In Photos

This morning I walked into a hectic scene involving a phone that rang practically every time I set the receiver back down. In-between phone calls I ran about the library trying to take photos for our social media. I quickly realized that the gloomy cloud cover was underexposing my photos while the flash washed everything out. I managed to somewhat doctor a photo up to something slightly passable that I could put to use. In the background I processed video footage only to discover that the audio was not included. *places footage into trash*

I then did an inventory of the sidebar blocks on the website. This included completing the list of taxonomy IDs so I could identify which taxonomies the blocks were attached to. Whenever I found mistakes or old information I would copy the original content into Trello and then make my edits, noting the changes as well. Then I attempted to make a taxonomy in Drupal 6 so I could use term reference but alas… it is not meant to be! I then checked up on some posts on the website and took care of the social media aspects. Then I met with a patron for some one-on-one training where I was introduced to the Facebook ad model.

Later I had a brief chat with some students about social media, the importance of capstones, and managing your brand. My favorite bit was urging the students to stay actively in touch with their mentors. Maintaining your connections is very important — as is making new friends.

I then found out a timeline and aspects about the website redesign project. It looks like I will have my hands full — but at least I have been thinking ahead. I hope that I can spend some time making a quick responsive themed website soon.


Lately my days have involved a lot of heavy movement working on patron issues with eBooks. This can mean writing emails, making phone calls, testing out devices, and if all else fails, contacting the vendor for support. Today was a vendor support day where I had to have OverDrive reset the license for an ePub book after it was accidently downloaded to a PC instead of the user’s iPad. Then you throw in some troubleshooting the website to fix the iPaper module which was keeping us from uploading PDFs to the website.

What makes today a success was I finally got GitHub working on my Mac at work. My notes for setting it up:

My random items for the day was working in the computer labs, taking some (terrible!) promo shots of the new art exhibit, and working with EZproxy. I also started a new spreadsheet so I can start a content inventory of the website. I am burning up with ideas which I look forward to discussing with my boss on Friday.

Add on: I forgot to add that I am now officially managing my own collection of books! As you might guess, it is the tech collection.

Good News

Another mixed bag sort of day. I troubleshooted a computer and when all else failed, I carried it downstairs to my coworker. He discovered that the hard drive was shot. I was able to meet with my boss for forty minutes where I peppered him with a wall of questions. Most of my day was then made up of taking care of the issues we had discussed. He also gave me the exciting news that I am to attend Computers in Libraries next month! I will have to work fast to line up some lunch and dinner dates with my online friends. There was also a bit of a turn in the computer lab. At the end of the day I was rushing to produce paper signage, a poster, a digital sign, and web posts. While this was going on, I had three separate colleagues come down and drag me away from my computer to help out. One of the issues involved troubleshooting an Android phone! I was dragging by the time I got off fifteen minutes late!

I must have created just under twenty digital signs today. I realized at the end that some of these signs are not actually going to go up for a few weeks, but it is good to stockpile at least. In the middle of this I went to a meeting to discuss a new social media platform we recently joined. It was interesting to discuss copyright concerns and I had opportunities to discuss some academic library strategies.

I spent the rest of my time handling some patron troubles involving a Kindle and OverDrive. It was ridiculous how many steps I had to take to work on the problem, but hopefully tomorrow’s email will say that we’re all clear!

Early Start

  • Worked in the computer lab for two and a half hours. Most of that time was spent explaining presentation techniques that were then ignored.
  • Crawled all over the floor taking measurements for a project that I then put together a semi-coherent report on.
  • Worked my way through emails which included trying to fix a patron’s account through phpmyadmin.



I opened and closed my day by talking to the Children’s Library about their website. It’s a large process — perhaps the most complicated since they post frequently and are very popular with the community. So it is a delicate operation to get their site just right. This means lots of spontaneous meetings to discuss various aspects. I am trying to circle around to meet their needs precisely, but that is a bit challenging. One problem I am trying to solve is how to create their registration posts. They have a lot of programs open during this period so they need a clear, precise system. We will see what happens as we compile website examples to draw inspiration from and get information back from the user studies.

After that first meeting, I went around taking photos. I am particularly proud of this sunflowers (?) shot. Then I dealt with a few dozen emails which ate up a lot of time. I met a new intern which led to talking about digital collections (love!), and helping a patron out via IM. I then began using the Views Bulk Operator to see if that would help automate some of my tasks for the Children’s Library revisions. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect fit…

Then I had a meeting about one of our projects (which I don’t think is a secret anymore) and then went to a staff training session on It accidentally turned into Amanda-giving-too-much-input when the presenter kept looking at me to help answer questions. >_> Afterwards, I did some research on a few questions that came up during one meeting, did some more website testing, then set up Pidgin on staff computers. Soon most of the staff will be available to answer patrons’ questions directly by chat!

