well today was much better than yesterday, thank jeebus.
headed into work a bit early to triage some email prior to a morning spent with a jobtalk and interviewing a candidate for an gig chez moi.
had a meeting that ran extra long so missed a conference call for SLA Eastern Canada (i’m president-elect) which bummed me out since it was my first thinger in an official capacity. grrrr.
inhaled lunch prior to the selection committee resuming to discuss the morning’s candidate. our committee is made up of folks from all around the library, so it’s always interesting to hear other opinions and figure out what is important to people. sometimes i agree, sometimes i don’t, but the insight is hella valuable.
spent a chunk of the afternoon reviewing the schedules for the 7 students i hired last week. coordinating it with the two digitization projects they are working on, as well as making sure no work station is double-booked… well, let’s just say i’m a big-picture person so will have one of my team members have a look at it and make sure i didn’t monkey any of it. (i probably did.)
met with ed to further develop the workplan for digital initiatives. we’ve built a plan that will take us to september. i think ed calls it “optimistically ambitious” – which means we’re planning to get way too much stuff done by the end of the summer, but that’s kinda how we roll. we seem to be pretty good at getting things done in a miraculous fashion, except when we don’t.
answered a bunch of copyright questions, set up some meetings for a few digital projects we’re working on, and iced my ankle a few times.
towards the end of the afternoon, collections services brought me a few rare books to have digitized as part of an islamic manuscript collection. we chatted about next steps and planned a meeting for tomorrow. the books were just sitting on my desk and so i started wondering about them. looked them up in the catalogue – all three were over 350 years old.
now, those of you who know me know that i’m the reason we can’t have nice things. i lose favourite pieces of jewellery, dribble food on fancy clothing, and cause sparks to fly out of expensive machinery.
so i decided it was best to call it a day and get the hell outta my office before i tried to take a swig of water out of my sippy cup, only to have the lid explode off the top, somehow hitting a sprinkler on the ceiling, breaking that little doohickey that if you break it (say, by hanging your clothes from it on a cruise ship because they need to dry and there’s no other place to hang things from since you’re living in a 6’x8′ cabin for 7 months – or so i’m told) sets off the water, thereby drowning my office, and these precious and unique books.
leaving the house this morning i wiped out, but good. slipped on the 2nd step down from my apartment and rode the rest of the stairs down on my ass (manoeuvring the curve in the stairs, thank you very much) and totally crunching my ankle at the bottom on the sidewalk.
so i did some work from home while lying prone and taking a few muscle relaxants cuz my back was not at all happy with the slip n’slide.
not much to report cuz the meds made me a bit loopy so i kept napping… read some blogs. sorted some emails. mind-mapped my job to try and get all the pieces to fit together into a cohesive picture.
hopeful that i’ll feel good enough to go into work tomorrow. i’m on the selection committee for a bunch of librarian positions, and there’s an interview & job talk tomorrow that i do not want to miss.
fell asleep early last night (so. much. indian. food.) so i woke up hyper early (well, for me). caught up on the blogosphere while listening to cbc. (i haven’t owned a television for over 10 years, so my life revolves around cbc radio.) (and i don’t not own one because i’m a hipster, i don’t own one because when i moved to bc 10 years ago it wasn’t worth shipping our gargantuan console tv.)
cbc is still talking about the horrific Shafia trial. (please don’t follow the links unless you want to be saddened, and likely read some crazytalk by some anti-immigration folks.) having worked in the newsroom of a daily newspaper, i understand the media, and the importance of discussing current events. that being said, i’m up before 8am and so i switch to the top 40 channel and just listen to the weather, cuz my brain is only kinda ready for this stuff.
meet with a faculty member to discuss collaborating on grants together. being tenure-track faculty at mpow, i can apply for all kinds o’research things. that being said, i still have a 9-5 job throughout the year, so it’s not like i’m a regular prof. BUT i know the library has a crucial role to play in many of the fun things happening at mcgill, and i’ll be damned if posted work hours stop me from doing things i truly enjoy and that will place the library as the hub of awesome that it is.
