I haven’t updated in a few days because I’m so exhausted. Tonight at least I’ve been working with Panels on abandoned Drupal 6 website I started a couple years ago. Now if I could get it to work at my job… I’ve began to discover some of the possibilities, but I’m also a little confused how panels would work/be used by non-admins. I’m assuming that you would use the node template in Panels to design your node layouts and then let Panels take care of the layout when a new node is added by a user.

The creator of Panels also expressed a belief that additional build modes could be added to Panels via Display Suite but so far I have found nothing to support that theory. Correction: cannot be done in Drupal 6. :-(

After the Conference

I returned from Computers in Libraries last night after spending the weekend with my best friend. The time I was away meant a super hectic day where I scrambled to get things done — so much so that I had no time for lunch. This is another one of those “so tired that I’m drooping” posts.

We had a meeting today about our social media strategy. At half the meetings I attend, I feel like I do not have much to contribute (e.g. I do not have a budget to worry about), but this meeting was different. I listed and summarized our social media outlets, offered arguments and counter-arguments for suggestions, and gave a report on how other libraries are doing their social media (thanks, CIL!). Afterwards we had a brief discussion about some ideas we heard about at CIL.

My digital signs were very much delayed today as I only managed to squeeze one in before noon (five at the end of the day). Then it was off to another meeting to discuss our forthcoming project. Fingers crossed it will arrive this week and we can set it up next week. Then a mad cap dash of answering emails, typing up notes, answering phone calls. I tossed in a few website changes. Getting a new chat box up is being difficult since there was some changes at LibraryH3lp.

New thing for me: actually using my giant whiteboard to list the tasks for this week.

Book Sale

These days were filled with creating signage for the Book Sale. I had to learn a lot about Inkscape to make these work.

Video editing
Setup a new Contactology template structure for a reoccurring newsletter
Worked on producing Book Sale paperwork (flyers)
Meeting for a digital initiative

More book sale!
Created a work priority list.
Worked on the website.

Preparing for Computers in Libraries

My coworker was sick today so I volunteered to watch the computer lab till my lunch meeting. Besides going through the piled up emails (just two days away, guys!), I flipped slowly back and forth through the Computers in Libraries (CIL) pamphlet. Instead of picking a specific track like I had at Internet Librarian, I went through and carefully read the descriptions. Several sessions highlight upcoming projects (which ones can I mention on here?) at work so it’ll be nice to see how other libraries are dealing with the same issues. With any luck, I’ll be ready to give a talk in the next year or so myself.

Then I went to lunch with the whole UX team (new tradition!) where I completely forgot everything I wanted to chat about (SXSW, my next personal project, etc.). Earlier I came across a CIL presentation on Columbus Metropolitan Library’s social media campaign so I spruced up our Facebook page with a cover image and new icon. Then we had a library-wide planning session regarding CIL. I was finally able to reach out to some of my Twitter friends to discuss meet ups. My lunches are still free if anyone is interested!

Underneath the day, I worked on processing two videos. Once I finished the first one, I pushed it to Vimeo, YouTube, and to our Google Plus page. When we have our social media meeting later this month, I intend to get feedback about that strategy — if I learn nothing new at CIL. Tomorrow I will post the second video which whose second half will become the first podcast I have put together (the video was unusable).

Finally, I sent out the logo for our new initiative to the other stakeholders in the library. Hopefully I can link to that soon. I then closed out the day beginning to work on all the print jobs for the book sale. There is seriously at least 8 different designs I have to make!

When Thomas picked me up for work, we walked around the cemetery which was nice. Ah, sunlight, how I’ve missed thee!

Friday Friday

I had a four day weekend (two holidays that I had to use up!) which ends tonight, so I was eager to get started on my long weekend last Friday. Therefore pretty much all of my work was prepping for my absence. This meant helping out coworkers, taking and then setting up social media photos, creating digital signs, designing paper signage for the upcoming book sale, and then having a meeting with my boss. I also finalized a logo for our new initiative which should be announced/rolled out soon. I look forward to sharing that!

Twitter Still Suspended

While Twitter continues to ignore my support request to lift my suspension (no email received and I did absolutely nothing in violation of their rules), I can see when someone tweets at me. I have a carefully curated account where I block spammers to keep my followers number honest. I do not do mass unfollowings and I try to remember to tweet a hello! at new followers.

Mostly though, it feels very weird to be shut out the main channel of library/museums/archives related conversations online. I’m beginning to think of opening another account because it’s been nine days now. The main problems are picking out a new handle and finding the 600 people/institutions I was following.

This is really starting to leave a sour taste in my mouth especially after all the praise I have heaped on Twitter in the last two years. So I’ll leave a hashtag here: My Twitter experience is now completely tainted with #badservice.

