About Andrew

I'm a health librarian in Sydney, Australia, who also happens to be a geocacher.

From lab bench to reference desk

So how did I get here? Well it wasn’t a road to nowhere, that’s for sure (apologies to Talking Heads). I never planned to become a librarian, which I think is a common experience for many librarians. In high school my main interest was in science, so I ended up studying chemistry as my undergraduate degree. This led to me working in an environmental laboratory as my first job, where I spent most of my time working in client services rather than in the lab itself. The skills I picked up in this role stood me in good stead later – dealing with stressed clients, entering samples into the laboratory management system (a bit like cataloguing, I guess), and managing competing tasks and deadlines.

After four years of working in the lab, I started thinking about whether it was time to move on to something different. There were some ownership and management changes within the company, and the lab would be relocating from Sydney to Newcastle. I would have been happy to make the move north, but I wasn’t sure if the job was still right for me. I’d been the Chairperson of Safety Committee, so I started thinking about a career shift towards OH&S. I also had librarianship in mind as another potential new career; I’d enjoyed using the library when I was studying and thought I wouldn’t mind working in one. In the end the deciding factor was the length of each of the courses – if I remember correctly it was three years for a Masters in OH&S, or two years for a Graduate Diploma in librarianship. I took the shorter option, which I think was definitely the right one.

I started the Grad Dip through Charles Sturt University in the middle of the year, and quit my job in the lab at the end of the year. I didn’t have a job to go, but hoped for the best. Early in the year I applied for a job as a Shelver at Macquarie University Library (MUL). It was only part-time (20 hours a week), so I figured I’d have time to study as well. I was offered the job, and my career in libraries had begun.

I spent the next 12 years at MUL, and I feel very fortunate to have worked there. Most of that time was spent working as a Liaison Librarian for the Faculty of Science, although I had the opportunity to work in a range of different roles. I got to the point in my career that I did by saying “Yes, I think I can do that” if an opportunity presented itself. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, but I had to make the decision to try something new.

That’s what led me to the next phase of my career. I felt that I needed a change of scene, and when a job came up at a nearby hospital library, I applied for it and got it. I’ve been able to use some of the skills I developed from working in an academic library, such as supporting EndNote and database searching, as well as learning new ones, such as e-resource management.

One thing that has allowed me to get to where I am now is a supportive leadership team. I have been lucky to work in two libraries where my team leaders and managers have always encouraged me to apply for secondments or new positions, or to present at conferences. They have also been open to suggestions for new services that the library could offer, and for trying new things. Unfortunately this isn’t the case in all libraries, so I do count myself as fortunate to have been in this position.

So that’s my story of how I got here. It’s not the most dramatic or exciting path, but it has worked for me. I’m glad I made the choice to become a librarian, and I think I’ll be working in libraries for a while yet.

500 finds, finally

As I mentioned earlier this year, we’d set ourselves a goal of reaching 500 geocache finds, ideally by our 10th anniversary of starting geocaching (our cache-a-versary). Well, I’m pleased to announce that we have finally cracked the 500 find milestone, and we managed to do it the day before our cache-a-versary.

The weather forecast wasn’t the best, so we’d decided to knock off the last 10 caches that we needed along a roadside powertrail close to home. It wasn’t the most scenic or memorable location, but it was going to be a quick and easy way to reach the milestone.

The view along the powertrail

As happens so often with us, we changed our minds. Our new plan was to finish the powertrail on 499 finds, and then re-visit a cache that we’d tried to find multiple times in order to make it our 500th find. Armed with a couple of clues, but also having noticed that the cache hadn’t been found since September, we arrived at the cache location with fairly low hopes of finding it. However, the geo-gods were on our side, as we managed to find the cache within a minute of starting the search. It was easy to see why a couple of other cachers had failed to find it, because the container blended in nicely with the surrounding environment. We replaced (and signed) the log, because the one in the cache was too damp and mouldy to unroll, took a few photos, and logged the find through the geocaching app.

Our 500th find

500!

We then headed off for a celebratory lunch, and decided to try and find another couple of our nemesis caches. Like our 500th find, these other two ended up being quick finds. It was a nice way to finish the day. It’s taken us 10 years to get to 500 finds, but I think the next 500 won’t take as long.

