Library Day in the Life – Friday

Well, I’ve made it to the last day of Library Day in the Life. It’s been a fun experience keeping track of what I do each day and remembering to blog about it each day.

Nothing too out of the ordinary happened today. I had a couple of desk shifts, both of which were pretty quiet. In the morning I went and helped an academic staff member register for one of the library’s databases, and he was quite appreciative of the assistance.

I did some cross-checking of references in some of our old print indexes and the database which replaced them, and confirmed that we can discard the print versions. That should save a little bit of space in the ASRS in the new library.

I spent the last part of my day collecting books of the shelf which need to have their location in the new library changed. They’d been incorrectly marked for storage in the ASRS, when in fact they should be on the open shelves. Now is a good time to take books out of the collection temporarily, as it’s the quietest time of the year. Also, the collection move is starting in a couple of weeks so these items need to be fixed soon. There’s still a few call number ranges to go, but I should have them with the relevant staff next week.

I’ve enjoyed taking part in Round 6 of Library Day in the Life, and will probably participate in Round 7. Maybe next time I’ll tweet too.

Library Day in the Life – Thursday

Well, here I am at day 4 of Library Day in the Life. The day started with my usual email check, then out to the desk for my morning desk shift. It’s normally a pretty quiet shift from 9am-10am, but today it was a bit busy for a change.

I checked some more of our old print indexes which are now available online to see if we can discard them. It looks we’ll be able to, but I’m going to double-check some of the entries before we get rid of them, just to make sure that the coverage is the same.

I receive an email from an academic staff member who is having trouble accessing one of databases. I make an appointment to see him tomorrow to try and get him registered.

I also respond to a request for a meeting from one of our database reps who is going to be at the Information Online conference next week. We’ve managed to arrange a meeting on one of the mornings of the conference.

Another lecturer has contacted the library about running a treasure hunt for their first year students. It’s been run before, but the move to the new library will complicate things a bit. I start to draft an email explaining what will be happening with regards to the move, but it gets too longwinded and complicated, so instead I suggest that we meet to discuss how we can accommodate her activity.

After lunch I have my second desk shift of the day, and it’s relatively quiet and uneventful. In the afternoon I book a place in one of the “sneak peek” tours of the new library that are being run for library staff. As expected they’ve proven to be popular, and I end up signing up for the second-last one. Hopefully I’ll be able to go, as it’s close to the expected delivery date of my second child.

Looking forward to Friday, even though this was a short week this week.

Library Day in the Life – Tuesday

Day 2 of Library Day in the Life. Again, the day starts with an email check. I then finalise the Library Impact Statement from yesterday, and return it to the academic and complete our internal records. It’s interesting to see which new units and programs are being developed by the academic staff.

I have a desk shift in the morning, and because it’s quiet I stay at my desk as the backup person. I log in to our Online Librarian service, and take one “call” from a student who is having trouble with EndNote. I manage to answer their first question, but their next problem is something which is hard to explain via an IM system and needs to be demonstrated in-person. I refer them to their Liaison Librarian, who will be able to assist them face-to-face.

After my shift I attend a library all-staff meeting, the main topic of which is the planning for the move into our new library. Everything seems to be coming along pretty well, with the move of the books starting in a couple of weeks.

When I get back to my desk I receive a phone call from an academic who is proposing a new unit and needs a Library Impact Statement completed. We meet to discuss the unit, and it’s another low-impact one, as it’s simply a merging of two units into one. With this done it’s time for lunch.

During the afternoon I attend the Learnng and Teaching Committee for the Faculty of Science, standing in for one of my managers who’s on leave. It’s useful to go along to these meetings to get an idea of what’s happening in the Faculty and if there will be any impact on the library. For my report I give a summary of how the library will operate for first semester.

I head home at 4:30 after the meeting, looking forward to the public holiday tomorrow.

Library Day in the Life – Monday

Well, here’s my first post in Round 6 of the Library Day in the Life project. I work as a Liaison Librarian at Macquarie University Library in Sydney, Australia. We’re in the middle of our summer break here, so things aren’t as busy as they will be when semester starts in February. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of things to do in the library, even when there aren’t many students around.

