Library Day in the Life – Friday

Well, it’s a bit late but this is my final post for Round 7 of the Library Day in the Life Project. It covers Friday and Saturday, as I worked a weekend shift for the forst time in a while. And it was in a brand new building!

As with the past couple of days, Friday started with a shift at a service point. The 9am-10am shift is the first of the day, and has been pretty quiet this week. It could be a bit different next week once semester starts.

Later in the day I had a meeting with two of my colleagues to discuss the access arrangements for one of our restricted access collections. It is a collection which received very little use in the old library, and we assume that will be the case in the new building. The collection is stored in the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), so items need to be requested for retrieval via the catalogue. The complicating factor with this particular collection is that there are restrictions on who can access the material in it. Currently, anyone can log in to the catalogue and request an item from the Automated Retrieval Collection (ARC), so we need to come up with a way of dealing with requests for material from this collection.

In the afternoon we held an afternoon tea to farewell one of our long-serving (23 years service) staff members who has retired. I was in Year 6 when she started work at the library (most people don’t like it when I point out things like that).

Saturday was the first weekend day that the new library was open, so it was a memorable shift from that point of view. As expected, most of the questions from patrons were directional, because people are still finding their way around. There were a few teething issues to be worked out with the building, but on the whole the day went pretty well.

Well, that’s it for my Library Day in the Life summary for this round. If there’s a Round 8 I’ll sign up again. For August I’m taking part in #tweetAugust (as @andrew2153), so hopefully I can post at least one tweet a day.

Library Day in the Life Round 7 – Wednesday and Thursday

So much for doing a post per day – I don’t know where the days have gone!

Wednesday got off to a fairly quiet start with a shift on one of service points. Working in the new library is certainly keeping us fit as we’re taking clients to the collection and the services they’re looking for, rather than just pointing them in the general direction.

After this shift I had a meeting with a PhD student who was wanting some help with their research. They’re looking at using bibliometrics to measure the level of interdisciplinarity within the environmental science field. We had a look at the citation map feature on the new Web of Knowledge platform, and thought about ways of collecting and analysing the references from the articles published in a particular journal.

After lunch I had a meeting with an academic staff member to finalise the training arrangements for their unit. The training rooms in the new library are being finished off at the moment, so they might not be available. We came up with a couple of alternative venues that would allow the students to have some hands-on expeience of searching the library resources.

Thursday began with another service point shift at 9am, which was pretty quiet. Straight after this I had a shift in our Virtual Service Centre (VSC), and that was very quiet too. The VSC handles all the non face-to-face enquiries from patrons i.e. phone, email and chat.
With the new library came new Multi Function Devices (MFDs) for client printing and photocopying, as well as new software that patrons use to pay for this service. I got some training on these new MFDs this morning, which covered the various types of machines, where they are located, and how to use them. This is going to be one of the main source of questions from the students when they return to campus next week. The books are still arranged the same way, the computers still work the same, but the new printing and copying equipment and software is something they’ll have to get used to.
I went to more training after lunch. This time it was a refresher in using the Circulation module of our library management system. I’ve worked in Circulation previously and have filled in at the Borrowing Counter when staff have been in meetings, so it wasn’t completely new to me. On the service points there are a mixture of reference and circulation staff, so we’ll now be dealing with circulation-related queries too. It’s going to be a steep learning curve over the next few weeks.
Well, there’s only one day to go in this round of Library Day in the Life. Next week the ALIA New Graduates Group is beginning a Twitter blitz as part of their #tweetAugust project. I’ve never been much of a tweeter, but I think I might give it a go next month.

Library Day in the Life – Round 7

I’m a couple of days late with this first post for Round 7 of the Library Day in the Life Project, as I only found out about it via a Facebook post from one of my friends. I’ll have to try and summarise two days worth of posts in one.

I work as a Liaison Librarian at Macquarie University Library in Sydney, Australia. Monday 25th July was a landmark day at Macquarie University Library, as it was the day we started offering all our services from our new library. The building has been open since March as a study space, but on Monday it became operational as a library. As with any new facility there have been a few teething problems, but they’ve been worked out. We’re now preparing for the return of the students from their mid-year break next week.

At 9am on Monday I began my one-hour shift at one of our new service points. There weren’t too many patrons at that stage, but the shift was filled with figuring out where stuff was and how things would work. When I was at the service point again at 3pm it was a bit busier.

In between these two shifts I was checking email and making arrangements to meet an member of the academic staff regarding some training she wants us to conduct in a few weeks time. I also called another academic to follow up on their request for training.

I’m one of the “Technology Champions” for my department, which means I provide basic IT help and support to staff. We’ve changed to a new operating system and version of Microsoft Office with the move, so I answered a few questions from staff about problems they’ve been having.

In a symbolic gesture, I handed in my key to the office from the old library. The new building has swipe card access, so all the keys are obselete.

Tuesday 26th was a similar day to Monday. I had a shift at a service point, which wasn’t too busy. The main excitement for the day was our first evacuation drill in the new building, which went off pretty smoothly. It did help that there were probably more staff in the building than patrons – the next one will be quite different.

I clarified some more details about the training rooms in the new library that we’ll be using in a couple of weeks.

That’s about it for the first couple of days. From now on there’ll be a post covering each day.

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?