First Informational Interview + More Icons

I’m completely exhausted right now thanks to having to edit the HTML files for next week’s WordPress eCourse, so this will be short. I know that I need to go back and fill in the blanks as well…

I gave my first informational interview to a student intern. To give her a foundation, I told her about my BA in Multimedia Arts and Science (MMAS) and how I could not find a job. Then I had the realization that three of my big professional items all sprang from Twitter. Overall, I hope she does keep in contact since I look forward to her journey into librarianship!

Then I spent a great deal of time working on perfecting the Children’s Library’s new programs’ listing page. I made six icons representing each age group. A five minute meeting with two of the CL librarians helped clarify some things. Hopefully we’ll be able to unveil it very soon. The CL still needs to do some work with cleaning up old posts first.

Today also had me thinking about how we change. I went out to lunch with two male colleagues today and they were very insistent that I had to walk ahead of them as they held open doors. Growing up and even now, I prefer to be the one opening the door. I take it as a bit of a personal challenge to be the door opener — the one assisting. So, I came back feeling a teeny bit “weak.” Then the new cabinet for the Digital Media Lab arrived and I started looking for a pallet jack (no dice!). When talking to a colleague, I had a flashback to where I was three years ago: I worked in the back of a Walmart Supercenter. I boxed, stacked, wrapped, and pushed 8/9 feet tall pallets onto the back of an 18 wheeler parked at a steep incline. I was certified to drive a fork lift, a cherry picker, and more. In moments of sheer terror, I would lift hundreds of pounds (tens of thousand dollars merchandise) pallets atop of giant bins. Now I can wear my hair down at work, wear pretty dresses, and the most physically taxing events are climbing under a desk looking for an outlet or carrying a box of paper. It’s strange how things change…

Review of Google Drive

So around two months ago I decided to expand my Google Drive account by paying $5/month to get 100GB of storage.

Pros

  • Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!
  • I can easily share folders within my Drive with my friend. She can then view all the files without having them count against her own account.
  • By clicking on My Drive, I can see all of my stuff in a more UI friendly folder system which mirrors my Windows Explorer view. I really hated the old way of “list all things” that was Google Docs previously.

Cons

  • I had to designate one folder on my computer for Google Drive and then create a new file system in it. Syncplicity allows me to leave my folders where they exist already on my machine and then right click to add them to my Syncplicity account. I prefer this method since it allows me to organize my files in the way I prefer to access them across different drives.
  • Some files will not upload immediately. I have been scanning TIFFs and JPEGS and the JPEGS will not upload until I turn the computer on again. The other auto-syncing services I use (SkyDrive, Syncplicity, Dropbox) do not share this issue).
  • Some image files do not have previews. This is a letdown since my files have useful, archival friendly but boring names.

Teaching Tumblr + Website

I kickstarted today with teaching a Tumblr class. It turned into a one-on-one session where we discussed Tumblr vs. Google Plus. I also found out a few weird things about Tumblr not allowing you to search tags until you’ve probably made a few posts. Anyone know? Then it was close to noon so I grabbed the camera and ran outside to take some photos of the library at noon. I don’t think I have ever been outside to greet the summer solstice at the midpoint.

Next up I decided to put some more work in on the teen website redesign that I started on yesterday. Once I was satisfied with the starting point, I sent it out for comment with the teen librarian and another outside source. When their feedback came back in, I went into the teen room to talk to the teens about their website. They gave me some great ideas. I was able to implement two of them immediately. My goal for tomorrow is to pull in the rest of them that I can while the teen librarian and her intern gather the content for me.

I studied for the CPR/AED test. The test went off without a hitch. Now let’s hope I never need to use my newfound skills!

Saint with PDF

When I arrived today I ran up the stairs to the Work section to pick up some books. At 11 a.m. I had a one-on-one session with a patron looking for social media help. During our time together I showed her how to create a Facebook page, introduced her to Twitter, and began to set up her WordPress.com account. In the middle of the session, I was called away to come take care of an issue in the Digital Media Lab. We had neglected to see that Apple had quit shipping iDVD with iLife so I had to fix that issue.

Today was also spent in answering several emails. I almost have my box down to its usual 16 (which are mostly serving as reminders for other things). The most interesting email is my advice on structuring a digitization project. Then I was off to a meeting that led nowhere and somewhere inbetween all these things, I took note of several UX related items on my UX Ideas Trello board. When I had fifteen minutes to spare, I jumped in and started doing a complete redesign of the teen section of the website on the test server. I then wrapped up the day with working in the computer labs and hence today’s title; I helped someone combine PDF files and was thus dubbed, Saint Amanda!