2nd meeting of the day is with my practicum student from the library school. she is looking at what actually makes an IR “successful” (because i don’t think that just having lotsa stuff in it = success. if it ain’t used, it ain’t successful.) she is wicked smart, asks the right questions, and is so interested in repositories that, well, i feel like the library school has come a loooong way since when i was there.
the rest of the day was me locked in my office, with breaks for coffee with ed:
finalizing the setup of the room for the retrospective digitization project (and by this i mean actually moving tables, and liaising with the movers)
updating various faculty on repository/digitization projects
looking at some metadata for a collection we are contributing to a promising linked data initiative with Library & Archives Canada
setting up a lot of meetings for the coming week and a half. a lot.
finalizing the coordination of having a friend talk at the library school. i like being able to do this for the school, because students should talk to librarylanders as often as possible, and i know some pretty awesome librarylanders.
reading some books for that thing i have to go to. ouf. it’s gonna be tough. (reading, not going to the thing.)
evaluating some other grants for a meeting that my partner-in-crime (prof @ the library school) and i want to hold next year
dealing with more emails
chatting with a team member who totally scored and found 2 large format scanners that had been “retired” but are still very functional, so we’re gonna set them up
telling a friend about my conference plan for june and july. his response “good gawd woman.” he was right. re-planning.
meeting two colleagues for drinks after work. we have a bunch of branches, so i don’t get to see a lot of my favourite people regularly. i consider this essential and part of my workday.
finally getting home and started poking at some sxsw stuff. we present in 6 weeks (WHUT WHUT?) and i’m psyched, but have also dropped the ball re: group prep so i’m working on that.
also i ate a bucket of roasted rapini. that has nothing to do with being a librarian, but much to do with my happiness in life.
i like these libday things. i still get asked weekly what i do all day. it’s nice having a semi-recording of it. thanks Bobbi!
i hate mondays. i especially hate mondays after i’ve been out of the office, because then my inbox is bananas, there are messages on my phone (people, please, don’t bother phoning me), and my whiteboard gives me the stinkeye as though it’s saying “what have you done for me lately?”
today was one of those mondays.
since i am still sans-boss (BE MY BOSS) i attend the senior management meeting first thing in the morning to rep for my department. despite the early hour – okay, it’s not that early, but me and mornings have never liked each other very much – i genuinely enjoy these meetings. it’s great insight into big issues in the organization, and i get to learn from the dean and associate directors. also, there is free coffee, and usually some kinda cookie thing. BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS.
we’ve got a number of digitization projects on the go, including a mega-retrospective dissertation project (the first 12,000 dissertations from mcgill – which will all be made publicly available), so i spend an hour interviewing some students for the gig. in between the interviews i start hacking away at my inbox. i also grab a quick coffee (yes, more coffee) with ed to set up our week and figure out if there are any fires that we need to put out, or start, by friday.
grab lunch in the cafeteria. they’ve started carrying some zaatar-type pitas with spinach and feta and YUM. also you can eat them while running between meetings. (i never eat in the library. nope. not never.) today i don’t have to run to another meeting for 45mins so i eat (inhale) the pita while reading some leadership books that were sent to me to prep for a leadership institute i’m going to in a few weeks. homework, yay! also, i don’t really read, uh, books, like, ever, so this is proving to be quite a learning experience.
look at to-do list and kinda freak out. get more coffee with ed.
see a question on a listserv (LIBRARYLAND LISTERVS 4EVA) about copyright which basically demonstrates how ignorant some librarians are when it comes to this (yes i know very confusing) topic. rant to ed (who gets to see RAMBINA in action more times than anyone should), rant to friendfeed, realize that i don’t want my colleagues to be this ignorant so decide to set up some sessions on copyright and OA for my peeps.
final interview. too many good candidates. i am lucky.
get an application in to the Young Canada Works program to get help with the dissertation project this summer.
triage elventy million emails.
sort out some other copyright superfuntimes with the grad studies office. follow up on missing equipment and software. hunt for invoices (seriously, i shouldn’t have to ask for an invoice if i owe you money, just gimme the thing and i will pay you), put a hold request on a book that i will try to read because i know i need to for my job and it’s time to put on my big-girl pants and just do it.
complain to friends via group text that it’s monday and someone should kill monday with a chainsaw.
realize i’m starving (homey needs more than a pita for lunch) and scrounge around my office for a snack. what do i find?
stinkin’ air canada snack food from my flight on saturday. (and yes, bretzels is french for pretzels. bretty stubid.) regardless, i devour’em.
read some articles, blog posts, poke at people on the internet about projects, and generally try and get inbox down to not-ass-kicking for tuesday.
end the day having dinner with the repository monkey at the other english university in town. we eat too much indian food, yell about mediated deposits, and generally confirm that we are in the right line of work.
get home and fill out an online quiz from one of the books for the leadership institute. it tells me my strengths are: futuristic, positivity, activator, adaptable, and individualistic.
la bella ali tagged me for this awhile back… (sorry babe!) i skipped a few Qs as i am currently sans kids.
so here we go.
