Library Day in the Life – Day 2

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

6:30am: Wake up a little on the late side. Shower, prepare lunch and thermos of coffee, give cat small amount of milk as treat and appeasement for the upcoming daily abandonment.

7:15am: Eating my cereal. Discover ant carcass floating in milk. Feel nauseous. Throw out cereal in bowl and remaining cereal in tupperware container (can ants really get into tupperware?!?). Opt for granola bar instead.

7:45am: Biking to work. At one point, going uphill, a cab passes me, then abruptly turns on hazard lights and starts to pull in front of me less than 10 feet away. PANIC. I brake hard, making my brakes squeal and leaving a skid mark with my rear tire(again, going uphill), and scream/curse at him. He quickly pulls away and speeds to the next light. I catch up at the light, look at him through his open window and say “SERIOUSLY, dude?!?”. He shrugs. What the &*$#@ does a shrug mean?

7:58am: Arrive at work. Slightly sweaty from humidity and very very annoyed and slightly shaky from cab incident. Not a good way to start the day.

8:00am: Login to work network. Login to email, calendar, other various and sundry programs. Open up Voyager cataloging and acquisitions modules and OCLC Connexion. Make to-do list. Check in with staff that arrives early. Check voice-mail (blinking light). Other staff person out sick today. Make note on calendar and update HR spreadsheet accordingly.

8:20am: Read email. Forward and respond to necessary messages. Curse when discover that a colleague ignored my request to send all emails to a particular vendor through me as we work to resolve a problem. He sent his own message without notifying me first. Grrrr. Send polite email reiterating request that all communications regarding catalog records for that collection are sent through me to prevent duplicating information.

8:40am: Finally get around to pouring coffee from thermos and drinking it. Adrenaline from bike ride wearing off and need to caffeinate appears. Catch up on news feeds, Tweets (TweetDeck FTW!), work email listservs. Scan subjects and then delete mass numbers of listserv messages.

9:00-10:00am: Meet with Rare Books Cataloging Librarian to discuss a plan for addressing rare serials in collections and up in rare books stacks. Starting with an existing project as a test case. Will start training staff on what a serial record is and recognizing good copy next week. Later I’ll train her on editing existing copy and eventually basic original cataloging.

10:15am: Oh look! A locally done latest entry catalog record sent to me by the Serials Librarian for updating/splitting into successive entry. And even better, it has a title of “Journal”. Yup, just “Journal” in the 245. That’s helpful (NOT). Print out bib record and give to staff person to update/fix. Fortunately, record in OCLC is for successive entry…apparently we invented the need for latest entry on this title locally. Fabulous.

10:30am: Take some time to read the comments on the ALA Connect Event Planner survey post and then add my own comments. Have ALA Connect and the Event Planner talk to each other and pre-populate my calendar with required meetings at conferences? YES PLEASE!

10:45am: Install the Voyager development clients, AGAIN. First install (done several weeks ago) seems to be borked. Delete old clients. Find instructions/link email to reinstall. Test…and it works!

11:10am: Start reviewing problems associated with record set loaded into development server for testing by Metadata Specialist. She also sent an email highlighting some of the obvious issues. Problems include: URL problems (what?), record merges (hmm…) and general mayhem/weirdness. Compile email to Metadata Specialist as I identify and find solutions to various issues.

12:45pm: Send completed email response to Metadata Specialist with instructions how to fix some of said problems. Others, unfortunately, will have to be fixed by hand (including 16 problem URLs with no conceivable reason for existing).

12:46pm: New email from “fixopac” that an ebook is not actually available in the collection it says it is. Detective work needed. URL in record actually points to a completely different title in the collection that’s not in our catalog. The title in our catalog isn’t on our custom collection title list on the website. Clearly we have an issue and need to reconcile the records in the catalog with the custom title list maintained by bibliographers. Forward email to bibliographer in charge of custom collection title list for clarification: which title are we supposed to have?

1:05pm: Response by colleague to earlier email from Director of tech services that no one has responded to her request to lead a training for tech services department staff on the University’s online email client. Colleague has volunteered himself and yours truly. Training set for end of August. Now must find tutorials and teach myself webmail (in depth…I can use it, but I don’t use it regularly) so I can teach others.

1:12pm: LUNCH. OMG hungry. Also, need to seek out soda or other caffeinated beverage. Catch up on feeds, Facebook, and other social networking stuff while eating. Also, read comics. Visited by and received grief from the building manager (no clear reason why other than he felt like it – word to the wise, make friends with the building manager where ever you work, it will be to your benefit, grief from said building manager is an extra bonus). Confirmed dinner plans with friend at the Indian place near us both (it’s Dining Days – price fixed meals at restaurants in my neighborhood!).

1:45pm: Colleague stops by with idea for webmail training for tech services staff. Do a staff survey (SurveyMonkey?) to find out what exactly they want info about so we know how to target our training session.

1:58pm: Finish lunch. Check email.

2:08pm: Staff person informs me she was stuck in the elevator. We have three elevators at this end of the building. Right now one is completely out of service, one works (but takes forever), and the third is erratic. It’s elevator roulette in the library! Good times.

2:12pm: Going in search of caffeine as I didn’t go during my lunch. Give colleague grief that it’s his fault since he stopped by to chat about training while I was noshing.

2:20pm: Find email I thought I had sent to vendor, and told bibliographer I had sent to vendor (which the bibliographer sent email supposedly duplicated), sitting in drafts folder. Send mea culpa email to bibliographer. Edit email to vendor so as to not duplicate what bibliographer sent, as well as answer other vendor questions. Sigh. And grrr at my sieve-for-brains self. Actually SEND email at end of day this time.

2:51pm: Email technology department inquiring about login and password combo for electronic classroom computers that will allow the Serials Librarian and I to do some Voyager training for staff on Thursday morning. There’s a separate/different login needed to access library staff programs (like the catalog) on those computers as they are generally used for bibliographic instruction sessions for students. However, it is the only classroom of computers in the building so we also have to use it for hands-on staff training on various library programs.

3:00pm: Begin reviewing intern’s original cataloging serial records again. Must. Finish. Today. My intern’s last day of work is this coming Tuesday. OMG PANIC. I thought I had her until mid-August!! How I am going to suddenly absorb 20 more hours worth of work into my already full days is a complete mystery.

3:05pm: Realize that a colleague needs to prep her staff to take over cataloging of an online book collection my intern has been doing (no set of records available for download/purchase, so must be done by hand individually). Email to colleague in charge of copy cataloging, reminding her that my intern is leaving and that someone in her department needs to be lined up to take on the individual title by title cataloging of an ebook collection we subscribe to via new-title alerts from vendor.

3:08pm: Back to reviewing my intern’s original cataloging.

3:25pm: Break to check email, Facebook, TweetDeck, etc.

3:35pm: Back to reviewing my intern’s original cataloging.

4:24pm: Submit single ISSN record upgrade information to the ISSN Center webform.

4:30pm: Give up on reviewing for the day. Will finish in the morning before I meet with my intern at 11am. Yet another day taken over by electronic resource issues.

4:37pm: Brief chat with dinner friend about pre-dinner beers at Local 44. I’m so in. Beers at 5:30pm, dinner at Desi Village at 6:30pm, and roasted peach ice cream for dessert at my place. Oh yeah. Happy foodie librarian!

4:45pm: Update to-do list for tomorrow. Last review of email and deletion of various listserv messages. Log off of various and sundry programs. Publish this post. Shut down (restart) computer. Pack up and leave work. Bike home to drop off bike before the food and fun activities of the evening begin.

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About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
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