Director Day In The Life, Friday

This morning was my triumphant (?) return to the gym.  Picked Steve up at 7, and we went and walked and ran until 7:45, then I headed home to shower, breakfast, and drive back to campus, this time in a suit jacket rather than running shoes.

9:30-11:45:  Ref desk shift.  Turn on the computer and patron-facing monitor, launch the libraries’ Meebo account, check the Reference Wiki for updates, make sure the stats sheet is for today’s date, and get ready for the (non)onslaught.  I wonder about the future of traditional reference services, but I can’t underestimate the value of face-to-face point-of-need help, either.  A big challenge for small institutions with limited staff, and one I don’t have a good answer for other than doing my part and sitting out here once a week.

  • “I need help with Chicago Style citations.”
  • *crickets* (there are 16 students at our 24 reference-area computers, and the printers are running non-stop, as is the stapler.  The cafe is doing steady business, and there are students sitting in every study area I can see from the desk.  They just don’t need any help.  It is, after all, the first week of classes.)
  • Chat (and laugh) with Archivist about yesterday’s faculty issue.
  • Talk to Reference Coordinator about weeding going on in the Reference Collection, and about the books I ordered with a grant last year, which are finally arriving and getting cataloged, to fill in our basic religion collection — what to put in Reference, what in stacks?
  • “What’s the easiest way to set up Interlibrary Loan privileges?”
  • “How do I find articles for a paper due at the end of the semester?”  This one turned into a longish interview in which I showed how to use our major databases, explained why using MultiSearch with a broad keyword like “Vietnam” is never going to work well, and helped her understand why she might need to narrow her topic *first* and do research *second*.
  • Talked with current chair of the Personnel Committee about scheduling issues, and our Bylaws.
  • Meebo question about international newspapers.

Total actual Helping Patrons questions:  4.  Less than two per hour.  Other stuff accomplished at the desk: Reviewed the digital camera recommendation from the librarians I asked to find us a good new one, emailed HR about our next librarian search, read a bunch of Day In The Life blog posts, poked around in a couple of our databases to stay up-to-date on them, printed some documents in advance of my afternoon responsibilities, checked yesterday’s budget spreadsheets to monitor our spending position, responded to some FriendFeed librarian-y threads, and generally watched the library hum around me.

11:45-12:30:  Lunch with a faculty friend.

12:30-1:30:  Interview with Public Affairs candidate.

1:30-2:  Stop into Human Resources to talk through questions related to attendance, union structures, strategic planning, reorganization, retirements, employee benefits, the online recruitment system, and annual evaluations.  There’s a lot for a new Director to learn!

2:15-4:  Office work!

  • Faxed some documents across campus
  • Checked email and voicemail
  • Logged into online recruitment system and used my new knowledge to expedite the job description approval process
  • Reviewed the ACRL 2011 submission deadlines and documents… I have ideas…
  • Started reading background stuff related to strategic planning, with a highlighter, pen, and post-its in hand.

4: Home.  It’s Friday.  Time for a weekend…

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