Web Chats

Must get back to writing, so just a list again!

  • Lots of misc. tasks
  • Web meeting with my boss
  • Lunch with other new librarians
  • Help Desk

My fingers flew over the keys working on permissions and roles in Drupal. I’m glad that my boss approved of my use of Nodequeue. Patrons kept me extra busy in the computer labs as well!

Cyber Monday

I put in a lot of good work yesterday towards the website. However, my writing time is short since I’m almost finished with National Novel Writing Month. My current word count: 45,953. So, please pardon the short write-up!

I discovered Mustardseed Media’s podcast on Nodequeue over the weekend and decided to try it out. It took a bit of tweaking, but I got it set up! The main thing I ran into was that I had to rename the original frontpage view so that the new one would take over. I am now working on hiding the permissions for content moderators will see nothing but Nodequeue listed on the admin side.

Before this work, I made a couple more panels for our digital signage. One of them will serve as a template for the requested “This Week at the Library” sign which somewhat mirrors the weekly eblast. I copied the style of the newsletter into the digital sign.

Then I worked on the EBM website. To get the form to show up, I had to take it into the template file itself to bypass the website’s settings that was not allowing it to show. There was some trouble with getting the page-node.####.tpl.php to take over, but the system eventually kicked over and started showing the new page. I also have to remember to use background-color in my CSS!

Between all this was helping out in the computer lab, working on the social media (as usual), and awkwardly leading a quick chat to clarify something. Talking is sometimes way faster than email!

Small Website Progress

I’ve been very tired this past week so just a summary:

Wednesday

  • Social media + panels
  • Meeting about a work project with an outside contact
  • Espresso Website
  • Computer labs — where I tried to work on the Espresso website but had no luck between people

Thursday was Thanksgiving so we were closed…

Friday

  • Panels + helping check some computers + social media + fixing a non-responsive display panel
  • Website! Primarily this meant adding in social media icons, fixing a block display problem, rearranging a taxonomy structure, unpublishing a link in a menu block, unable to get the search box for the Espresso website to display correctly, and then started commenting out code on the test site to see about flipping two major areas

I’m pretty fond of my new social media icons.

Hosted My First Event

My library was short on time, but I put together a loose program to promote National Novel Writing Month this year. As part of that project, I wrote four blog posts, had a guest blogger, collaborated with a local writers’ group, and then hosted a Write-In today at my library.

The blog posts:

The Write-In:
We were an intimate group working at a huge table. I barely got any writing done myself since I was running around assisting lost patrons who who wander to this far corner of the library, or be talking about the Espresso Book Machine (EBM). When I arrived, I quickly dragged out power cords, loose leaf paper, pencils, coffee + supplies (it was funny–a group of writers who did not drink much coffee!), hanging up stickers and posters. When I had a few minutes, I ran downstairs and threw together a digital sign to point me up the stairs.

By far, my favorite moments as the librarian-host was hearing people squeal about how amazing and large the library is. From my understanding, maybe only one person had ever been to this library before. One writer went downstairs to check out the EBM and then came back beaming with a copy of a book he had just had published. He passed it around and another person called it “a beautiful book.”

Otherwise, it was nice chatting with people and listening to people talk about their own projects.

Freezing Photographer

Catch up for Tuesday which was a short day for me:

  • Meeting to discuss our high school computer helpers program. (Trying to convince one of the higher ups that we should use Trello to plan this program out!)
  • Half froze to death walking around outside taking photos of the Library to fulfill a request that came in. I then checked the footage and realized the photos had not turned out. Back outside I went again.
  • Then came to removing the photos off the camera, labeling them, selecting photos to send, and then uploading some others to Google Plus.
  • Wrote an email explaining how to upload photos to our G+ account.
  • Started promoting our G+ account via Twitter (which later got a shout out on The Digital Shift!).
  • Worked on trying to find the best way to send an image through Contactology about an upcoming program.

Future Planning

I am writing this immediately before work. These extra long weeks take it out of me, so I came home yesterday and settled into finishing up Responsive Web Design. My boss came down yesterday and took care of figuring out how I can gain access to the test site. Today I have a couple of meetings and making some more adjustments to the Contactology template. The bonus of talking to my boss was learning more about how I can get involved with LITA and the local Connecticut Library Association. I have been feeling out of sorts needing to be involved with some library groups that is not based only on my library. Hopefully after this writing month is over, I will be able to start getting involved state-wide and then nationally!

