New Meeting Rooms Page

According to Trello, I first noted that the Meeting Rooms page on the website needed an update on January 18, 2012. The next note states that I contacted my coworkers who are in charge of the meeting room policies on September 4th. However, I know that I talked to them before this time. A couple weeks ago I decided that I would just go ahead with the meeting pages redesign project on my own. So I wrote up content, took photos, designed the page (using CSS — no tables!), and then sent it to my coworkers for inspection. I worked furiously and then today I finally received the last golden ticket — my coworker agreed to let me put the room rental application online as a webform! When this form is filled out, it will trigger an email to the coworker in charge of these room rentals. Another coworker is very excited about this project as it should remove some of the stress related to room management.

I still need to finish a few more things before this project is completely done. Namely, I should add a button at the top of the page for submit an application. Further down the page, I would like a link to connect people to a chat box so they can book a study room. I did go in and add the HTML5

tag around each image. My goal is to get all new images on the site properly marked up within the next couple of months.

Push Everything Off the Table

My plans for today went awry due to requests from other parties. What I did achieve was to finish a VHS digitization project for a patron, replace a sign with a shiny new one, attend a brown bag lunch on Minecraft, hang up my web design inspirational mood board, modify the Create Account page for users after chatting with the new head of Readers’ Advisory, write a tutorial on Handbrake, answer emails, and finally work on the new Meeting Rooms page. With any luck, it’ll go live tomorrow!


The glowing star of today is planning out the next social media experiment we are going to do on Facebook. We will be running it the same week that an in-library group is going on. I will post about this experiment in mid-December! We are also looking into doing more video recordings. Just short videos to share with our patrons. The first of these videos will be next week!

Case of the Mondays

  • Digital signs
  • LibGuides meeting — hopefully that site will launch this week! My job at this point is to advise and point out trouble spots. I then proceeded to start adding images to the homepage of the LibGuides. It’s about a 12 step process to seek out some Creative Common images on Flickr, then edit the images, then upload the images to our server, before posting the URL on the LibGuides. Then lots of adjustments to get the formatting right. Ah!
  • Researched an email/SMS reminder service using Google Docs.
  • Gave my first official Library tour. I thought I wouldn’t have much to say, but I think I did well!
  • Pushed around some stuff on the website.

Annual Fundraiser Signage

Annual Fundraiser Sign 2012

Image used courtesy of Darien Library

Here’s a photo of the Annual Fundraiser signage that I put up. The main body text is a program written by my boss that auto-updates itself. I created the background from the new fundraising brochure. This was primarily done by editing the images in Photoshop then pasting and adjusting them in Keynote. I had to test this live in order to make sure that all the text was visible against the clouds. I can’t decide — should I remove that cloud in the center?

Embed Video into Digital Sign

We use ~sedna presenter to manage our digital signs. We’re showing a movie this week and I wanted to embed the trailer right in the sign. So, first I had to create a very simple HTML document which had the YouTube embed code in it. I set the code to autoplay and to be the full width of the sign. Then in Keynote I made the background portion of the sign. This background includes an image and some text giving the event’s title and date information.

In ~sedna, I dragged in the background image. I then added a HTML asset and copied in the URL. The HTML page is hosted on my own server space for simplicity’s sake. Next I created a playlist and copied over the default signs for this panel. Then I dragged in the new background image. By default, the image is set as the content. I moved it into the background column. On top of this row, I dragged over the HTML asset and set that to be the content.

The video in the player only plays for about a minute before it restarts. When I view the HTML in my browser this is not a problem, so I’m unsure why this is happening. It’s a good start on this new venture of getting more intimate with the digital signs!

Other random things today was teaching Photoshop to a patron, showing how to setup a tripod correctly to a coworker, managing some chaos, creating more digital signs, and answering a million emails!

Best Call I’ve Had All Day

So saith a patron I worked with today! I was advising on a web revamp for their project over the phone. Hopefully I’ll see them in person soon to teach them WordPress.

