First Night Closing

Well, I was going to focus more on this post since it is the first day of Library Day in the Life 7, but I just received bad news that my friend’s dog will be put to sleep tomorrow. So I’m quite a bit upset since …this is hard. I know first hand how wonderful Sophie is and how much she’s loved so it’s just breaking my heart that she has to leave. Here’s a short summary of my day from the few tweets I got in:

  • Closing the computer labs down means that I got to come in at 12:30 pm instead of 9 am.
  • Yay, my sketchbooks and notecards have arrived!
  • Made the changes requested by a children’s librarian to the signs I created for their events.
  • Keeping getting an error message from Notepad++ when trying to upload edited files back to the server.
  • Trying to install a trial version of Dreamweaver till my workstation arrives. It looks like it’s failing.
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Business Advice

A friend was looking for advice on how to establish her photography business. I gave her some advice which I think is pretty universal for anyone looking to establish themselves as a professional:

Email addresses are one of the first things to watch out for in how your company looks to others. For instance, if you wanted to contact any professional and pay them good money for their services, would you be inclined to if their email address was ilovejustintimberlake@aol.?com? It’s pretty much the same concept as when applying for jobs. You want a professional email address handle like (or whatever). It re-emphasis your branding of your name is a photographer.

As for money, you’re saying that any materials you use has to be free, correct? The next step after deciding your persona will be to work on your social media presence. Starting on here is step one. Have you taken yourself to Twitter? Write a blog about some basic tips or blogging about your experiences on shoots. Talk about new photography tricks you’ve learned. You’re working on building up your presence. The blog will establish you as an authoritative person on the subject in your local sphere.
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Traveling for Business Already

…well, not quite yet! The person who was suppose to be attending Digipalooza is leaving so I am her last minute replacement. Therefore a portion of my day was spent negotiating travel plans and other trip necessities. There were some things that could not be accomplished today so I will have to look to them on Monday. Other tasks involved trying to fix an attach files issue for a Drupal content type which led to me sitting upstairs in the Children’s Library for awhile while the librarian tried to explain to me more about other areas of her request. I got to see all the children and parents who joyfully ran up to the librarian. It was pretty magical. Whenever she was busy, I snuck off into the stacks to admire their older reader’s book collection.

I then headed back to my office to figure out how to use Apple’s Keynote software. My thoughts about it is that is not as intuitive to use as PowerPoint but it had some pretty impressive results which were easy to manage. I managed to get most of the hang of the software by watching a couple videos on YouTube. I am not a formally trained graphic designer so I’m unsure about the results. I sent the proofs to the appropriate person for their input. As soon as they’re approved I’ll send them up the ladder to be put into the queue. I wonder if I could share the panels I create on here…
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CDLC Update

CDLC 2011-07-20

as of 2011-07-20

This screencap does not look like much has changed from the last post about it. However, that is deceitful since it does not reveal all the time took in trying to fix the issues with that vertical drop down menu. Namely that I want to mind the rules of good usability and have the second level drop down menu highlight completely in it’s block when hovered over. Then the other night, I gave in that I don’t know how to fix that problem and continued to make other adjustments. Somehow amidst all that, my green menu disappeared. Cue two frantic nights post-work searching for how to fix it. How did I resolve it? I went to Widgets and dragged a custom menu to the sidebar. My menu reappeared like magic. It makes no sense since that was not how I had gotten it there originally.
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Today was mostly about finishing up my video work that I started yesterday. While iMovie happily churned away on that, I spent the rest of my time writing emails, attempting to organize the UX folder before giving in and emailing a couple of models to my UX coworkers, looking at Joeyanne’s presentation on mobile technologies in libraries, learning about Polaris’ Simply Reports, and brainstorming new UX ideas via Twitter. The other big thing I did was heft the new camcorder to the auditorium to run some screen tests. I got a feel for the shutter speed (4 makes you look like a ghost and 60 appears to be default) and how to make some manual aperture adjustments.

One thing I have come to learn is the data values I have learned through working with Drupal. The Simply Reports session was just teaching us how to build successful search queries using the Polaris interface. To my pleasant surprise, this was no big deal. I got the concepts immediately since I had built similar structures into the ICL website. Another Drupal surprise was when reading about complex taxonomies and structure in my metadata class this past spring. The concepts were old hat to me since I had already been forced to think of how to organize things from ICL website.

I’m dying to list some of my project ideas on here. However, I think I will wait till they shape up into something more. So, in conclusion, who would be interested in knowing how I am organizing my workflow?

