Bullet Point this Past Week

Last week:

  • Made digital signs
  • Did a lot of content inventory — only 78 hours more to go! This causes my injured hand to ache overnight even after only an hour of inventorying.
  • Create a new paper sign for an event
  • Help fix the Hi8 to VHS issue in the Digital Media Lab — a patron then worked on converting his stuff for two days!
  • Submit a conference proposal
  • Listen to an amazing Wufoo UX presentation
  • 1 on 1 with patron to teach her about Personal Digital Archiving
  • Website work — forgot to note what it was
  • Staff meetings
  • Meetings about signs on our main level — finally got all the templates done! We’ll soon have a uniformed look.
  • Meet to discuss a new logo that I am designing
  • Dig into MailChimp
  • Lots of tech support
  • Emails — never stop

Other things from today besides the tech books:

  • Made six digital signs
  • Reviewed a book for our weekly email — and it’s a doozy of a book
  • Setup social media posts for the week
  • Helped out several coworkers on small projects
  • Worked on Omeka for awhile — kept running into problems
  • Talked to reference about the metadata for the Omeka site
  • Worked on template for the bookgroups’ eblast — I love how easy it is to make these in MailChimp
  • Then started fixing the Excel sheet for bookgroups’ email addresses so I could import them into MailChimp. This isn’t something I should specifically be doing, but taking the time to explain how to do it and teaching the person responsible would have taken hours.

Tech Book Collection Finally Moved

Photo taken at Darien Library

Photo taken at Darien Library

Early last year, it was suggested to me that I take over the abandoned tech books collection at my library. No new items had been purchased since 2006 (before the library moved to its current location!) and the oldest item was 25 years old. So the first thing I did was pull up the circ records from Polaris’ Simply Reports. I then marked up which items would be removed. One of the part-timers who work in the computer labs pulled the requested books for me. The books were then sent to recycling since they were so out of date and inaccurate.

Sine then, I have weeded the collection three more times (got rid of 193 books in the first sweep) and have ordered some replacements. I ambushed patrons I found browsing the shelves and emailed others for suggestions on what to buy. A couple months ago I wrote up a collection development policy for this particular collection. If I get leeway, I will post it — though the library has an overall policy which they just unveiled. I then spent months pestering the head of reference and other people to get the collection moved from the basement. Where the books were formerly located, no one knew where they were and thus were unused for the most part. However, I can proudly state that checking the stats today, every single new book I ordered — except one — has been checked out multiple times.

So, when the news came over from cataloging that the books had been relabeled for their new home, I took them myself. The lady who processed them thankfully kept them in order, so it was just a matter of pushing the cart upstairs and then unloading them onto the shelves. Several staff members remarked on how happy I am about this. I’m thrilled. At my library school, collection management was removed as a required class. However, working on this collection is 100% the thing that makes me feel like an actual librarian. That may be silly considering the other face-to-face work I do, but for someone like me who just wants to find things for myself, having a well-managed collection means I am helping people who would never ask for me and that I may never see.

There is still more work to be done. I noticed today how the topics were split apart. For example, two OS books are together but are not grouped with all the other OS books. This part will take a little longer and it’s up for another weeding, but it is ready to go.

Content Inventory

I am fortunate that I could work on content inventory while listening to the Inauguration proceedings. During the hour or so I listened, I was able to power through around 100 nodes and get them onto my Google Doc. Each item is documented across 12 fields. For some nodes, I glanced at them and realized that I could delete them wholesale from the website. These posts were usually just links to the catalog with no additional content. In my inventory, I note recommendations on what content should be deleted. With any luck, the people responsible for that content will agree and just want to get rid of it. Otherwise, it will all have to be reformatted to go with the current guidelines.

Another interesting pattern is emerging from this inventory. I am starting to see the bones of things which could be interesting. For example, creating a complete list of all author/poet/lectures/artists that have visited the Library in the last few years. I will then try to dig around in the cobwebs to see if I can find video footage from their appearances. As well, I am finding a lot of resources on the Library’s history. By putting these pieces together, I can start to fill in some of the blanks about the Library total. Then if I go into the basement, I can dig out old photos and newspaper clippings to really create an online archive.

I look forward to seeing how much content I can inventory this week.

A Week of Social Media and UX

So I’m a bit behind in updating this work journal — oops. Looking at my calendar so far this week shows 37 discrete activities. I’ve been using Google Calendar for years to keep track of my activities and it was a natural fit for my work life. For awhile in grad school I was using Google Tasks to track my homework, but now I just block out time to work on projects instead.

