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Library Day in the Life – Day 1

Below is my post for Library Day in the Life Project

I am writing down my everyday tasks here in the most mundane manner.  But that is what it is like to work as a librarian every day.  You do not get to do exciting projects everyday. 

Monday Morning

I get into my office around 8:30-ish.  Fixes a cup of tea.  There is already an email  waiting about British Journal of Radiology  not being set up correctly.  I investigate the problem, send away EZproxy configuration, double-check SerialsSolutions, email back.

ILL web-pages need to be redone. More changes need to be made. At least I got it in my email. Need to put them aside for now as more important things need to be done today. But I can fix the Google form for ILL. Google Form somehow does not handle apostrophe. Why is that?

Plan the outline of the library page in the students’ intranet.  Our library’s website is still not live due to reasons none of which are related to the library.  So this is important.  Retrieve some photos I took last week around our new library with my iPhone, which I downloaded and emailed back to me during the weekend.  Start doing some photo-editing in Photoshop.  Create an OK-looking banner for the page after some tinkering.  Trying to come up with some useful content for the rest of the page: links, short info about various library services, facilities, etc.  Add some announcements. The RSS reader in SharePoint still does not work… Sigh… Need to email the school Sys Admin about it…

The library’s Facebook page needs to be updated with new hours and some more detailed info. After working for a while on it, send out emails to the school folks to go to FB and become a fan of the library. Two people did, yay!  That is a good start.

One of our school deans is dropping by to check our office space.  So some meeting and lots of conversation, moving, etc for half an hour. I am making coffee in the kitchen. Too bad I can’t drink it because of acid reflux.

In the library site, the large screen LCD monitor is being mounted on the wall for a group study room.  Very exciting!


Time to eat.  A colleague in school IT suggests lunch at the student center.  At least today I get to eat at noon. Usually I end up eating at 2 or 3 and often in my office still working. This is good. We discuss Gates scandal, True Blood, NCIS over lunch.


The web-design company hired by the school is so slow getting pages ready, and there are still lots of bugs. I reported some cross-browser issues, and they say they cannot replicate. Who is a web designer here and who is supposed to do testing?  Anyway, I send them more screenshots.  Our reference librarian finds additional bugs. I email that one to them too.  No response. Yet. Hope they are working on them.

My boss calls me from the library site to come over and check the successfully mounted LCD screen. Looks magnificent. I ask about the cable that would connect a laptop to the monitor and get one cable for free. Will need to order another to be safe. Will need to worry about how to fix the remote control onto the wall so that it would not be lost.

Time for the conference meeting with Tom, a sales rep for VH dissector. VH Dissector is a really cool human anatomy software. I am learning how to use this program today with a couple of other librarians. The cross-section of human bodies, arteries, nerves, brains… fascinating and somewhat gross images appear.  The software is amazing, and we are going to promote it to faculty and students.  During the meeting, we find that our VH Dissector lacks some lessons.  The vendor will check back and let us know.  And we will have more training in upcoming weeks.  There are some nice printouts in the vendor website that we may be able to hand out to students. Good.

Library PCs need QuickTime player to play our tutorial video. So I install it as well as Firefox Flash plug-in. It takes additional time because I have to deactivate and activate Integrity Management Software everytime I do something to these computers.

Our ILL Assistant comes up and asks if I can do some configuration change for the HelpDesk PC as well. We set aside a meeting for half an hour tomorrow.

Add more database permanent links to the library page of students’ intranet.  A small project of checking the 176 medical e-journals links in the OPAC can be launched as our new part-time Library Assistant just started her work and there is not much work at the Circulation Desk until the library opens.  After handing out the project, I go back to adding more and more database links.

My boss comes up and wants to have a meeting tomorrow. I start writing up a short report listing all items that have been done or are in progress. They fill up two pages.  The font size is 10 to believe it or not.

Tomorrow Aleph (our ILS) is version upgraded from 18 to 19. I call up University Libraray and find out that I cannot delay installing the new version on all staff machines until Wednesday.  So I get up and start installing new Aleph Version to all machines around the office. It is close to 5. Where did my day go?

Our reference librarian requests I add a new link to DOCLINE in the browser toolbar I made for the quick access to our staff intranet. I go to Conduit but cannot recall the username and password. After trial and error, finally I retrieve the password, add the link button, the toolbar has been updated.

It is time to go home and I am the only one left at the office. I am really going home now. What a day! Ready to pass out.

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