Sensible Shoes’ 10 years of Geocaching – a Retrospective

Ten years ago today we found our first geocache at Little Beach on the Central Coast (GCTZ15 – now archived, unfortunately). We were a new couple and geocaching was a great activity to hang out together and have a few adventures along the way. Back when we started it took a bit more preparation and planning before setting out than it does now. We had to sit around the kitchen table of the house we hadn’t moved into yet with the laptop plugged into the dial-up modem and download the cache pages, and then transfer the coordinates onto our GPSr. If you wanted to refer to the cache pages while you were out caching you had to print them out before you left, and manually decode the hint if needed. There were no smartphones, so you couldn’t simply open an app and see if there were any caches nearby. Today, no forward planning is required as everything we need to check for, find, and log nearby caches – internet access, GPS, real-time logging of caches, and cache information – is available on our smartphones. For those cachers who love being the First To Find (FTF), this has meant that they can head straight off to a new cache as soon as they receive the notification email on their phone and log it as soon as they find it in order to claim their glory. This improved technology also means that when we get home there’s no need to try and remember all the details about our caching trip because everything’s already been logged. We found our first few caches using an HP ipaq PDA (which looked something like this – it worked OK, but definitely was not designed with caching in mind).

At our first find

The first cache we found

We were introduced to geocaching by a work colleague whose husband had done some caching, and they generously lent us a handheld GPS receiver (GPSr) (probably a Garmin etrex) for a couple of weeks. Our first experience with this “proper” GPSr was in Canberra and Melbourne a week after our first find. It was during this trip that we had two major revelations:

  1. We needed to get a GPSr
  2. We needed to change our geocaching.com account name.

We signed up as Fairy Spice (which made sense at the time, for a number of reasons) but after having to introduce ourselves to another cacher in Canberra, we knew this had to be changed. At the time there was no way to change our username; we had to create a new account and re-log all our first few finds. As librarian geocachers, we felt that Sensible Shoes was an appropriate name to use, and since then we’ve been comfortable introducing ourselves as this. We cache together as Sensible Shoes, and our logs identify each of us as Mr S or Ms S. We ended up purchasing a Garmin GPS 60 in those first few months of caching, and still use that (in conjunction with our smart phones) today.

That name didn’t last long

From these humble beginnings, the Shoes family has grown. Our sons are known as Shoes Junior and Little Shoes, and both of them had their accounts created and were taken our geocaching about a month after they were born. We also got one of our sisters involved in caching. Eight years later, Sensible Sis is now closing in on 900 finds. We’ve taken a few friends and family members geocaching, and have been successful in recruiting two families from our Mothers’ Group. It’s good to have some local friends who “get it”. However, our biggest success story converting a muggle to an obsessed geocacher is a fellow librarian who heard about caching at a conference presentation given by Mr S. She’s been caching now for 3 years and has over 3,500 finds and 72 hides to her name. As Mr S was presenting at the conference and describing how geocaching can be used as an educational and promotional tool, Ms S was live-tweeting her finding of our cache (GC3K05C) (she hadn’t been involved in the placing of it). The cache involved is a “Mystery or Puzzle” cache, and it has been very positively received by the local geocaching community. Mr S has written a journal article describing how and why the cache was placed. We’ve placed four other caches, however they’ve all been archived for various reasons and are no longer active.

Shoes Junior and Little Shoes out caching

We’ve managed to find 504 caches over the last ten years, and 15 of these have been Event caches. Several of these events have been great fun to attend. These include the three Geotreks that we’ve completed, and the three Worldwide Flash Mobs (WWFM) that we’ve flashed at. The WWFM was the brainchild of Sonny and Sandy from the Podcacher podcast, and is still going strong after ten years. Another geocaching podcast we enjoyed listening to was the Geotalk podcast, hosted by Darren Osborne, a.k.a. Spindoc Bob. Darren was the driving force behind the formation of the Geocaching NSW association, and we met him and his wife Renee at the initial planning meeting for the group. Darren also organised the first couple of WWFM events in Sydney, which we attended. Mr S attended the first Sydney WWFM event alone, because Ms S was resting in hospital prior to the arrival of our first son. All three of us attended the next WWFM event at Luna Park. Mr S had the opportunity to go on a geocaching day trip with Darren and a couple of other cachers in September 2013. Sadly, Darren passed away from brain cancer in January 2015. Although we didn’t know him very well, his passing was deeply felt by us since we identified so closely with him and his young family. Vale Spindoc Bob.