Otherwise, yesterday I reworked some panels, talked to the Espresso people about their section of the website, wrote up meeting notes, lots of emails, made arrangements to meet with someone who can give me advice for a project, worked in the computer lab for an hour, lunch, a meeting on planning the digitization of our archives, discussed taking responsibility over our tech book collection–and how to promote our online offerings. At the end of the day, I carried the new camcorder into the auditorium to do some sound tests. I later discussed the results with my coworker and then sent them off to see if the sound we’re getting is correct.

Days of Learning

Yesterday I could barely move I was so tired, so I apologize for not writing.

Tuesday
The Espresso Book Machine opened for business. I spent the first part of the day running up and down the stairs taking care of last minute publicity things like creating a grand opening panel and a more every day “hours of operation” panel. I took some photographs of the machine (difficult with the camera’s long lenses), worked on updating the site a little, and a few other small things. Then I went to a professional development workshop on Excel. I’m so glad we could have it! I learned a lot of useful things. The most important aspects being how I could incorporate Excel into better tracking the characters from the stories I write…

Wednesday
Today began with preparation. I walked through some Unix stuff, double checking my work to make sure I had discovered a problem that has been blocking my work. Then I went through a refresher on Screenflow (for Mac), a screencasting tool. Close to noon, I lugged the iMac up three flights of stairs. I taught two classes to about fifteen or so coworkers. It was my first time presenting my teaching skills to them. The first class was a bit awkward since there seemed to be some confusion about how this tech tool could be incorporated into their work. I gave examples and encouraged them to come see me. In return, they gave me some great feedback on how to incorporate screencasts into the Library’s website. The second class went smoother which I think was in part due to the enthusiasm of a second coworker pointing out the benefits. I am not a naturally gifted teacher, but I try to be thorough with just enough repetition and demonstration to get the point across.

Then it was off to watch the computer labs for four hours. I discovered that labeling folders of photos is a not too terrible task. By looking at the date of creation and guessing the type of event, I was able to search the Library’s website until I found the likely event.

I left work with loads more energy than I have had in the past week. I am looking forward to the weekend!

Later in the Day

I usually close on Monday nights, but the final part-timer has been hired, so I’ll be mostly done working in the computer labs. I also had a prior commitment yesterday morning being a “speed dater” panelist via webcam for LISUNCG’s Career Day. It was great seeing several of my teachers and half the people I spoke with were my classmates.

At work, I went in with a few projects in mind: put the last touches on the PowerPoint Basics notes and email it out + send more feedback emails to other recently finished tech classes, fix the digital sign that was once again down, and create a window shopping list of items needed for a project. I feel unsettled regarding the project. I have been told that this is for me to complete, but I want to make sure that the items I select meet any uncommunicated goals that my boss might have but has not articulated/know yet himself. There are a lot of options and questions such as what do we want people to be able to check out? Is this stuff movable? What is the breadth of activities we want to support?

Otherwise it was the usual day with emails, doing monthly paperwork, and then taking down one program while later setting up two programs that started at the same time. The last hour of my day was pretty much a wash as I ran up and down the stairs for those two programs.

Weekend Report

Let’s try focusing on two things that stood out to me.

Saturday
A couple brought in a lot of documentation that they needed to scan in. We have a photocopier that can scan to email, so that took care the bulk of it. Then they had to scan in chunks the smaller documents (receipts, paystubs, etc.) that would not go through the automatic feed reader. Afterwards they checked their email and had to open and download the contents of oh….30 emails. I then came by to help them with making some adjustments in Adobe Acrobat. Thank goodness for my digitization internships so I knew how to rotate files and combine all those PDFs into one large document. It took awhile to do all this, but what it made me think about was how people expect us to provide two step solutions. Step one: dump all the documents into a vat. Step two: everything comes out with everything that needs to be done done to it all within 30 seconds. This particular couple was very patient and never uttered a complaint, but I could read the frustration that it was not something that could be done with the push of a single button.

Sunday
I finished writing up the notes for my Basic PowerPoint class. All together, over the course of two days, it took me about 7 hours to write because of the constant stream of interruptions. One of the ladies from the class came in to get something and was very pleased that I had the work-in-progress document up on my computer. I will put the finishing touches on it (do we have a template for how to design Library produced documents?) and then email it out in the morning.