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…