Today has been a good day. I was late night librarian so got in at 11. Carolyn was visiting the main site so I showed her the new Financial Databases Suite – it looks bit empty now but when it is finished it will look great.
I spoke to the academic I had done the referencing session on Tuesday for and she is really keen to help me develop some online resources, maybe as part of Technology Enabled Academic Practice. Enthusiastic academic staff make such a difference to the work we do. I also had a booking from the academic we saw yesterday for a session in a fortnight.
I got my mark back for the essay I did over Christmas – my first on this MA (I am doing the MA in Academic Practice at City) I was pleased with the mark. I always figure the first essay of a new course is a bit of an exercise in working out where you fit and what they want. I have room for improvement but would be pleased if I got this mark all the way through.
After lunch I headed to Cass on the scariest bus ever – it should take 15 minutes but took less than ten including me walking up the road from the bus to Cass. Boy racer bus driver methinks.
We then had a meeting about the Cass Library website. At the moment it sits on the Cass website, separate from the main City library one and we need to think about where it should be. We all can see both sides of the argument for having it on either site but it needs thinking about.
After a short break I met with my manager who completed my probation. Despite being there for 14 months because I had the absence because of my surgery it ran from my return to work. Anyway I am now permanently employed and very pleased too as I rather like my job.
The evening session then brought a blast from the past as some very confused students from my old place of work came into the library. Except they weren’t supposed to use it. Anyway I ended up writing an essay to various people trying to explain where I think the confusion came from. I fear I may have added to the confusion …
Other than that the library was very busy. One student wanted to know if he had to bring his book back as he needed it. When I looked it up it had 7 holds on it. I explained that he was depriving students of it and he said “yes but I haven’t finished with it. I’ll just keep it until the essay is due in. I can afford the fines.” The very next student then started quoting the article that was in the press recently about UK libraries making lots of money from fines but how he thought they were a good idea. Overdue books, fines and other punishments are an endless area of thought for library staff. In the end all we want is the most people to be able to access our resources!
Today was an odd day as I was working from home because I had a hospital appointment right in the middle of the day.
I quite like working from home. I wouldn’t want to do it every day as I like to see people but from time to time it can really get things done. I tend to get up about 7:30 and check my emails whilst drinking my first cup of tea and carry on working through the day – often well past 5! I can focus on projects especially preparation for presentations or reports. Unfortunately it isn’t something I get to do very often.
So today was spent replying to emails, tidying up some presentations and drafting some blog posts. I also read some of the readings for my Technology Enabled Academic Practice module which I need to post in the discussion group about tomorrow (I would have done it today but ran out of time and because the hospital had taken longer than expected I decided I should think about them tomorrow when my head is clearer).
It’s come round again! This week I am going to take part in the Library Day in the Life project again. The idea came from Librarian by day and gives librarians a chance to document what they do. There is a twitter hastag if you want to follow on twitter #libday8 and Flickr, you tube and other blogs will be tagged with something like: librarydayinthelife or #libday8.
I’ll blog every day about what I have done. Some posts will be more interesting than others! (Assume every day includes writing and replying to emails and drinking LOTS of tea.)
Looking back today was interesting for me but probably less so for people reading it but I guess the point is to show people what a varied job we do. My main complaint about today was the lack of time for lunch … I also had a drastically reduced tea intake.
The majority of today (4 1/4 hours of it) was spent in a closed card sorting exercise for an online project I am working on. The session was run by one of the web team, Rik, and he had some fancy software which recorded what was happening. Three students took part individually and this was why it took so long. I was merely observing but it was interesting to see how students thought things went together compared with how we thought they should. It was also interesting to see the differences in how the students approached the task.
I think user studies are very useful and can help inform web design but they are also very time intensive. Also in my role there needs to be a balance between what users think they need and us ensuring they get what they actually need. Saying this I always have time for examining the reality of what people do.
Before the card sort I finished off a presentation and PDF guide to go on my citing and referencing subject guide. I’m doing a troubleshooting citing and referencing session with Management students tomorrow and although I won’t be delivering the full presentation it is useful to be able to direct them to it. The guide is a essentially the PowerPoint as a PDF but the contents page is clickable which should help students navigate it easily. In addition to this I did a blog post covering various frequently asked citation and referencing questions.
Tonight, just to keep up the library theme, my friend Sarah Ison who works at Brighton is coming for dinner. We probably won’t just talk libraries …