Today was otherwise a grab bag of projects. For my next project, I am learning about grid systems. The Gumby Framework seems promising since it is 960 + responsive. Of course after I get familiar with that, I’ll need to see about implementing it with Drupal.

Gangnam Style at Darien

Darien Library Does Gangnam Style from Darien Library on Vimeo.

The head of our children’s department suggested that we record a Gangnam Style dance video back in September. It took a couple days but we then dove head first into filming and had our footage in about 3 hours of takes. Unfortunately, I was gone for half of October (a conference and vacation) and then the video wasn’t a priority to edit. So the video arrives past the peak of Gangnam Style’s popularity, but it is here!

This is the second music video I have produced. Footage for this take was basically “found footage” as I dragged the camera to locations as dictated by the dancers. There was no storyboards, just filming as we were! We used various smartphones to play Gangnam Style for the dancers. As you may notice, I’m not one of the talented dancers!

The video was edited by the UX department with the technical guidance and opinions of a Help Desk (computer room supervisor) employee. While it was sometimes frustrating to use, the footage was edited using Final Cut Pro X and Compressor. The latter software was required for the HD export. When I first loaded it to YouTube, the quality was poor. However, about 10 minutes later, the HD options appeared.

Collection Development Policy

Today the Collection Development Librarian from the Children’s Library was kind enough to send me the policy she had written up. I then spent 45 minutes modifying it to fit the 100 or so books that make up the Tech Books Collection. I’ve sent the first draft to the Head of Reference and our overall Collection Manager (?) for feedback. While it may be silly for one tiny collection to have its own policy, I wanted to create something solid that will ensure the collection is not left out in the rain again.

Inbox zero continues to elude me. My Outlook inbox doesn’t sync correctly so the only inbox that is properly sorted is on my Windows machine. This computer was in storage for two months after the flood, so now I have 200+ emails that I’m slowly sorting into folders. I figure that if I do ten a day I’ll eventually get there.

I had moved my schedule around to attend SpringyCamp for LibGuides. Then when I looked at the schedule did I realize that only one session even remotely applied to my work. The session from Mount Holyoke was great — they asked students to draw their perfect LibGuides portal. The librarians then looked at all the results and improved their guides from the students’ suggestions.

Next, I had a good chat with the new head of Readers’ Advisory. I found out that the people who come to the Welcome Desk to check out do so for three reasons: really don’t have their library card, prefer face to face interaction (usually older patrons), or have their hands full so they can’t dig out their cards (people with children). She then mentioned that teens don’t have their cards but they’ve memorized their number. So I went upstairs and poked at the 3M Self Checkouts for a bit. When I returned to her, I had turned on the ability to type in your barcode and added a button to switch the screens between English and Spanish.

I also set several balls rolling:

  • Two new automatically aggregated panels from web posts
  • Looking for a badge to mark that we’re a Five Star Library (according to Library Journal)
  • Trying to find a guide on networking to order for the Tech Collection

Finally, I met with my boss to get some help in narrowing down on what projects to work on. I’m going to continue to learn Github, look into a metadata schema for our digitization project (Dublin Core, anyone?), work with 960 grids, and responsive design. I then ended the day by finally fixing some CSS padding issues. Hopefully tomorrow they’ll be rolled out on the website.

Progress on Collection Management

I manage one collection at my library: the tech books. The topics here include web design, social media, and software programs like Adobe Creative Suite. Since being gifted with this amazing opportunity, I have aggressively weeded it and removed books that were on average 12 years old. The shelves look a bit bare since the books are now spread out across a rather wide set of shelves.

My next agenda item is to move the collection from the Lower Level (basement) to the main non-fiction section on the second floor. Currently, they are in a computer lab which is closed about a quarter of the time as classes happen. I met with the head of reference yesterday to inspect her shelving to see if we could move the tech books upstairs. My collection is about 126″ of shelf space, so we’ll have to move some of her books around to accommodate the move.

From my understanding, the collection has had no ownership for years so there is a lot of work to be done. Overall though I’m feeling optimistic!