1. Is there anything you’ve ever eaten that was so delicious that you think of it and go kind of misty-eyed to this very day?
my mom’s yorkshire pudding tastes like joy. (and at a zillion calories, why wouldn’t it?)
2. Are you a city person or country person? Half and half? Why?
until my mid-teens i adored living in the suburbs. lachine was filled with parks, kids playing in the streets, and a real sense of community. and when i think of raising kids, i would want to do that in the ‘burbs, at least for the first few years. (note: i didn’t go to high school in lachine. best decision i ever made.) (not because lachine high wasn’t a great school, but because it got me out of the usual.)
as an adult – city. please.
4. What’s the loveliest place you’ve ever traveled? Could be wildly exotic or comfortingly local.
loveliest would be a tie between barcelona and guadeloupe. as for my new fave place to live? edinburgh. in a heartbeat.
5. Okay, same as Sigrid: Laundry tips? Please?
a rag sprayed with white vinegar stops almost all static in the dryer.
wash bright blue items with white items to increase the “whiteness”.
6. Do you have a life plan, or do you just sort of truck along?
everyday i want to be happy – adjust life accordingly. when that fails, review life, adjust accordingly. (basically – i roll with the punches.)
7. Would friends of the teenage you recognize the current you? Would you still get along?
i think they would definitely recognize me. and for the most part, we’d still get along. and like ali, i’m still friends with a bunch of them. (including ali)
8. Any novels to recommend for an almost-seven-year-old girl? What were your favourites? Which are you looking forward to sharing with your own kid(s)?
ali’s list is pretty good. i could prolly pull together a list from some youth librarians for you. these days, graphic novels are very popular and they have been proven to build literacy skills just like traditional texts. </endofmyliteracyspeech
since i try not to schedule meetings on mondays, my tuesdays tend to have at least two of them. i think i run fairly productive meetings. i always have an agenda, take minutes, and rarely go over time by more than a few minutes. i’m also a big believer in only having meetings when there’s something to discuss – i’m not a fan of the standing meeting. but then, i don’t run every meeting at mpow.
these meetings had to do with sorting through work needing to be finished by the digitization team. my ABSOFRICKINLUTELY amazing programmer has created a database that queries both our catalogue and Sherpa/Romeo while tracking the process of depositing items into our IR. it is a thing of beauty and when we’re done testing it i’ll tell you more about it.
i also met with my direct supervisor to update her on the the past month and to sort out priorities for now until may 31 (end of fiscal year, chez moi). we’re going to focus on our new “on demand” service – printing on demand and digitizing on demand. (will post more about those when they go live.)
over lunch i rewatched larry lessig‘s talk about copyright in higher education – cuz sometimes librarians need to be reminded that they ARE fighting the good fight. also, i’m a huge fangirl of his, so watching a talk is never “work”. while watching larry, i took my first stab at a packing list for my trip, based loosely off of jessamyn’s (i know i talked about her in the last post. deal.)
other stuff done during the day:
realizing that we need to get better support from a hardware vendor, and trying to figure out the best way to get what we need. they are a new company, and have great customer service, but they’re still growing so only just now figuring out all the demands of their users.
answered a survey sent out by a library considering using one of our products, to help them make the decision.
came to terms with the fact that my office is a berloody mess and i really need to do something about it before i lose my mind. note: this will probably be repeated in #libday5.
thought about downloading some reading material for my travels tomorrow, but then realized that because i use zotero, i had all the PDFs/screenshots with me already. in my world, zotero = productivity.
once home, worked for another few hours finishing up emails and letting folks now that i wouldn’t be back in the office until next monday.
finally fell asleep around 2am. i was restless thinking about going to the SLA Leadership Summit and seeing some great friends (who i only see at conferences due to geographical shenanigans, but who i talk to daily.) also, St Louis has ribs and blues bars. sweet.
wednesday to sunday
i’m at the SLA Leadership Summit in St Louis, MO.
i decided to come because i’m the Communications & Social Media Chair for both the IT and Academic divisions. being on the advisory boards means getting to help plan future directions for the divisions, which is interesting because i get some insight into the organization.
