Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Library : Tuesday

Public holiday in Wellington Region - Anniversary Day.

8.30 - 9.45: Stowing away tables, chairs and display boards from the Library booth at the API show on Saturday and Sunday, carrying carpet roll back to the children's library to cover up the lino area used for the children's holiday programme that ran over the last few weeks, helped shelve gazillions of books returned over the long weekend.

9.45 - 10am: Morning tea (yay - coffee).

10.00 - 10.20: Plugged my computer back into my office but CAN NOT get the wretched wireless keyboard to talk to the PC. We took my PC down to the API show to run the slideshow promoting our new library building. Gave up in disgust and got my netbook out while I ponder what the problem is...

10.20 - 10.25: Reviewed bank account balances and transferred most of the building fund into a new term investment.

10.25 - 10.30: Fielded a phonecall from a mother of 4 children who just loved our Summer reading programme and couldn't sing the priases of our Children's Librarian highly enough. I rang said Librarian, who is taking a few well earned days off, and told her how much she had been appreciated and how obvious it was that she loved her work.

10.30 - 10.40: Read the agenda I prepared last week for the Trustees meeting being held on Thursday this week to see that it still makes sense (I wrote it in a bit of a flurry) and to see what additional information / preparation I need to do before the meeting. Nothing - which is good, because I would really like to go and help the technical services team out for a few hours. We have a team challenge on this month to reduce the time it takes for new items to transition from acquisitions to shelf ready. Target: 3 weeks including cataloguing and processing. It is a big morale booster when managers work in the trenches when team challenges are on.

10.40 - 10.50: Reviewed and accepted quotes for Koha enhancements and a few bug fixes.

10.50 - 11.00: Checked Twitter posts - followed up 3 links.

11.00 - 11.15: Cleared emails and read a few. Turns out I only ready about 10% of my emails so it really does pay to put an eye catching and relevant subject in if you want me to read your emails.

11.15 - 11.20: Wrote this blog post for A Day in the Life Project.

11.20 - 1 1.30: Answering an email from a Koha newbie about relative merits of Item Types vs Collection Codes in planning for data migration to Koha 3.2. I struggled with this too and recalled some blog posts I'd written nearly a year ago where I worked this issue through with the help of the Koha Community. Sometimes the sheer flexibility of Koha can be a hard thing; it really does force the librarian to 'know' their collection and how they want Koha to work for 'them'. Its a learning curve for librarians used to a traditional or proprietary LMS, involving intellectual engagement but also engagement with the Koha community of developers and other librarians.

11.30 - 12.00: Reviewed the GST return to spot obvious mistakes - getting a refund this time - yee hah!

12.00 - 1.00: lunch. Taught some of the staff a new card game: Five Crowns. We have been playing upwords for years - a heavily modified version which means we can get a game out in 10 minutes - and it was time for a new game.

1.15 - 3pm: Mummy duty. Had to race home and pick up daughter and take her to the Dr (she has tonsilitis - again) then back home again. Such are the joys of being a working single parent.

3pm - 3.10: Checking emails. 2 requests for more info about Koha item type vs collection codes decision making. Screen dumped our circulation rules matrix and sent it out. Also a Google Alert mail about a blog post mentioning Kete Horowhenua; forwarded this on to Walter at Katipo who did the development work.

3.10pm - 3.15: Updating this post, checked Twitter and followed up on 3 more links.

3.15 - 4pm: Digging out spreadsheets and data conversion notes from a year ago which I referred to in a blog post to share with another Koha library.... wish I could remember which ones I was referring to :( Writing a long email explanation as well on what I've learnt since.

4pm - 5.15pm: Processing new books (at last!) working alongside volunteers. Our volunteer processors and staff cataloguers are very competitive - which can definitely be used to advantage when we are trying to clear backlogs. Volunteers are essential to our organisation and the only 'payment' they receive is comaraderie and appreciation. I am very aware of this and it really is a treat to laugh and work on the processing table for an hour or 2 enjoying their company and winding up the cataloguers (who can see the processing pile whittling away before their eyes).

10.30 - 11.00 : checking emails, twitter and flicking through my 'favourite' blogs - don't have time to check them all tonight. Will try again tomorrow night. I feel guilty checking my blogs at work - which is crazy - so I usually work through my blog aggregator in the evenings, starring ones to read later and forwarding selected posts to staff mailing list and library Trustees.

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