This week I have focused a lot on improving our social media presence. I read a great article on Tuesday about the best time to schedule your tweets and Facebook posts for maximum clicks/conversations according to bit.ly. Since discovering that I could schedule Facebook posts, I’ve been spending the first half hour of Mondays setting up a week’s worth of posts. I had been shooting for the 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. slots thinking of people getting up/sending the kids off and coming home from work. However, that article said that you should really aim for 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with 1:00 p.m. on Wednesdays being the best slot. So I rescheduled everything. This goes along with an idea I got from OverDrive to use the Facebook blocks under your page’s cover photo as links to help pages on your website. So I experimented and after some trial and error, added a redirect link to our eBooks & eReaders LibGuide. Then over yesterday and today, I helped setup a photoshoot and then fixed up her new library Twitter account. She had attended my Twitter class last week and has thus started to get more active! However, I was inspired by her background and finally figured out how to put a background on the Library’s main Twitter account.

I have also focused on UX this week. The new year means we’re preparing for the major website overhaul this fall. So I agonized painfully over the survey I put together. The survey was then put online in stages. On Google Plus on Tuesday. Facebook on Wednesday morning. Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. Hopefully we can get approval to send a link through our Library’s mass mailing list. In particular, I want to know what people have difficultly finding on the website and if they have a disability. The disability part is the hardest for me to pinpoint, so I talked to our reference librarian to see if our ultra accessible computer is ever used (no). However, people do like to borrow the magnifying glasses. Also I will occasionally see someone with their browser zoomed all the way up while they read. Soon I will access the stats to see how our large print collection is doing.

There have also been some surprise meetings this week. One for improving the LibGuides’ homepage and the other about Book Groups. While I can’t say anything promising to the Book Groups’ desire, I am going to build them a new email template. Hopefully this will hold the peace awhile longer. I also created the 2013 Teen Talent Show poster. I am learning the hard way about printers. Even if I do a small print test to see how it goes, the 11 x 17″ run is not guaranteed to have the same vibrant colors as the smaller version. This is very frustrating as a designer. The other small but time-consuming item this week is burning a DVD of a program. Simple enough, right? Except iDVD kept failing repeatedly. I finally threw it in Roxio’s Toast which spit it out in record time.

Redesigning Other Website

I am starting to poke at redesigning my other website — which is AmandaGoodman.com. Though the real star here will be the new portfolio page. This is all a very rundamentary process. I’ll probably turn the entire site over into a portfolio eventually with different categories. The images you can see below are of some physical posters I made for the teen librarian.

Website Update

Website Update

New Portfolio Page

New Portfolio Page

Tonight I’m feeling extra worn out so another night without a better description of what I’m up to!

The Rush to Finish

I did not document my work in the past week because I was finishing up my book, #bigproject. Therefore a list of activities:

  • Finish prepping for 21 Things web page
  • Editing eBook Handouts/pages some more
  • Assisted in reference question look up
  • Several graphic design projects making new buttons in Inkscape and Photoshop
  • Updated website
  • Emails, emails, emails
  • Monthly paperwork: timesheet, Amex, stats.
  • Digital signs
  • Organize some library photos
  • Work on updating Main Street signs
  • Added WooBox to Facebook page — clicking on the tab takes you to eBook Help
  • UX redesign planning — captured in Trello and sent off emails to reference to schedule an informational meeting
  • Listened to webinar on Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh’s maker space for teens
  • Department-wide meeting about the computer labs
  • Prep for Twitter class I’m teaching on Wednesday. I’m doing an introduction to how to use the service, ideas of how to use the service (for jobs/career, connecting, news, microblogging), pitfalls of service, and helpful tools
  • Big department meeting
  • Revamp the tech class feedback form and mailed it out to the first round of students

Ending a Year

The last day of 2012 was slow patron-wise. I took the time to capture and schedule a week’s worth of Facebook posts across the Library’s three pages. Up next was the usual digital signage. Then I met up with the supervisor over the computer desks to go over next week’s meeting notes. This will be the first big meeting for all the computer staff so it should be interesting. The three of us full-timers created a list of things that needs to be addressed. The supervisor and I talked out the major points and then I’ll review the final plan this week. Hopefully we will all start to organize as a steady department which is hard when there are so many of us working diverse schedules!

I finished the work day making up a 5 ft x 2 ft banner, updating the eBooks guide on our LibGuides page, and then studied for the notary exam. In Connecticut, it’s a good 45 page read then an open book test. I feel a little intimidated by it. However, I must admit that the idea of having a seal with my name on it is a little bit exciting! After I submit the paperwork, I will ask to tag along on a few notary jobs to get a feel for the whole procedure. We have several notaries at my library, but it never hurts to have one more on staff.

Finally, I should write this entry with an idea of what to do with myself professionally in the new year. I will be submitting the manuscript of my book this week. Additionally, I am setting up plans to talk to my boss about doing a presentation at a conference. In the meantime, I am waiting to hear back on a proposal on personal digital archiving has been accepted or not. An adviser of mine has also suggested that I look into joining the local Connecticut Library Association in some manner to pick up skills and build a reputation as knowledgeable. However, my big personal goal is to finally learn Javascript. Once the book is done, I’ll have time to work on items of my own choosing again!