I forgot to blog for a few days. Oops. I wrote on Monday that my schedule was a bit hectic. All my time has been spoken for at this point and it breaks into 56 different segments over the course of 37.5 hours. This isn’t bad in some ways, but it also makes me feel like I’m not actually getting anything done. All those small tasks are important and they stick together, but at the end of the day there isn’t anything…big and substantive about it necessarily.
I started work on a bookmark and then sent it back and forth with my two colleagues. We’re having a Snapchat September or something, so I had to make a panel teaching people how to add the Library as their friend. It’s pretty cute — my new colleague did a great job with setting this up. The Staff Art Show is next Wednesday so pressure is on for everyone to get everything together. This led to two more people dropping out. It’s disappointing since this is probably a one-time-only thing, but…
I spent the biggest chunk of time working on my email situation. That new PC is cool and all, but 3,000 emails didn’t transfer over correctly via Outlook. I setup the two PCs on opposite sides of the room (where I had monitors and power access) and went between the two of them to see how bad the trouble was: entire folders and subfolders were missing. Eventually I deduced the likely culprit as an Exchange error that happened five years ago. Some folders created around that time were never recognized by the server and thus they and all their contents simply didn’t exist outside of my PC’s Outlook. My colleague suggested I create a new folder on the old PC then move all the folders into it. This worked. Strangely, emails still disappeared. The losses appear to be sporadic so I called it a day. Total time fixing this issue: four hours.
The main things were meeting with the facilities manager about her publicity needs, weekly check-in with my boss, and then going on desk for two hours. Those hours were rough. Due to an event, I had no backup and was trying to keep 3-4 patrons happy at the same time as I rotated between them. I later estimated that I must have answered 20-22 distinct questions/tasks over the course of two hours. One billing system a patron needed to access completely failed her. I tried every method I could to get it to work, but that government site was down and out. It was disappointing to have to send her on her way without resolving the issue in full.
I got to see a friend! She was just passing through, but it was lovely to see her and have lunch.
Aside from that, I tested out a new camera. The results outside the Studio are pretty good. However, this morning I was called upon to suddenly do a photoshoot for a new staff ID. We’re trying a new thing where I don’t move the Studio equipment much and try to use it just as it is. I mostly stuck by this tactic, but moved a screen in front of a light to defuse it a bit more to soften it. Just as I got that into place, the subject of the photo walked up with her boss. The photos were…not great. The lady is lovely of course, but the quality compared to my other photos is garbage. Next week I’ll have to work at getting the camera setup for these lighting conditions. I’m not looking forward to that. The last time took hours to do as I’m not a trained photographer, so I’m just moving things and then checking the results each time till I find the sweet spot.
The bookmark from earlier in the week continued to be a challenge. I have a template in Pages I use which mostly works. But the transparent background of the Library logo was printing out black. The internet failed to fix this. Ultimately what “solved” it was putting the PDF in Photoshop, doing a select, sampling the color, then paint bucketing the color over it all. That worked pretty well! Then my colleague printed it out on the cardstock. The whole thing was now black. Fortunately, I have gained some knowledge over the past five years and realized the issue is with the way the cardstock resists absorbing the ink. So I opened the PDF up again and brought it down to a much lighter purple than desired. That worked, but it is a little lighter than we had desired.
Finally, I looked into using Zapier for the publicity workflow I’m dreaming of. The current idea is to use JotForm > Google Sheets > Trello. But the question is, can Trello write back to Sheets? The struggle is a way to make it easy to push a project through the publicity workflow while also capturing data so we can analyze it later in a spreadsheet. I’m hoping to find other library marketers to learn what they’re doing. My current Twitter follower list are people who likely are interested in me due to my old UX title. I’m afraid of alienating them, but I have to get ingrained with the new community. It takes a village to make a librarian and I am looking outwards for those lights to lead me down this path.