the leadership summit is very different from the annual conference. there are only about 250 people who attend leadership. they are all on chapter or division boards and are really the folks responsible for implementing and “living” SLA. thanks to the tiny size, it’s dead easy to meet folks.
leadership is also different because the summit is about developing the leadership capabilities of the attendees. we skillshare on topics like recruitment & retention. board meetings look at programming for the annual conference. the invited keynote is always someone that has an interesting take on organizations and how best they can serve their members. essentially, it’s about developing SLA leaders (both those who are appointed to boards, and those who self-identify as leaders) to ensure the association can respond to its membership.
this was my first leadership summit and on the whole i found it a good experience. it was great to hear what other folks have planned for the annual conference in New Orleans. it was interesting to hear about, and then really think about, the concept of loyalty when it comes to large organizations, and even further, what this means in academic libraryland.
and of course, SLA events are made for networking. some people i know i will only see at SLA events, and i’m always eager to catch up with them. the LSW had a sizable cohort at leadership, so much so that there was talk of having an LSW caucus – if only to have some beer money for the meetups at annual!
i’ve been a part of a number of library organizations since first starting library school – SLA, CLA, ALA, QLA, LSW – and to be honest, SLA has helped me the most in terms of growing into a professional. [i don't want to sound like a shill, because this is all very sincere.]
for any LIS students reading this, think about the associations to which you belong (and if you don’t belong to any, you are missing out on a crazy opportunity to network and gain insight – especially since students dues are usually insanely cheap) and be sure the association is working for you. can you find mentors? are there free resources available to you? are there scholarships available to cover your expenses to the annual conference? library schools can only do so much – becoming an information professional is all about being resourceful, both in terms of finding answers to questions, and seeking out opportunities for yourself.
to students who complain that their school “does nothing” for them, i say two things:
that sucks. a lot of us have been there. it’s frustrating.
do something about it. host a conference (those who are “big names” inlibrary-land love talking to students and will come to your school in the middle of the winter when it’s crazycold out and speak because they love LIS students). join the local chapter of whatever association seems to be the best fit. hop online and join in the discussion about libraryland (and no, I DO NOT MEAN NEWLIB-L.) reach out to info pros in your area that have jobs you want, and take them for a coffee to pick their brains. whatever you do, do not expect someone to do this for you. it’s your career – own it.
yesterday was a long day. all-in-all it was about 10 hours in my office. that’s not really normal for me, but i definitely do more than 9 to 5 (‘sokay for now – i’m such a keener right now i scare myself).
i try not to have any meetings at all on mondays. so far this has been pretty successful, and it means i get the time to sort out my week while drinking lots of coffee.
so here is, roughly in chronological order, what i did.
laptop was all kinds of crashy over the weekend so got in and talked to the tech guys to see what can be done. (not much, it seems. i have a lemon.)
trudged through the email that came in over the weekend, tagging stuff for follow-up. i really do need to implement a GTD system because my inbox is a disaster.
i’m currently taking a course on Canadian copyright so i got this week’s lesson and realized i hadn’t finished last week’s assignment. nurts.
fought with the university’s personnel software trying to mark down some staff absences from last week. realized i don’t have permissions yet, so sent emails to rectify that.
dealt with some rush ILL requests to digitize some theses.
looked at a quote we gave a campus group for digitizing some archival photos. made a note to talk to the group about creative commons licenses for the photos.
the superfun bobbi newman is running “library day in the life” for the fourth year.
i signed up to do this for round 3, but i was in the midst of changing jobs, so i really didn’t have a “day in the life” at that point – especially since one day involved packing & moving my office.
i also signed up for round 2, but realized i didn’t have a “day in the life” yet either, since i had only been a librarian for 5 months and some days involved minutiae that new librarians need to learn, but aren’t really part of your job (like, which rooms you have to teach in have wifi access when there’s no list anywhere…)
so this round, i’m in. i’ll be travelling to st louis 1/2 way through the week for the SLA Leadership Summit, and the first 2 days of the week will be used to catch up with my boss who has been on vacation for 2 weeks, but – that such is the life of a librarian, there is no “regular” week to show folks. which i guess is why bobbi planned this whole thing in the first place. *lightbulb moment*
i am hoping to upload a few posts as part of the library day in a life blog-o-rama that is going on this week (go sign up!) but i don’t think that’ll start today, because this day in my life is filled with lots of changes (AWESOMELY GOOD ONES) and i need to wrap my head around things. stay tuned.