Tried to troubleshoot my trackball on my Blackberry 8900. It's my primary camera now and the one I want to use for this project.
  • Prompted the 2nd participant a bit more. User testing via phone more difficult if people are visually oriented, so it's helpful to be in the room for assistance.
  • Read some of today's Library Day in the Life entries
  • Reviewed some posts about the ALA session: "Electronic Resource Management Systems: The Promise and Disappointment" Setting up our ERMS is going to be a big project of mine later this year.
  • Finished the lukewarm lunch I didn't have time to finish before.
  • Deleted a RefWorks account for a user who specifically wrote to request that.
  • Continued to browse some library blogs while sitting in on the 3rd user test session. She was self-sufficient (and opinionated -- very helpful!).
  • Checked Google News to figure out what this whole 'birther' thing is about. Oh.
  • Tried logging on for my QuestionPoint shift with IE, but it wouldn't recognize the Flash 10 install. No time to troubleshoot now.
  • Covered my QP shift in Firefox instead.
  • Sat in on conference call for feedback on the day's user tests.
  • Deleted another RefWorks account for a user who specifically wrote to request that. (Hmm...Why?)
  • Set up a demo of SMSReference later in the week and reserved a spot in a Text A Librarian webinar for next week.
  • Left for the day with only 4 unread emails!
Evening update:
  • Starting reading Designing the Digital Experience
  • Checked our Chronicle of Higher Education access from off campus to see if our EZProxy config required an update with the redesign. Still works.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Library Day in the Life Project

I'm going to try to rev up this space, starting off with the Library Day in the Life Project. Look for posts starting Monday, July 27, 2009.