A Week In The Life

Last week, I participated in the Library Day In The Life project via Twitter. I used the #libday5 hashtag from Tuesday through Friday, commenting on my activities throughout the day. Those tweets have already been posted to this blog, so they are available to scroll through if you want a blow-by-blow of my week. I also wanted to do a narrative form of discussion about what I do here at MRRL though, because just listing out my activities each day doesn’t really give any context to my duties.
First off, let me say that I don’t usually take 2 days a week off. I was actually here on Monday, but I was tired from a soccer game outing to Kansas City the day before and I wasn’t prepared to spend time to document what I was doing while I was doing it. Thursday I was off for part of the day because I was back in KC on Wednesday night for a dinner with Kendra Levine, Royce Kitts and Doug and Tab Patterson. I don’t see Kendra and Royce that often, so it was a nice treat and worth taking some time off to recover…
As for while I was here, Tuesdays are my heavy desk days, so I spent that day working with the public in the Public Computer Center. I tweeted about the individual interactions -the kinds of questions that I get – at the time but I would like to say that I find working with the public – especially in the computer center – really helpful for my particular job. I’m in charge of all the social networks as well as the library’s website, so any insight I can get into 1) what social networks my patrons are using and 2) what kinds of problems they have with websites in general just make my job a bit easier.
Wednesday I spent working mostly at my desk. My day was taken up with a lot of fixing stuff – the websites *always* need something – and creating a slidecast to go with the podcast we did with local author Charlotte Hubbard. I have a tendency to not be able to just listen to something alone – audiobooks are strictly “in the car” or “while knitting” activities for me, I can’t just listen to them. Assuming that other people are like me, I like to give them something to look at, so I create a PowerPoint slideshow of book cover images, pictures of the author, links to things the author has discussed in the podcast and other interesting images that I then upload to Slideshare and sync up into a slidecast for our more visual patrons. The podcast is still available as an MP3 by itself, however. Once I get a few of these up and going, they will be cataloged and will come up during author searches through our OPAC. Right now, I have 4 up. Other activities on Wednesday included professional reading (both online and off – I have a stack of mags on my desk that I really need to carve some time out of my schedule to read), email and the monthly Management Team meeting that we have on the fourth Wednesday of each month. After all that, I worked on a class that I’m doing this month for patrons. I don’t generally do the patron training any more, but our trainer really hates Excel and so I told her I’d do this month’s class for her.
Thursday I was supposed to be off all day, but I was coming home via Columbia (where our ISP/Upstream helper is), so I stopped off at MORENet to pick up a couple of firewalls that they had received, upgraded and configured for me. While I was there, I got a quick crash course in managing the new firewalls and an introduction to the firewall management software. I came back to the library to drop that off and to cover 2 hours on the Circulation desk that I’d told a colleague I’d cover for them a couple of months ago. He’s on vacation and I said yes before I knew about the previous night’s dinner. I worked those two hours – again being glad that I can get some face time on the desk to keep abreast of what the staff are doing and what kind of technology hurdles they routinely face while working. It makes me much more able to do my job of supporting their technology use if I know what that technology use is. I also get to field different kinds of questions from patrons and get a different sense of what they are looking for – very useful for my work on the website!!
Friday I spent the morning on email, blog reading and coordinating tech for our upcoming state library association meeting. We’ll have a meeting sometime this week to go over everything and see what we’ve missed… I also did a bit of work on an upcoming workshop/presentation and then, after lunch, was back on the Computer Center desk for 3 hours. Again, I did a blow-by-blow of the kinds of questions I get while on the desk on Twitter – if you are interested, you can check it out in the post previous to this one.
All that is fairly typical (with the exception of all the time off). This week is shaping up to be fairly typical, too. I came in on Sunday afternoon to fix a problem with the web server, then came in early this morning to install the new firewall here and in our branch library in Linn, MO (about 20 miles away). Once I got that done, I came back to the library to catch up on email, blogs and to a BUNCH of questions (about editing contact information on the staff website, about creating lists in Google mail and about how much a computer would be, prorated for use, if someone wanted to buy a laptop that they had been assigned as a work machine). I left early again (though I was here by shortly after 6am and I ate lunch on the road between Linn and Jefferson City, so leaving at 2 was actually my full 8 hours) to get my son registered for school.
All that is what I did last week for my first job… it was limited because I’m between classes in school right now, so I didn’t have homework to do and I didn’t mention the time I spent at home working on two upcoming webinars and two presentations that I’ll be doing in Saint Louis at the NAGW conference. I also didn’t get into what goes on at home, with a 15 year old son and a boyfriend and two dogs – all of which depend on “Mom”. All that aside, this is what I do in a fairly typical week at the Missouri River Regional Library.

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