Website Testing

Today was the big day in the UX department with three user tests. The results were not unexpected. We had three users and though hour time slots had been allotted for each, the times actually ran from 15 to 35 minutes. The fifteen minutes was for the light internet user who had practically no commentary. When asked about their own web habits, responses ranged from complete hesitation to in-depth descriptions.

The the team running the test (which I am part of) spent a lot of time discussing new places the library website may go though I have not gotten an opportunity to discuss my idea of doing a week-long sprint to see what I can do. I wonder how July is shaping up…

In between tasks I managed to create one digital sign, answer several emails about our Digital Media Lab, and wrote up staff documentation for the room. Topics covered: Eligibility & Reservations, Location of equipment, Opening procedure, Post-Usage Checklist, and Closing procedure.

Website Testing

Today was the big day in the UX department with three user tests. The results were not unexpected. We had three users and though hour time slots had been allotted for each, the times actually ran from 15 to 35 minutes. The fifteen minutes was for the light internet user who had practically no commentary. When asked about their own web habits, responses ranged from complete hesitation to in-depth descriptions.

The the team running the test (which I am part of) spent a lot of time discussing new places the library website may go though I have not gotten an opportunity to discuss my idea of doing a week-long sprint to see what I can do. I wonder how July is shaping up…

In between tasks I managed to create one digital sign, answer several emails about our Digital Media Lab, and wrote up staff documentation for the room. Topics covered: Eligibility & Reservations, Location of equipment, Opening procedure, Post-Usage Checklist, and Closing procedure.

Digital Media Lab Opens

I have been quiet on here since I have been focusing on finishing up the Digital Media Lab before it opened up to its first patron on Friday at noon. So far the appointments have been for video space and digitization efforts. I had to help set up the video and lighting equipment then teach the patron how to use iMovie on the first day. That first project sounded like it was going to make a big difference in their life.

Property of Darien Library

Tomorrow I will be assisting with some actual user testing of the website(!) all day. So my digital signage will just have to wait. Other items this week is teaching a private session on social media and a class on Tumblr. I also got to reveal the second summer reading vector image:

Property of Darien Library

She’s only all jagged because she’s a GIF. On the actual webpage, she’s small and moves up and down.

Launch of Kids Summer Reading Website

Today was the kick off of our Kids Summer Reading program. This is landing page that I have been working on for the past week:

Property of Darien Library

The boat, waves, and sun were done by a contracted artist. The text is from our Children’s Library. I came up with the overall concept to create the purple ocean. I also made the seagull and buoy icons. The buoy actually rotates back and forth using CSS3 if you visit the website and hover on it.

Compare this to my previous effort which was put together in 90 minutes for the 21 Things for 21st Century Parents:

Property of Darien Library

Each week I will add another nautical-themed icon to the sea. Each icon will link to a quest for the kids’ to answer. When the week is up, I will deactivate the icon. When I visited the Children’s Library this morning to snap some photos of the program, I found out they had printed out a couple of my vector images that I had made in Inkscape and hung up (the mermaid and lifehouse):

Property of Darien Library

One of the librarians hugged me and another kept thanking me. It was the first time that I really felt that I had made a real difference to a coworker (this completely discounts all the other times I’ve been thanked, but their reaction was particularly touching). I should not fail to mention the awesome sign up form made by my boss. You will notice that he used Twitter Bootstrap for this and I believe it is hooked into Polaris.

The rest of my day was spent making digital signage (I’m particularly proud of this one “animated” four panel set), processing a video, testing a camera’s sound out (failed again!), and then some chatting about the big project which will be revealed on Friday!

Note: My boss has given me permission to share samples of my work on my blog so look forward to seeing some images! Perhaps after Camp NaNoWriMo, I will change this entire blog to be more photo driven to help encourage myself to bring home samples of what I do!

Building up for the big unveil

I’m really elbow deep working through Camp NaNoWriMo (up to 14,796 words tonight!), so I have had no time to blog about work.

The basics of this past week:

Finish ordering all the parts for the big project which will be unveiled on Friday, June 15th. This took a lot of extra time thanks to comparing items pros/cons/costs and then occasionally substituting one item for another as our objectives changed. It looks like everything will arrive on time! I am using a Google Docs spreadsheet to keep track of the items. Once the project goes live, I will release on here what the columns I was keeping track of were.

Worked on the finishing up the Children’s Library’s Summer Reading website. You can see it online though if you view it tonight, it is still bare bones since the registration does not go live till tomorrow morning. My favorite bits were making the seagulls and each of the nautical items in Inkscape. I will upload them in large scale to here later.

Started working again on the library’s website. I am adjusting the catalog page’s posts so that they are only teasers. There are some complications since the images are being called into the posts using PHP. It looks like on the Catalog page at least that this should not be too big of a problem. However, it will be more awkward on other pages. If everything goes smoothly tomorrow, I may try to change the catalog pages over.