WWFM at Luna Park

In the same way that we related to the Osbornes, Sonny and Sandy from sunny San Diego have also found a place in our hearts. We had been regular listeners to their weekly podcast, Podcacher, when we learned of the arrival of their son Sean while we were pregnant with our first son. Ever since, we have been amused by the similarities between Sean and our 8 year old as they grow up. Mr S has kept up with listening to Podcacher ever since we discovered the podcast almost 10 years ago, and has contributed various news items from time to time. One of these was our most significant geocaching moments from the last ten years. It was the time when Mr S proposed to Ms S at our first FTF. It was nice that he was able to do this at a spot close to our home, and no, we didn’t go on to have a geocaching-themed wedding.

We’ve found that geocaching is a great activity to do while we’re on holidays. We’ve cached as far north as Moreton Island, south to Melbourne, east to San Francisco, but only as far west as Canberra. Port Stephens and Canberra have been a couple of good destinations which combine sightseeing and geocaching. We found our 100th cache at Port Macquarie and our 200th at Port Stephens. On our first couple of trips to Canberra we stopped at several rest area caches on the way. The next time we did the trip without stopping, and we were pleasantly surprised at how quick the trip was. Having said that, we’ve recently discovered that the rest area caches have been replaced, so we have the opportunity to find them all over again. It’s been fun introducing our two boys to geocaching. Our eldest (Shoes Junior) had a Travel Bug on his stroller which we took to several geocaching events. He has recently enjoyed finding some local Harry Potter-themed caches and helping to solve some puzzle caches which have a Minecraft theme. Lately, Little Shoes (our youngest) has taken an increased interest in going out caching, perhaps influenced by the fact that we’ve taken to having ice creams to celebrate milestones. It is ironic that when we cached alone, before the geokids came along, we were finding many caches holding travel bugs and kid-friendly swaps. It seems these are becoming a rarity these days, even though there are many more geocaches to find these days. As for the geokids, despite many years of geocaching experience, they are yet to master the art of stealth. “DID YOU FIND IT?!?!”

Shoes Junior’s Travel Bug

Most geocachers, who have been caching consistently for 10 years, would expect to have found far more than the 500 finds we have achieved … but as the saying goes “it’s not about the numbers”. Although geocaching has held our interest steadily for the past decade it has not been a major focus for our family. We enjoy having it as an activity to fall back on when convenient, but we’ve never felt the need to chase the numbers or achieve long running streaks as other have (even though we’ve been impressed by their ability to do so). Likewise, almost all of our finds have been within the 3.5/3.5 difficulty/terrain matrix, with only a very few outliers. We prefer to be challenged by tricky puzzles rather than extreme terrain. Now that the kids are older, and technology has made geocaching more convenient than ever before, we expect to enjoy many years of geocaching adventures ahead. As Sonny and Sandy would say, “Keeep onn cachin’!”.

On the powertrail towards 500 finds

At our 500th find

Star Wars in the medical literature

To mark Star Wars Day today (May the 4th), I thought I’d do a post looking at how Star Wars and its characters have been written about in the medical literature. I did the same thing a couple of years ago with other pop culture icons – Monty Python, Harry Potter, and Buffy.

For my Star Wars search I used PubMed, and carried out a simple keyword search (funnily enough there aren’t any MeSH headings for Star Wars). A search for “star wars” returned 91 results (which is more than Monty Python, Harry Potter, and Buffy), with the most recent being published last month and the oldest in July 1980. Pretty much all the articles from the 1980s, and most from the early 1990s, were discussing the missile defence system proposed by US President Ronald Reagan in 1983. The program’s official name was the Strategic Defense Initiative, but it became popularly known as “Star Wars”. The article from 1980 seems to be the first which discusses the movie, although I haven’t been able to track down an online copy to check this. It’s called “Star Wars: the modern developmental fairy tale“, and it was published in the Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic.

The most common aspect of Star Wars which is discussed in the medical literature seems to be a psychiatric analysis of the characters (unfortunately not many of the articles are open access, so I can’t link to the fulltext). Examples of these articles include “Psychopathology in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: the Use of Star Wars’ Dark Side in Teaching” (link), “Darth Vulcan? In support of Anakin Skywalker suffering from borderline personality disorder” (link), and “The fall and redemption of people and systems: potential lessons from the “star wars” saga” (link). It also seems popular to refer to Star Wars when discussing a treatment which involves using lasers e.g. “The erbium laser: the “Star Wars” of dentistry” (link).