Your name is no longer database but online resource

A day of work-specific related activities like timesheets, accounting for money spent, and the big Communications meeting. I worked on the Databases some more and then went to the computer lab for the rest of my shift. I pulled the stats on our tech book collection and went to work highlighting which books needed to be weeded.

I came into an office with two full carts of tech books waiting to be scanned out. The vast majority of the books I removed were from prior to 2006 with a special emphasis on 2002. I was surprised that it only took me 90 minutes to scan everything and then move it out. Next week I’ll try to select the new books which will replace these old olds — somewhat.

Next up was working in Inkscape as I tried to make a logo for a new program initiative. When I ran into trouble, I settled on making new database icons. Then I did some research on cool About pages (does any library have a particularly fantastic one?), before I went across the hall to a hands-on training session with Pidgin.

In the space of 2.5 hours, I troubleshooted things for the computer lab around nine times. This was the background of my morning as I finished work on the database page. I documented my process in Trello, but the highlights of today was that I worked on fixing the breadcrumbs, used Display Suite, added a reset button (thank you, Views Hacks module!), edited the URLs of the resources I had already added, and then did a minor change to one of my icons.

I spent a lot of time in meetings after that. A few minutes in one webinar about tablets, then stuffed five people in my office for a webinar about one of our upcoming initiatives. I then went and explained the whole thing to another coworker which saved her a lot of time. Then OverDrive finally contacted me back so I could fully step into the admin role for our account with them.

Next up I created a spreadsheet to address a new workflow between the computer lab and circulation desk. I went upstairs to demonstrate how this will work before sending the email to my colleagues. I wrapped up the day studying our About and Mission Statement pages looking for clues in their revival.

The title is a reference that we no longer say database but online resource.

No Twitter

I discovered on Friday that my Twitter account has been suspended. Twitter’s FAQ swears that they should have sent me an email with a reason why — of course, there is no email. So I’ve emailed them. My previous experience with trying to clear up an impostor account for work tells me that my account will probably be unavailable for at least a week.

A mixed bag sort of day. Patron questions about eReaders is increasing. I spent a lot of time today prepping the new database page. The main hold up is slow communication with the department I am working with. I rounded out my day with time in the computer lab, creating a new wiki page for my coworkers to leave their eReader/eBook questions, looking at Google Analytics, and trying to navigate inside a new repository on Github. The terminal kept timing out.

Monday is the day that I resign myself to doing nothing huge. This would be because I create digital signage (met a visitor today who had some questions about our system!), took a lot of photos for our social media, worked with the other UX person to pinpoint our camera issues, and then had a meeting about our latest innovation. These meetings somewhat feel like they should be out of my realm, however I suspect I bring in a different POV since I work outside and in-between all the other departments in the library. I usually have an idea of what everyone else is working on at any time. Despite feeling slightly out of place at the meetings since I am not a department head, I always manage to contribute to the conversation in some way. There is something invaluable in this position which I enjoy — the free form-ness of it. At the end of the day, I was back to work on Display Suite in Views and giving advice on which version of Creative Suite would suit someone in the Library.

Content Strategy Work

I am not a morning person though I tend to output my best work within the first couple hours of the day. However, this is not the case when a call gets transferred to me about an ebook download that is not working. The setup was complicated since it did not involve a direct ereader device but an app. As we spoke, I scoured online message boards and parroted steps to the patron. Finally I realized that he was not seeing the same thing on his online account that I was seeing when I signed in. I ended up having to send a message in to the vendor and then hanging up the phone at 9:29 am (we open at 9 am).

From there I settled into a day of reading over a few PowerPoints about content strategy recommendations and then reconfigured my own sheet that I had created previously. When I began auditing the content on the website I added a few more columns in suspecting that I could use that information as a way to get me permission to delete some outdated content. When I finally caught my boss and detailed some of my discoveries, he gave me the go-ahead to act. I managed to do some housecleaning on a few hundred nodes this way. Since I started back at the dawn of this particular website, I am able to see some of the underlying structure and ideals that the site was built on. A coworker told me about some of the underpinnings on the former website and what would be nice to see brought back. Then with another coworker, we had a discussion about commenting options (anonymous? like buttons? more interactive user profiles?).

I ate lunch with the other new full-time librarians. Our hot topic of discussion was Pinterest. I gave them an overview of the copyright kerfuffle and two of them decided that the site is not worth the risk. I wholeheartedly agree and am giving the site a wide berth.

Then I met with a patron to help with some digitization needs. At the end of the day I settled into doing an audio test on some equipment and no-longer-a-surprise, the test failed. Again.