Catching Up on the Weekend

Today was all about the odds and ends. Most of the strings came in via email or were sent out by me as I checked up on other staff members’ place in projects. Then I made a few new panels including another stab at an animated one in Keynote. I also had to dismantle my child theme because there is a block preventing some of the parents’ stylesheets from being picked up. While disappointed, it was at least easy to copy a few lines from Twitter Bootstrap and place them in my regular style.css.

I also started moving towards getting another department online with their own chat box so they can talk to patrons. This meant creating LibraryH3lp accounts for several coworkers, making a new chat widget, and then testing it out. Tomorrow I have to install Pidgin on the staff members’ computers. I then rounded out the day in the computer labs for two hours and forty-five minutes. Working on anything of substance is difficult, but I was able to study some Drupal-related issues between patrons.

Websites Ahoy

I spent pretty much the entire day building this extremely simple site on our test server. This meant creating a Drupal child theme so I could port in Twitter Bootstrap, making adjustments as I commented out sections of the css so it would not interfere with the functioning of the website. It was very satisfying digging around in the code.

We received some calls about our digital sign system, so I talked to another library and answered the usual pile of emails. I then received word that the mini website I had built on the test server needed to be transferred over to the live site immediately. As part of this, I walked around asking people which font they preferred on the website. The overwhelming answer was Twitter Bootstrap. There were some more unforeseen hitches in turning on the child theme on the live website (since the live and test sites are not 100% identical), but it was not too hard to correct. I then helped out in the computer lab.


Grandpa holding my hand in his sleep. on Twitpic

At 9:00 p.m. EST, it will be 365 days since my Grandpa passed away. Grandma called me between an hour and ninety minutes later to tell me. I was home alone and had been expecting the call after having been to visit him twice recently. The last time I got to tell my Grandpa anything was just before 6:00 p.m. as I was parking my car to head to cataloging. I spoke to Grandma and told her to tell him that I love him.

When I got off the phone, I sobbed and cried aloud with my forehead pressed to the floor. I nearly broke my glasses in the process. He was 73 years old. I had nightmares for nearly a month.

So today I have tried very hard to not be consumed by these thoughts. A year adds padding and distance between the immediacy of the pain. It gives me time to rationalize and pray that he’s finally free from the restrictions of a body broken and bound by Parkinson’s. He must be happy somewhere else. Yet, here I type and it hurts as I miss him. He’s my Grandpa and in this life I’ll never hold his hand again, watch him shake his head, chew tobacco, cross his legs as he settles in to watch the news or wrestling or Hee Haw (when I was a kid). He had striking pale blue eyes, very little hair, and large hands that even at the end were rough from a life of hard work.

In my memory he’s not the fragile, shaking picture of disease, but he was the way he was when I was a child. Working on the tractor, slaughtering the hog, helping birth the stillborn calf, wearing his dirty old baseball cap and flannel coat. He spoke little but he surely loved his bird, Petey, and those flowers he cultivated.

“Grandpa” is all I could say, as I skipped on repeat, sobbing at his service and then as I kissed his casket one last time. Grandpa. Grandpa. Be well.


Yesterday I taught my second patron-facing class on Trello. The students were demanding and found mysterious ways to look at the site in ways that I would never use it. Some things I am still weak on are: 1) how to keep students who are friends from just chatting with each other 2) keep people from diving right in and start tinkering instead of following along. I end up with a class where half the students have no idea what is going on because they were not paying attention. This behavior begins immediately so I’m not sure how to improve the situation. As for my notes, I will try to link to them as soon as Scribd gets back to me on the error message.

I then sent follow-up emails with all the Adult Technology students to ask them for feedback on their classes. The rest of my day was miscellaneous with emails.

We were hosting a special session this morning which required livestreaming and tweeting. I was fortunate enough to not be directly involved, but I was going around checking up on the status of the various aspects. I also wrote up two posts and prepped for my turn at the weekly book talk sessions. My selection of books always falls flat with the audience, but we are two different age groups with very different genre interests.

As I was cleaning up from the book talk, a patron pulled me aside to interview me about our digital signage set up. I hope she gets it worked out so we can assist her! I explained our system’s components and then outlined a cheaper but less effective method that should work in PowerPoint. Afterwards, I updated our social media and made myself laugh as I could not think of anyway to add the lego picture without posting it to my own account and then resharing it on the library’s account. :-)

Then I took notes from the Power to the Patron webinar while I did some web work. For the rest of the day, I focused on a web project which I will try to document tomorrow. Then I was off to teach a coworker about how to use Contactology. The entire day has felt a bit like a dream because of trying to bury my sadness at the one year anniversary of my grandpa’s death.