Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Day in the life ... #8

The new LUP Library It's Round #8 of the 'Day in the life of librarians' project, and I am still a solo librarian in a small academic library. It's week 3 of the semester, and fairly quiet - a chance to draw breath after the hectic preparations for and start of the semester.

- First thing - pick up the post (newspapers still haven't arrived) and do a quick walk through of the library, checking that all's as it should be. It's Wednesday, so I also need to re-set the catalogue and self-check machines, after their weekly maintenance shut down.

- check to-do list, voicemail, and email. Send a few quick emails to take care of things that can be taken care of in a few lines.

- collect and return the library items that were dropped back after I left yesterday.

- hunt down a full citation for an article that a faculty member wants added to their class e-reserve, and pass the request over to my colleagues on campus.

- Open the post, and process the one book that arrived this morning - and find where I made a mistake earlier this week. Two books with the same main title, same editor, but different sub titles, and I crossed the wires. Oops. Fortunately it's an easy enough fix, and they're both reference books that won't be needed until later in the semester, so it won't have caused anyone any problems, but still - oops. Having the subtitle field added to all the reports and screen which display title is on my wishlist, and this reminds me why!

- Phone the director of one of our summer programs to check a couple of details, and then settle down to a solid batch of preparations for that program. They won't be here until May, but the turn over is tight, and the program itself jam-packed, so being prepared is absolutely key! I emailed the faculty teaching on it earlier in the week, and most of them have got back to me with their preliminary requests. Set up budget lines to track expenditure, and compile a spreadsheet of the textbooks they'll need, to price up and decide what we can provide through our Textbook Loan program, and what students will need to buy.

- Run over to The London Library, to collect a book on behalf of a student who wants to get a head start on a research project (this is our local ILL service - they are a fabulous resource to be able to pull on, and lovely people to work with.)

- Pick up the days' newspapers, which have finally arrived, and put them out in the library - just in time for the student's lunch break.

- Discover that the two self-check stations weren't powered back up after they were PAT tested earlier. Fix.

- Answer a couple of student questions - London related rather than research related, but that's good too.

- Chat to a pair of students about their travel plans for spring break, and how they might find information and decide on an itinerary.

- Continue working on an annotated bibliography for a history class, which leads to ordering a couple of books to fill some gaps where the external libraries our students have access to don't.

- lunch time. I'm reading a novel to review for Whichbook at the moment.

- Back to the bibliography - it's fairly labour intensive, but it's a worthwhile investment as it both makes it easier for the students to find their way through our patchwork of provision, and enables me to be ahead of their needs in terms of adding to our own collection.

- Walk a student through using our self-check system. One of the nice things about my new office is that it's much easier for students to come and tell me if they're unsure about something!

- Today is the first quiet day I've had this year, so I'm taking the opportunity to blitz a couple of admin-type jobs that have got a bit behind through the busy start of semester. One was re-labelling and officially moving a stack of books from the Reference section back on to the open shelves, which reflects the changes in courses on offer. I focussed on getting the necessary books *on* to the Reference shelves before the start of semester, so it's good to finally complete the other half of the job! The other was checking up on the status of older orders, and chasing the couple of titles that should have been here by now, and updating the expected dates on a couple of others. Academic publishing schedules can be somewhat flexible ;)

- Do a final walk through of the Library - I need to re-stock the printers tomorrow - and collect up and return the day's returns (few though they are)

- Set up my to-do list for the morning (key items: some testing on an updated version of Koha, our LMS, and some detailed admin checking on information about next Fall's courses.)

- Finish on time, with almost all of today's to-do list checked off. It's close enough to the start of semester that that still feels like something of a novelty.

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