Monday, February 6, 2012

Library Day in the Life 8

Last week was Library Day in the Life, which I participated in through the Twitter hashtag #libday8. I thought a good round-up post was in order also, as I wanted to touch upon some of the range of work I typically do as a librarian for a network.

Much of my week was spent working on our upcoming online catalog. My network is in the process of migrating to the open-source system Evergreen, and has been working with a couple other networks in a consortial cooperative called MassLNC. With the upcoming release, it is going to give us a nicer version of the Evergreen catalog, based on Template Toolkit. So, I have been working on not only branding, but making sure that the functionality is there, including third-party integration of our Content Cafe covers and reviews. We will actually be having multiple servers doing the work, so this past week was spent getting the file changes uploaded to all the servers. There is still a lot of work to do on those, and some clean up as not all the images have been uploaded.

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to go to one of our member libraries to do OverDrive training. We have had an OverDrive Digital Catalog since 2005, and just this past season had a major redesign on the website. Between that and all the different devices and formats, libraries are looking for us to come show them how everything works. Our Digital Catalog support is me and half my department (which is two other people). So, while she is usually the one out doing training, I decided to get out of the office and do it to give her a break and give myself some more experience at it. I brought my bag of devices (Nook, iPad, Kindle, iPhone) and gave two training sessions at the library. It was a really great time, lots of thoughtful questions and passing around devices. It is pretty amazing the range of experience, both at the staff and patron level, and I am glad to help our libraries support the patrons.

On Thursday Shift The Digital released a post about Random House ensuring libraries that they will continue to support library lending of ebooks, but that wholesale prices were going up in March. Of course, if the wholesale prices are rising, I will expect the library retail prices to rise also. I discussed this with my manager and colleague so they were prepared for the coming months. The last year has been harder in digital acquisitions, we have lost access to a lot of new materials with publishers deciding not to sell to libraries or restricting access through checkout limits. Also, with only two staff working on the collection, we are buying at a fast clip, but holds and new items analysis takes a large amount of time. With demand continuing to increase, I am looking at ways to streamline the process but expand the collection: we have added a Patron Request for Purchase form to the website so that we can get more title suggestions, and I will be looking at other selection tools and hopefully developing a collection development policy this year.

Friday was a meeting day. I was selected from our staff to be part of the group developing the new strategic plan for the network. Working with a group of library directors and other Central Site staff, we laid out the timeline for developing the new plan, along with a lot of the other meetings that will be happening the next several months. Then I had a phone call meeting about a writing project, then back into an in-person meeting about Evergreen. That didn't leave much time to work on the catalog, but made for a very full day nonetheless.

In fact, this past week was a very full week in terms of work. The range of projects and the timeframe to fit them in is keeping me more committed to making sure I have a weekly to-do list handy. Time management is becoming more essential, and I plan to fit more outreach and professional enrichment tasks in this year. Library Day in the Life was definitely a worthwhile experience for me and I am looking forward to participating next time.

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