Library Day in the Life 2009: Monday

I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the Library Day in the Life posts last July. It is a fascinating glimpse at the day to day tasks that various people perform in a variety of libraries. With that, I couldn’t resist participating again this year.

So, here is a look into a somewhat average Monday in my life as a systems librarian at an academic library at a small liberal arts college.

I arrive at work. As soon as I walk down the corridor on the 2nd floor, I can tell that the air conditioner on the south side of the building (where my office is located) is still not operational. The building is muggy, muggy, muggy. There is a door to a balcony in my office. I open it and turn on my fan. I can tell it is going to be a fun day.

I sit down to go through my email and voice mails. I was out on Friday so I expect that I will have a higher than normal volume of stuff to go through. I am relieved that all 5 voice mails are automated messages from non-work related sales people. However, I have several things that I need to follow up on. I respond to those people via email who are waiting for responses. I check in with the person who reports to me on an outstanding issue regarding a book-binding application that no longer runs because of an upgrade to IE8. She was able to get IE7 reinstalled and all is solved.

I talk to the IT trainer to get a username and password for one of the online training sites to which we have a subscription. I need to learn how to use the more advanced functionality of Adobe CS4 – especially Photoshop. I get the information and successfully log in. I find the right online class and complete the first lesson.

I take a survey from our ILS vendor on a recent software upgrade. While the upgrade went well, I did have to contact the vendor several times in order to complete the process. I feel that I need to take time to vocalize my frustrations with the process in the survey.

July marks the beginning of our new fiscal year. During July, we must complete performance reviews and set objectives for the coming year. While I have already met with the woman who works for me, I start work on finishing up her performance management review for fiscal year 2009. I find this to be one of the most difficult parts of my job, and it takes me quite a bit of time to get the forms completed. I do finish this document and email the final copy to my employee. However, I do get interrupted and don’t actually finish it until later in the day.

I also start to fill out the forms for my employee’s goals and objectives for FY2010. I finish two of the three goals fairly quickly. I probably will need to wait until my boss (library director) finishes my goals and objectives in order to keep everything in line with departmental goals and objectives.

I am managing a project in our library to restructure our integrated library system’s location codes and materials types. The hope is that this will add more intuitive limiting capabilities in our online catalog. After a conversation with our circulation supervisor, I add several different location codes, add them to my master spreadsheet and email the spreadsheet to the circulation supervisor.

There is another possible project in ther works to incorporate a collection from another campus department. I also start the structure for adding these new branch and location codes into our library system.

I write up some information about my proposed goals and objectives for fiscal year 2010 for my boss. I figure this will help me set objectives for my employee.

I continue alternating between several of these projects until lunch.

It is lunch time. I go into the staff room to reheat my lunch. There is a broken faucet that is leaking continuously in one of the staff bathrooms. Also, the staff room is more uncomfortable than my office. So, I decide to eat at my desk. I check gmail, my RSS feeds, etc while I eat. Once I finish, I go back to work early.

I start to formulate my thoughts and concerns about the proposed project to add a departmental collection to our library system. Overall, I a in favor, but think there are several issues that need to be resolved. I told my boss that I will be unable to make a library department head meeting tomorrow morning because of a conference call. He tells me that he will call a meeting later in the week to discuss this project and its ramifications. I ask him about a timeline for inclusion, to which the answer is “as soon as we work out our issues.” I guess it really isn’t a proposed project anymore.

All of my work on performance management plans has given me a framework for the annual report that I need to write for the systems department. So, I start work on this report which is due by August 15th. I vow (like I do every year) to keep better track of what I am doing throughout the year, so that I won’t have trouble remembering what I actually did this past year.

For the rest of the afternoon, I go back and forth some more between all of the currently projects on which I a currently working.

Now that the sun is shining on the backside of the library, my office is getting even warmer. I turn the fan up to its highest setting and then clean my desk of loose paperwork.

I have a 4:00PM appointment across campus with an IT director to discuss a conference call that we will both be on tomorrow morning at 10:00AM. The conference call is with the vendor of our digital asset management product.  We are migrating the software off of a virtual machine environment and putting it on its own hardware in August. The call tomorrow is in preparation for that migration.

I get back to my office and get ready to leave for the day. I remember to put my handwritten list of my activities for this post in my bag. I had shut my balcony door when I left for my 4:00PM meeting, so my office is about 90 degrees. I am already sweating. I read a series of emails from the director about the air conditioning. The first email reports that the problem is well on its way to being solved. It should be cooler by the end of tomorrow. But the second email reports a new problem. The motor on one of the units that was just fixed is broken. Both compressors will be replaced tomorrow. However, now the HVAC people need to find a new motor. The director does not expect tomorrow to be much cooler.


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