This post is part of Library Day in the Life project. See the Library Day in the Life wiki for info on the project. 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 #libday8.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
I get to my desk around 8:55am, and yes, this is a bit late. My bus karma this week can only be described as terrible. Seriously epically bad bus karma. This morning I barely missed one (this week’s prevailing theme…watching the bus go by as I’m about 1/2 a block from the stop), the second one didn’t even pause, and the third (which I finally boarded) got caught behind a truck. EPICALLY BAD. Grumble…SEPTA…grumble.
Login to the work network. This is followed by logging in to email, my work calendar, Voyager and Connexion, opening GTalk, opening a browser (Firefox at work, but Chrome at home), and logging in to various web programs (including Evernote), start TweetDeck.
While things warm up, I retrieve my coffee travel thermos only to discover I didn’t tighten the lid and it has dripped my precious brew all over the inside of my lunch bag.
Can I go back to bed and start the day over now, please?
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.
Check calendar to find out what’s on today’s schedule.
9:15am – my phone rings. It’s a random number. I pick up, the number hangs up. I do this twice before just letting it ring. The number calls repeatedly for the next 10 minutes, for a total of 7 more calls, each one ringing at least 4 times before hanging up. This is beyond annoying, to say the least.
I’d like to repeat my request to go back to bed now and start the day over.
That pesky reserves e-item multiple holdings records issue? It’s still around. We’re still working on it. That report from yesterday turned up a few other oddities that we have no idea what to do with such as personal copies with print and online components, and some that don’t seem to be related to reserves at all.
10:10am – Stop by my supervisor’s office to check in with her on a couple of things, including what we need to do in order to add our ebooks to our NewBooks+ stream. It highlights new acquisitions of books in the library (our media/videos are highlighted in a separate catalog), and we need to figure out how to fold in ebooks without overwhelming the system in terms of sheer number of records. Some of the MARC record sets we load for collections have over 50,000 records (some over 100,000!) so clearly we have to determine an effective filter for these extremely large sets.
10:30am – Department Heads. This meeting is a regular first Thursday of the month event. This month’s topics include presentations on a special collections database from the museum folks, and a discussion about digital humanities. Oh, but if you get there early, there are treats! And coffee! I think the nice flaky pastry with icing on it helps to improve my morning, don’t you agree?
Noon – Retrieval of MARC records for various ebook collections from vendors that post the files on websites. Some files I get an email alert, some are emailed to me as attachments, but a few vendors just post them without any notification options. I do have a “master” list of collections that are set up as ongoing subscriptions including how we get notified about updates in a Excel file shared with our electronic acquisitions folks so we can all keep it updated. But I have a tickler in my calendar and a running list in Evernote to remind me to go check the websites for specific subscriptions (mainly ongoing series, the online version of a standing order, or collections where they are still creating the MARC records) and pull down any new files. Usually there are only a few records in each update file, so I can quickly process and edit them and load them directly into our catalog. For the updates that I get via email or RSS notification, I process them as they arrive. I’m able to keep up currently, but in terms of scalability this is not the best method. I’m working on figuring out a workflow for these collections that get update files of MARC records that is a bit more streamlined and scalable. So far the sheer diversity (and seeming randomness) of how different vendors process and make updates available, and the variation in frequency for those updates, are making it difficult to have one workflow that encompasses them all.
12:30pm – LUNCH. The danger of eating lunch at your desk so you can catch up on stuff: colleagues stopping by with questions.
1pm – meeting of all the supervisors in technical services so our two new supervisors can get to know everyone.
3:00pm – Track down a colleague to talk about various workflow issues regarding upcoming work barcoding back volumes of serial titles. Send out email to all library staff announcing a set of MARC records for individual titles in a collection have been loaded and are available in the catalog. Successfully load
4:00pm – Successfully download update file or records, run it through the generic Perl script, make remaining edits, and load the completed records into our catalog. All without having to ask anyone else to take care of any part of it. It’s very exciting to be able to complete the process without assistance! [Note: see yesterday’s post explaining the excitement of being able to run sets through a script myself instead of asking our systems folks to do it for me.]
4:30pm – Check in with Hebraica cataloger about some serial titles in Hebrew we were working on yesterday. We’re slowly working through the backlog so the titles are migrating over from her in a nice slow steady stream. It’s not overwhelming, but we’re making progress which is exactly what needs to happen.
4:45pm – Final email check. Clean out email listservs. Check Twitter and blog feeds. Schedule this post.
5:00pm – Shut things/programs down and log out from work network. Shut down (restart) computer. Meet up with a friend to catch up over a couple of beverages. Yay for friend time!