As well as Star Wars the movie I also searched for some of the characters. Here are some of the things I learnt by doing this:

  • Researchers at MIT have developed the MIT-skywalker, which is a device used in gait therapy. A photo of the beta prototype is available in this open access article.
  • There is a fruit fly protein called Skywalker (sky), which has something to do with neurons and synaptic vesicles (more details in this open access article).
  • There is a method which is used to test the efficacy of potential anti-helminthic drugs (helminths are parasitic worms) called the larval exsheathment inhibition assay (LEIA). (link) I guess in Return of the Jedi, Princess Leia was a pretty effective treatment for Jabba the Hutt (he wasn’t a helminth, but he was pretty worm-like).
  • Several species have been named after Chewbacca. In New Britain (one of the islands of Papua New Guinea), there is a species of flightless weevil called Trigonopterus chewbacca (described and pictured in this open access article). There is also a moth in Mexico called Wockia chewbacca Adamski – I guess Wockia sounds a bit like Wookiee.
  • When it comes to developing the name of a clinical trial or procedure, Darth Vader seems to be a popular inspiration. Evidence of this includes the Vascular Access Decisions in the Emergency Room study protocol (link), the Vacuum-Assisted Dermal Recruitment method for closing wounds (link), and the tongue-in-cheek Value of Audio Devices in the Endoscopy Room randomised controlled trial (link). This last study found that endoscopists who listened to Star Wars music performed an endoscopy better than those who listened to popular music.
  • There is a protein in the Red flour beetle called C3PO, and several proteins from different organisms which are called R2D2.

It was interesting to find out how Star Wars is represented in the medical literature. maybe next time I’ll look at a different discipline. May the Fourth be with you!

You’ve got to be in it to win it

The purpose of this post is to increase my chance of winning a new GPSr – the Garmin Oregon 750T. Our current GPSr (a Garmin GPS 60, which we bought back in 2007 when we started caching) has served us well and is continuing to do so. However, I couldn’t pass up the chance to win a brand spanking new GPSr.

The competition is being run by the Podcacher podcast, which I listen to each week. They provide a great program with lots of stories, tips, and contests. To help ensure that they’re able to keep producing their show each week, I’ve signed up as a supporting member to help with their costs.

Their current contest simply involves filling out a form on their website to get an entry in the draw. In order to get additional entries you can tweet about the contest, visit their Facebook page, or write a blog post. At the moment there are nearly 1,500 entries (with 22 days left in the contest), so there’s plenty of interest. Hopefully I’ll be drawn as the winner!

Our geocaching resolutions for 2017

Well, it’s a new year which means it’s time to make some resolutions for the next 12 months. On the geocaching front, there are a couple of things that we’d like to achieve this year. The main one is to finally reach 500 finds. We made it to 400 in January last year and are currently on 431. Ideally we would like to get there by 20th May, which is our 10 year cache-a-versary.

To help with reaching this milestone, we’ve set ourselves the goal of averaging at least one find a day for the month of January. That will get us to at least 449. We’ve done well so far (13 finds after eight days), so hopefully we’ll stay on track.

It should be a year for family geocaching milestones for us. Our youngest son should reach 100 finds (he’s currently on 95), and our eldest should get to 200 (he’s on 186 at the moment). I don’t think we’ll be able to synchronise our finds for the same cache, but it will be nice to celebrate three milestones this year.

Oldest cache type in each state

As a follow-up to my previous post on the oldest currently active caches of each type in Australia, I’d thought I put together a list of the oldest caches of each type in each state and territory. I took the advice of Sandy from the Podcacher podcast, and simply used the search function on geocaching.com, rather than setting up Pocket Queries. This certainly made the process a lot easier. The states and territories are listed in alphabetical order, and each cache is listed in chronological order. Those caches marked with * are the oldest of their type in Australia, and dates are in dd/mm/yyyy format.