My day starts at 7:45am with a check of my email, and reviewing my calendar to refresh my memory as to what’s ahead of me this week. I then head off to be part of an interview panel for a job within the library, which goes for a couple of hours.

After this I grab a coffee and check the posts from a couple of listservs that I subscribe to. I read through a blog post that someone’s mentioend on the list – Trial by Twitter, which looks at how the increased use of social media has allowed for more rapid discussions, comments and critiquing of published journal articles. How will this affect the traditional peer-review and publication process?

My next task is to send a welcome letter from the library to two new academic staff members. Over the last 12 months or so the Liaison Librarians have tried to be more proactive in contacting new academic staff and researchers, and one of my colleagues produces a list every couple of months which lists the new appointments from each Faculty. We send them a letter outlining the services we offer and letting them know who to contact if they have any questions about the library.

For a while my phone runs hot, as I receive calls from students who are have some questions about the upcoming database and EndNote training that we’re running. One of them is having difficulty enrolling online, and the other isn’t able to attend the scheduled training and wants to know what her options are. I pass the first student’s details to our training unit staff and they enrol her, and the second will contact us with some dates that she’s available to come in for an individual consultation.

At the end of last year the library purchased a couple of large database backfiles, which means we can discard our print holdings of the titles which are covered by the databases. I double-check our holdings and pass the details on to the staff who look after serials and the catalogue. Seeing that we’re moving into a new building soon, there’s no point in taking material with us if we don’t have to.

The next thing I do is review an alert that I’ve set up with one of our vendors which emails me a list of new books in a particular subject area each week. I go through the list and do a bit of culling, and then send the revised list to the academic library liaison within the department. They forward it to their colleagues so that they can order anything for the library collection which looks relevant.

By now it’s 1:15pm, so I head off to lunch. From 2pm until 4pm I’m rostered to the Information Desk. I don’t receive many questions, and most of the ones I do get are directional or referral type requests e.g. how do I print, is there a scanner in the library, how do I join the library. I use the time to review the paperwork for a new program of study for next year that’s being put forward by one of the departments within the Faculty of Science. For each new unit or program, the Liaison Librarians for that department need to review the proposal and see what the impact will be on the library e.g. do we need to order more books/journals/databases in the subject area, will there be an impact on our Reserve/eReserve collection, do we need to provide training to the students? This process allows us to plan ahead for new units and programs, rather than being told about them at the last minute.

At 4pm I head home. Today was a fairly typical day for this time of year. I wonder what the rest of the week will bring?

Library Day in the Life for 2011

I came across this post on the Libraries Interact blog this morning, and thought that it sounded like an interesting project. I’ll certainly try and take part by posting on this blog. In previous years there have been entries from librarians all over the world who work in all sorts of libraries. It certainly opens your eyes to all the possibilities that being a librarian opens up. Why not give it a go?

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know it’s closer to the end of January than the beginning, but this is my first post for 2011 so it’s the first chance I’ve had to wish you all a happy new year. I hope that you had a relaxing and restful break, and that you haven’t broken any of your new year’s resolutions yet.

This will be a bit of a mixed post, and I’ll be talking about both library- and geocaching-related stuff. Firstly, the main library-related news, of course, is that we are now in 2011, which means that the new library will open this year. This will be a challenging, busy and perhaps nostalgic time for all library staff at Macquarie. I was lucky enough to visit the new library in December as part of the ASRS training, and it was interesting to see how the plans look in “real life”. The ASRS vault is a very impressive space and I was able to see the cranes in operation.

The other major news recently has been the flooding in Queensland/northern New South Wales, and now Victoria. We’ve all seen the news footage and photos of what has happened, and ALIA has set up pages on its website detailing the libraries that have been affected in Queensland and Victoria.

Now, on to the other subject of this blog – geocaching. I found out last week that there is another member of library staff who geocaches, so it’s good to know that the hobby is gaining a following. I don’t have any geocaching resolutions for the year, although it would be nice to reach 250 finds by the end of the year (currently our total stands at 216). I’m also slowly working my way through solving some of the puzzle caches around Sydney. It would be nice to complete some more of this type of cache.

That’s all for now. I’ll try and keep the blog a bit more up-to-date this year than I did last year, but I can’t promise anything. I think I’ll be pretty busy once our baby arrives next month!