Director Day in the Life, 1/24/2011

What my day appeared to be, as of Sunday night:

9-10: Meeting with computing and Extended Education staff, regularly scheduled, this week’s agenda is a conference call with Carey Hatch from SUNY to discuss the SUNY Learning Network.
10-11:  Meeting with interested librarians and the director of campus assessment to discuss how the libraries might begin assessing student learning outcomes as relate to our work.
11-12: Get Stuff Done.
12-1:30: Working lunch, more GSD.
1:30-2:30: Meeting with library facilities manager and several staff members to discuss how to make an office where there is no office so that all staff who need offices have offices.  In the next 3 weeks.  Without doing construction.
2:30-6: Review, comment on, and/or sign off on performance plans and annual reviews submitted by two staff supervisors for their supervisees, write evaluations for two of my direct reports, and write three performance plans for direct reports.
6-7:30:  Gym for an hour of cardio and 20 minutes of weight lifting.

What it turned out to be:

Today was a Good Monday.  The morning went basically as expected. My second meeting extended to about 11:30, with lots of extra talking. The afternoon meeting I rescheduled because of a staff absence.  I spent 11:30-12:15 reading and responding to email. I ate at my desk and surfed the web — some professional stuff, some fashion and gossip blogs — until 1.  Then I did more stuff — email, took a survey for EDUCAUSE, scheduled some things, prepped for a meeting later in the week, read through a LOT of backlogged donor reports, talked to some people about miscellaneous things (another record year for information literacy instruction!), wrangled Proquest some more, did battle with the scanner/copier, and finally put my nose to the grindstone on personnel evals around 3.  I worked on those until 6, taking a break in between each step.  And then I went home… totally bailing on the gym.  It was -6F.  That’s way too cold for anything other than going home and lying on the couch to watch the latest episode of Community.

Which I recommend, by the way.  Great show.  Troy and Abed, Britta and Shirley and Annie, Chevy Chase as part of an ensemble, and Joel McHale being brilliant as Jeff.  Watch. Really.  It’s great.



  1. “Meeting with interested librarians and the director of campus assessment to discuss how the libraries might begin assessing student learning outcomes as relate to our work.”

    Hey, I’m working on the same question! Even more precisely, I’ve just started a pilot project on the same question in connection with an accepted conference presentation proposal. Have you learned anything interesting you could share?


  2. Mark, we’re at the very earliest stages of talking about it. But we proposed to do two things.

    One is to propose and participate in a rewrite of the Information Literacy learning objectives in the General Education curriculum, and to work with Institutional Assessment to evaluate those as part of the standard GenEd assessment process, specifically asking that a question about the efficacy of library sessions be added.

    Second, we’re going to look at what our mission and goals are with a bottom-up rather than top-down process. As in, what is each unit of the libraries doing, and why? What are our granular operational goals? Can they be re-written as learning objectives? Are they measurable? And if so, let’s start doing that, and frame our mission around them.

    If we start at the question of “can we measure student learning in reference interactions”, we all just stare at each other in bafflement, so we’re trying a different angle.


  3. Thanks. Sounds interesting. And challenging–but I repeat myself. 🙂

    I completely agree that a different angle is needed. I’m working on using academic course data to assess collection strength. My university has a (young) assessment process and a (very young) set of undergraduate learning outcomes. None of which say much about the library or information literacy. So I’m starting at the basic level of “you want students to learn how to do certain things” and “you have a library with particular stuff in it,” looking for measurable correlations, building a framework within which I can do curriculum work with faculty and set priorities about what library services we should focus on improving first.

    It’s fun and important, but avoiding the baffled stares can be a trick. Perhaps I am simply easily baffled.


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