Australian Capital Territory

Traditional: Canberra Nature Park (GC6CF) – 15/4/2001

Multicache: A Stroll Around the Lake (GC3C22) – 21/2/2002

Virtual: Animal Antics (GC9534) – 30/9/2002

Mystery: Botanic Boggle (GCH0XY) – 6/10/2003

Earthcache: Earthcache II – the geology of WoolShed Creek, ACT (GCHKCK) – 29/1/2004

Letterbox Hybrid: Isaacs Post Office (GCXT3K) – 18/8/2006

Whereigo: Athllon Adventure (GC1D01M) – 6/6/2008

Webcam: none currently active

New South Wales

Virtual: Lane Cove (GC3E) – 18/5/2000*

Traditional: Sydney Geocache Relocated (GC1F11) – 11/11/2000

Multicache: #1 Frog Hollow (GC596) – 29/3/2001

Mystery: #38 Under Pressure (GC39EC) – 15/2/2002*

Earthcache: Earthcache I – a simple geology tour of Wasp Head (GCHFT2) – 10/1/2004*

Letterbox Hybrid: Postman Rat (GC18AZA) – 6/1/2008

Whereigo: The Search for Ned Kelly and the Stolen Treasure (GC1KK89) – 8/1/2009

Webcam: none currently active

Northern Territory

Traditional: Sungroper 4 (GC3399) – 22/11/2001

Multicache: Geocentrical (GC7CED) – 27/6/2002

Mystery: SUE DOUGH COO #1 (GC16CRF) – 5/10/2007

Earthcache: Ellery Creek Big Hole (GC1TA92) – 5/6/2009

Whereigo: The Great Escape (GC4BV4E) – 12/5/2013

Letterbox Hybrid: Snail Mail (GC4DFY7) – 3/6/2013

Virtual: none currently active

Webcam: none currently active

Queensland

Traditional: Queens land (GC8E) – 17/10/2000

Multicache: Simon’s in the Orchard (GC7150) – 14/7/2002

Virtual: Ku-Ta Views (GC86B3) – 30/8/2002

Mystery: Look No More (GCGT19) – 29/8/2003

Earthcache: Whitehaven Beach (GC11A5E) – 7/3/2007

Whereigo: (Virtually) A Common Problem (GC1ETED) – 13/8/2008

Letterbox Hybrid: Free Camp!!!! (GC2045F) – 21/10/2009

Webcam: none currently active

South Australia

Traditional: Riverland Geocache (GC114) – 1/1/2001

Multicache: Scott Creek Multiple (GC1E2) – 3/2/2001*

Virtual: Victoria Squircle (GC40E2) – 10/3/2002

Mystery: 007 (GC83A8) – 24/8/2002

Webcam: Penguins (GCC1EC) – 10/1/2003*

Earthcache: The Sugarloaf Earthcache (GCM4WR) – 24/11/2004

Whereigo: Where We Used To Go (GC1XH4W) – 25/8/2009

Letterbox Hybrid: Frog Mail Box (GC2NQAG) – 11/2/2011

Tasmania

Traditional: North Tassie (GC388) – 25/2/2001

Virtual: South Tasmania 1 (GC408) – 4/3/2001

Multicache: Clinker and Carvel (Multi) (GCD476) – 14/2/2003

Mystery: Codeword+029: Happy Mothers Day (GCNWYY) – 10/5/2005

Letterbox Hybrid: The Apprentice (GCRF2Z) – 11/12/2005*

Earthcache: Fossil Bluff (GC1CH39) – 23/5/2008

Whereigo: Sneaky Monkeys! (GC5BYYE) – 30/8/2014

Webcam: none currently active

Victoria

Traditional: Melbourne’s 1st (GC7A) – 8/10/2000*

Multicache: Rainbow’s End (GC14E9) – 6/8/2001

Mystery: BBB (GCD420) – 13/2/2003 (there are a couple of movable caches currently in Victoria which are older)

Virtual: More Melbourne Television Trivia (GCE258) – 10/3/2003

Webcam: Spirit of the Skier (GCMJ2J) – 19/1/2005

Earthcache: Colqhuon Quarry (GC10PCM) – 1/2/2007

Letterbox Hybrid: A Penny for Your Thoughts (GC10T6T)  25/2/2007

Whereigo: Flight of Fancy (GC1BCA3) – 20/4/2008*

Western Australia

Traditional: Albany Quarantine (GC576) – 27/3/2001

Multicache: Crystal Brook Multi-Cache (GC3397) – 20/1/2002

Virtual: Boat yard bliss (GC733B) – 20/7/2002

Mystery: King Arthur (GCCD53) – 1/2/2003

Earthcache: Living Rocks Earthcache (GCKZB4) – 31/10/2004

Letterbox Hybrid: The Green Angel (GC26YA2) – 17/4/2010

Whereigo: Lucy in Woodvale (GC306CA) – 14/7/2011

Webcam: none currently active

Original Aussie geocaches

Inspired by the discussion on show 566 of the Podcacher podcast about when and where the first of each type of geocache was placed, I decided to try and find this information out for Australian caches. The following list (from oldest to newest) shows the earliest currently active cache of each type i.e. it does not include archived caches, some of which may have been placed before the ones listed here.

