Thursday

Today is my “downstairs” day.  I work every Thursday for 8 hours in the Collection Management department to handle tasks related to our e-resources.  So here’s what I did:

8 – 8:30  Verify with upstairs Boss details about a series of art programs to be offered at Central this year for the related blog post I’ve been asked to write.  Complete today’s tangram – (I liked last year’s tangram-of-the-day calendar so much, I bought another one for this year)  Troubleshoot a colleague’s misbehaving Outlook client (inadvertently set to work offline), pack up my mobile office (aka booktruck) and head down to Collection Management.

9 – 10:30 Check e-mail; receive answers from vendor’s tech support and send instructions to cataloger to download some MARC records from said vendor and upload to catalog.  He complies in record time. (Oops! inadvertent pun.)  Inside access works beautifully; ask our IT department to test remote access.  It doesn’t work.  Need to try it myself at home tonight and contact vendor again in the morning.  Play with a business database trial obtained by our Marketing deparment in prep for conversation with someone in Finance department.

10:30-11:30 Meet with Webmaster and members of web team to discuss how passing a query from our new home page through to our databases might work.  It won’t, for two reasons: remote users will be stopped by the authentication challenge, and, more importantly, I want patrons to have access to all our databases, not just the one being queried.  We spend too much money on those subscriptions to deliberately hide them.  Webmaster and web team agree, and are re-thinking the location of the link.  They give me the address of thepage on the production server so I can monitor the progress as the change is made and content is added to the site.

11:30-12:15 Meet with Finance officer to learn more about why Marketing wants to buy access to the business/GIS/stats tool and how they expect to use it, because  I think they can get much of the same info from American Fact Finder for free. He will take my questions to the Marketing dirctor, who arranged the trial.

12:15-1:15 Lunch.  Packed some of that yummy beef and vegetable chowder I made last night for dinner. Tastes even better today!

1:15-3:45  Check e-mail again, and forward a patron complaint about the public PCs to IT.  Demonstrate new web page prototype to downstairs Boss and explain my thoughts about location of links to databases.  Discuss new wrinkle about remote authentication and the use of user-ids vs library card numbers. We may have to add a proxy-rewrite to the MARC records after all; we decide to let the implications percolate for a day before deciding how to proceed.

Bib-check “Best audiobooks of…”” 2007 and 2008 for my Audio Books Bulletin – make significant progress in identifying titles in our collection with enough copies and no holds.  Will finalize the Bulletin tomorrow, and it will be published on Monday.

4:00 Meet with Marketing staff about content for database information brochure we can give to patrons.  We renewed all our e-resources for the calendar year, so the flyer will be good for at least 12 months. Webmaster sends login for editing my branch’s page on the new web site, and I spend a little time becoming familiar with the site’s structure in advance of the official staff roll-out in two weeks.

5:00 Fly to bus stop and catch 5:04 bus. Upon arrival at home, jump into car and return downtown for 6 p.m. City budget workshop, wherein is presented the dismal picture for the balance of this year and for the next two years.  The bad news is that there is a $50 million gap predicted for the 2009-10 fiscal year, so furloughs, layoffs and cutbacks are inevitable.  The good news is that the city is required to have a balanced buget, and therefore deficit spending cannot compound the gap in future years.  SO glad I’m not a city employee, and that city funds are only one component of the Library Authority’s budget!

8:00 Arrive home, have a salad and a slice of ham for dinner, test remote authentication (it doesn’t work) and e-mail screen shot of error message to vendor’s tech support.  Work day done.

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