Library Day in the Life – Round 7, Day 4

This post is part of Library Day in the Life project. See: for more information. I also participated previous rounds. You can find all my posts for this project by searching my blog’s librarydayinthelife tag. You can also follow my Twitter posts @slmcdanold with the hashtag #libday7.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Arrive at my desk 8:15am. Running late today. Took me three tries to leave the house as I had to keep going back for things I forgot. I’m just happy I didn’t lock myself out. Also, there’s a crane lift blocking the staff entrance this morning to lift materials into the construction space up on the sixth floor. I know we received an email about it yesterday, but of course I forgot until I arrived and had to backtrack to get to the alternate entrance opened instead. Sigh. I’m sure some of my absent mindedness this morning can be blamed on the 2am epic! battle! between my cat and a fly that somehow got into my apartment. Yes, I am tired.

Login to work network. Login to email, calendar, Voyager and Connexion, open GChat, open a browser, login to various web programs (including Evernote), start TweetDeck.

Read email. Forward and respond to necessary messages. Catch up on news feeds, work email listservs, and library-related Twitter lists. Scan subjects and then delete mass numbers of listserv messages.

Today is a mix of back to back meetings and then a lot of non-meeting time. Sometimes it’s nice to have things divided into clear chunks so the day is less choppy.

I spent much of my time before my first meeting preparing for my meetings, especially the one I’m “hosting” at noon.

10:00am-11:00am Meeting of my staff working on barcoding the bound serial volumes and the staff that process things being sent to storage, which also involves a lot of barcoding. We follow the same procedures and policies for the barcoding piece of things, so everyone is getting together to compare notes and have a round robin type discussion.

11:00am-noon Roger Schoenfeld from ITHAKA gave a talk/presentation on the activities of ITHAKA for supporting teaching and learning. Unfortunately I had to leave early to open the online “room” for my noon meeting.

I inhale a quick snack before my meeting so my stomach growling doesn’t get recorded.

Noon-1pm Online meeting of my PCC task group on RDA hybrid bib records. We’ve been meeting once a week using Adobe Connect to discuss things. As chair of the task group, I’m also the “host” in Adobe Connect so I monitor the chat, take notes, turn the recording function on/off, etc. We record our meetings so anyone that has to miss a meeting can catch up on the discussions. We’re also using GoogleDocs to share meeting minutes/notes and drafts and communally comment on and edit them. Just communicating via email and document comments can be tricky, as threads get complicated and split and merge and you end up with multiple versions of documents floating around. Having a conversation once a week definitely helps us stay on track so we can meet our tight deadline of having a report ready by Sept. 1st. We have an outline for our report now, so I’m breathing a bit easier. 🙂 Tomorrow morning I’ll clean up the minutes and post them.

Once my meeting is over, I chat briefly with a colleague via GoogleTalk about editing a record to reflect changes in ownership and therefore, access. URLs are removed from the record. Done.

Now to eat lunch. Even with my snack I’m *starving* since it’s after 1pm. Take some time during lunch to catch up on email and listservs. My RDA-L listserv folder is hitting critical mass on number of unread messages (over 1,500!). I think I’m going to have to spend some time tomorrow afternoon cleaning it out. Listserv folder cleaning is a good Friday afternoon activity.

Of course, since I’m eating lunch later than normal, my lunch involves multiple interruptions from my staff and colleagues. One of the hazards of eating lunch at my desk.

I manage to slip away from my desk for a break to see a friend that’s stopped by with her baby girl. Squee baby break!

[Caution: MARC/tech speak ahead!] I return to the problem I started work on a few days ago: the records that errored when we loaded a record set. I identified and fixed the simple MARC error, and identified another possible culprit for the error rejection by our system: non-MARC diacritics. My colleague (rare books cataloger) let me know how to enter the superscript character directly in our system, so I know the diacritic exists, I just have to find the numeric equivalent so I can replace the errant character (or rather replace non-valid diacritic with the character followed by the valid the diacritic code or code sequence). I find the document that lists all the diacritics available and the keystrokes, but no numeric codes.

After a good hour of digging around online and through other records in our system, I finally find the code sequence used to represent a superscript (strangely: {esc}p#{esc}s is the exact sequence where # is replaced with the numeral you want as the superscript). Now comes the fun part, running through all the permutations to do a find/replace on the record file. It takes me the rest of the afternoon to find/replace all the errant characters in the file, even with MarcEdit’s fantastic tools. In addition to the superscript issue, I find a few other non-MARC characters in the process (such as the infamous “curly” quotes that cause copy/paste issues in so many different situations). I really really hope this fixes the issues and when we try a re-load we don’t get and more errored records back from the system. I’ll check the file again in the morning when my eyes are fresh.

Sometimes I’m convinced systems/databases for libraries are specifically designed to drive catalogers nuts. I like logic and bulk editing and reports for clean up projects. These things are not easily accomplished with our current system. Sigh.

4:15pm Final email check. Clean out email listservs. Check Twitter and blog feeds. Schedule this post.

4:25pm Log out from network. Shut down (restart) computer. Leave work. Off to my much needed acupuncture appointment!


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.
This entry was posted in cataloging, librarianship, librarydayinthelife, work. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Library Day in the Life – Round 7, Day 4

  1. Anonymous says:

    I thought yesterday was Thursday?

  2. Shana Lee says:

    So it was. I fixed the date. 🙂

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