Virtual: Lane Cove (GC3E) – 18/5/2000 (NSW). This is actually the first cache placed in Australia. It was originally a traditional cache, but was changed to a virtual when the container had to be removed because it was inadvertently placed in the habitat of an endangered plant.

Traditional: Melbourne’s 1st (GC7A) – 8/10/2000 (Vic). This wasn’t the first traditional cache placed in Australia, but it’s now the oldest traditional due to Lane Cove changing to a virtual.

Multi: Scott Creek Multiple (GC1E2) – 3/2/2001 (SA)

Mystery: On The Run (GC3720) – 3/2/2002. This is one of very few movable caches still active in Australia.

Mystery: #38 Under Pressure (GC39EC) – 15/2/2002 (NSW). The oldest non-movable mystery cache in Australia.

Webcam: Penguins (GCC1EC) – 10/1/2003 (SA)

Earthcache: Earthcache I – a simple geology tour of Wasp Head (GCHFT2) – 10/1/2004 (NSW). This is also the first earthcache placed anywhere in the world.

Letterbox Hybrid: – The Apprentice (GCRF2Z) – 11/12/2005 (Tas)

Whereigo: – Flight of Fancy (GC1BCA3) – 20/4/2008 (Vic)

So if anyone wants to find the oldest active cache of each type in Australia, you know where to go.

Note: I’ve only included caches from geocaching.com; I might prepare a separate list of caches from geocaching.com.au.

Taking a trip down memory lane

Today marks 10 years since I arrived home after my first overseas holiday. It was a seven-week trip to the US (with two day-trips to Canada thrown in) with my sister. We had a great time visiting the west coast, east coast, and Hawaii. My top three places that we visited were Yellowstone National Park, New York, and Hawaii – Yellowstone for its wildlife and the landscape, New York for just being New York, and Hawaii for its relaxed vibe and volcanoes. These are the places we visited:

  • San Francisco
  • Seattle (day-trip to Victoria, British Columbia)
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • New York
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Orlando
  • Las Vegas
  • San Diego
  • Los Angeles
  • Hawaii

In honour of the 10 year anniversary of going on the holiday, I posted a whole bunch of photos to Facebook. I added a new album for each place we visited on the date that we arrived there. I’ve also uploaded all the photos to Google Photos so that I’ve got them stored online somewhere. Here’s a selection of them from across the holiday:

At the time we weren’t geocachers, so we didn’t spend any time looking for caches. I bet there were hundreds of them near us, though. It was a great trip and I wouldn’t mind going back one day with the family. I have heard that there’s a Star Wars Land being built at Disney World …

A week in the life of a medical librarian: day 5

Well, we’ve made it to the end of the week. It was another mixed bag today:

  • One-and-a-half hours working on my presentation
  • One-and-a-half hours updating our e-book holdings
  • One hour on email
  • Two hours working on our offsite access URLs
  • Two hours troubleshooting access to our e-journals

So what did I spend my time on this week?

 

  • Nine hours on literature searches
  • Seven hours on the front desk
  • Seven hours troubleshooting access to our e-journals
  • Four-and-a-half hours checking the links for our offsite access authentication
  • Three-and-a-half hours on emails
  • Three-and-a-half hours planning and preparing my presentation for next month’s Health Libraries Australia Professional Development Day
  • Three hours of meetings
  • Two-and-a-half hours on e-book usage statistics
  • One-and-a-half hours updating our e-book holdings
  • One hour working on a submission for our hospital Quality and Innovation Awards
  • One hour providing EndNote training
  • Half an hour updating usage statistics for last month
  • Lunch with Schrödinger the hospital cat (including a selfie)

I’m not surprised that literature searches and troubleshooting online resources were at the top of the list. My job is to maintain the library’s e-journals and offsite access systems, so those tasks should take up a lot of my time. I did seem to be doing more of that this week than usual, though. We also had quite a few literature searches come through recently, so that’s why it was at the top of my list.

I found it an interesting exercise to track what I did each day, and I hope it gives you a bit of an insight into what medical librarians do.