Two Day Catch-Up for Work

I’ve been feeling a little unable to do the things I’m interested in at work because of the training sessions I had to attend these past two days. The training sessions were important especially where I worked the Help Desk and got to help patrons directly. One suggestion that I am taking to heart is to try arrange a basic computer skills class for adults. When I asked my coworkers they said that it was a requested class. Fortunately, I assisted in a basic computer training class for the elderly in 2008 so I know how to manage such a class already.

I am also processing the videos that are being produced from events. I hope to have a 24 hour turn around time on them (at least when I’m there). So while I was dodging between events today, I was processing videos and writing up exact instructions and specifications on the staff wiki. I was also able to get a basic handle on the new camcorder for work. The publicity lady came over all excited hoping we could use the camera tonight which got a negative response from me. It’s a beautiful piece of work with 3 ways to do any function (which I think is probably overkill since the buttons are easy to hit as you work with it). My favorite aspects so far are that 1) There is a mode to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles 2) It records to an archival tape and compact flash at the same time.

My small tasks at the end of the day was cleaning up some wording on the website and tweeting. A prominent player of my library is leaving soon, so I noted on my Google Document (I should write about how I’m project managing myself) that I’ll need to change all the zillion places she’s listed as a contact person on the site!

I then came home and nearly fell asleep at the table.

Real Life Confessions: I’m a Manager Type

Have you seen Office Space? Do you remember the infamous scene where the manager leans into the cubicle and drawls out that he’ll need the main character to work that weekend? Do you know how inefficient people like that are? They enjoy micromanaging like a boss while seemingly doing nothing themselves. I also have experience with people strutting around in their ties, hanging out at restaurants gossiping about the employees. They only sometimes show up when needed to deal with troublesome customers. That’s been my perception of managers; the job role position title in other organizations I have worked in.

This definition is not what I am. What caused my big realization today that I am a manager type? To find out, I evaluated what I had been doing in the moments prior. I had been up in my boss’ office with a notebook, pen, and a list of questions. I grilled him on things that I need to know. I shared with him various aspects of situations I had uncovered for myself. I told him I was beginning to see the big picture, to understand my part in the greater role of things. While these last few days I have felt confused and what do I do with myself?, in this moment I knew exactly what needed to be done. I could see my tasks ahead of me, knew that I needed to get into the trenches to interview and discover what makes the library tick and what makes it falter. I could rely on my contacts to make inquiries about how others are dealing with problems we are facing. I could sit and listen to the institutional knowledge to understand where we are coming from and how employees perceive their role in the larger organism. Above all, I realized that I am motivated to clear out the obstacles and push through to new heights. And in order to do that, I have to make discoveries, draw up plans, and assign tasks to get things done.

This is my definition of a manager.

Where I am at right now is bumbling through the day. I cringed while trying to understand Drupal API documentation and felt like a bumbling schoolgirl when I could not intuitively figure out the various copier machines. I smile, nod, and am nervous. Today a higher up told me that it’ll be two weeks before things start to fall into place. When I came home today though I felt amazing. My realization that I am a manager type hummed in my veins and I wanted to make changes to save the world (or at least this small part of it!).

Humorous moment of the day: a patron asked me what high school I am attending this fall.

Sewing Skirts


The completed skirts

Today was laundry and fix/finish my skirts day. I broke the zipper in the white skirt, so I had to rip out the old one and sew in the new one. Thomas finished the black skirt by putting the waistband in for me. Confession: I wore it a few times this past year with the waistband still missing!

I think I have enough skirts now that I can rotate successfully for work without looking like the same ol’ every day. However, nearly all of my skirts are black. I blame it on having a goth roommate in college.

CDCL Web Update

Center for Diverse Languages

Center for Diverse Languages

This freelance project is due by August 1st. The client does not have any content yet besides photos so it’s difficult working on this project. I had to design the navigation system which took a couple of days to fuss out. Then working on one of their ideas, I decided to lay this out with two menu navigation systems. The ones in the blue bar on top will ultimately be pushed to the far right (except for the Home link).

I am having some trouble with the CSS on the UberMenu plug-in (the green navigation). After working with it for about four hours today, I gave in and posted for help on some forums. Hopefully when I get home from my first day of work tomorrow (!!!) I’ll have some suggestions on how to target that naughty bit of code.

How to have one field revealed by multiple selectors in Drupal

I am apparently now writing a little series on how to use the Conditional Fields module for Drupal. Yesterday I wrote instructions on how to use the module in two different ways. Then late last night I ran into another problem: how to have one field (dependent) controlled by multiple selector fields (dependees)?

I have five resource types (Website, Newspaper, Magazine, Journal, and Association) that will only need a URL field when selected. The other four resource types do not need a URL field so the URL field should be hidden from them. In this example, the URL field is the dependent and each of those five resource types that require a URL field are a dependee field.

Like many things Drupal-for-non-programmers, you are going to made to do some extra legwork to achieve some good results.
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