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Library day in the life

Library Day in the Life – Day 3, 4, 5

This week has been so busy that I didn’t have time to write up  my posts for the Library Day in the Life project since Wednesday this week. So here is the summary of what happened on my day 3, 4, 5 this week.  People often think that being a librarian is a pretty undramatic job.  But it may not be the case. I  had pretty dramatic three days which even involved pulling an all nighter.  (Ah, well, almost.  Having four-hour sleep is tantamount to pulling an all nighter at my age I think.)



  • Catch up with Emails
  • A new printer set-up in the library site with IT.  This one is going to allow students to send print jobs directly from their laptops. Another printer that is hooked up with library PCs are already in a working order.
  • Install Flash plug-in and Quicktime Player on each public access computers.  Now that I put integrity management system on each PC last week, installing new program is more complicated.  I have to reboot before and after change to turn off and on the integrity management system.


  • Get the news from the web design company that they will give me an access to files that comprise the library website. I requested this several months ago and the day that I am getting access to the files is right before the site going live. The company wants me to finish anything I will do on those files today. That is only a few hours to work.  I plead and ask when they are “really” planning to move the site from the company’s server to the university’s server. I hear that I can work until Friday morning and then have to sign them off.  Much better than by today at 5 pm.
  • Start looking at the codes. Why there are no comments?  Spend more time to figure out where the files I need to change are located.
  • Figure that I will need to work all night Thursday. Get the permission to work from home Friday morning to push in as many web pages as possible to the company server before the site goes live.
  • More web work.  Tired and head out home near 6 pm.


9 am – 5 pm

Attend SEFLIN (Southeast Florida Library Information Network)’s New Technologies: Libraries & Beyond” conference  During the keynote address, emails notify me that I need some kind of job description for a work-study student I am planning to get. Emailing back and forth while listening to the kenote presentation. Then three more sessions to attend. The conference had sufficient amount of free coffee available. I was very happy with that.

  • Keynote Address:
    Library automation after Web 2.0: Integrating Social Networking Concepts into the Library Infrastructure
    Presented by: Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research for the Vanderbilt University
  • Tablet Computers for Public Service
    Maria Crespi, Victor Hernandez, Charles Roig & Jennifer Dewsnap Shipley, Miami-Dade Public Library System
  • Social Media: Gems from Computers In Libraries 2009
    Prepared by Karen Coussey, Computer Center Supervisor at Broward County Library, Weston Branch Library
    Presented by Loria Hyatt, Computer Center Supervisor at Broward County Library, African American Research Library and Cultural Center
  • Going Mobile with Library Services
    Rich Ackerman, Director of Electronic Resources and Web Services & Carrie Gits, Assistant Director of Reference at Nova Southeastern University

Evening to Next day Morning: 8 pm – 4 am

It was great spending time at a conference all day.  But now there is work waiting for me.  After dinner, I start moving the webpage files from work to my personal computer.  Start working on adding more library pages. Each deparment was allowed to submit up to 6 pages.  The library was no exception but we have + 50 pages more to go.  I had a test site set up with most of the web pages ready. I start creating new web page files that would fit into the new template created by a web design company.  The site and file structure are, in my opinion, not so optimal for those who will be maintaining and updating codes for a portion of the site.

I continue somewhat repetitive web work. The spell checker in Dreamweaver is a godsend.  Still there are many files to go and the night is short. I start to realize that while I will be able to add as many webpages as I can during the given time, it would be  very very difficult to drive to work tomorrow considering the sleep-deprived state I will be in tomorrow.



After three hours of sleep, I come back to my computer with a large cup of coffee.  More coding, more coding. I am adding JQuery and some Javascript files.  And more webpages.  Now the library site will have 30-40 pages instead of the initial 6.  Around 10 am, I check with the company.  More content may come in but the deadline is not changed. I start uploading my files.  But soon I hear back that other departments are going to submit more content by 5pm today.

So I get more time to work on webpages, which is nice but exhausting because I have been up very long without much sleep.  I take a short break and get a permission to work from home for the rest of the day.


More web pages, more javascript files, and more coffee.  I am missing some very important staff meeting today that will include some delicious cake.  I contunue my work wishing there would be some left Monday.  And of course, looking forward to the new updated site which I will be seeing Monday!

Library Day in the Life – Day 2

8:30  I am ready to go to the university web group meeting for the three CMS vendor presentation today that begins at 9.  But boy oh boy, I just hear from the colleague that Aleph 19-the new version we are upgrading  today-needs to be downloaded anew from a completely different URL than what I was informed yesterday. So two hours of yesterday’s work is gone. And I am running around 5 different staff PCs to install the new version of Aleph. Two PCs are gives me real pain freezing up and refusing multiple times to get the new Aleph version installed.  Finally fixed all. Now the clock says 10:15 and I would not have known even if I drank my morning coffee through the nose.

10: 30 So now I am finally ready to go to the CMS vendor presentations. But where is it? It is in Campus Support Complex which is at a far far end of the campus. I run to my car in Red garage, drive to CSC building, and there is no spot in the parking lot in front of the building. And yes, there is. NO, it is only for DECAL. Yes there is one. I run for Rm 1134, which is not on the 11th fl. Actually it is on the first floor!

11:00 At least I made it to the meeting. There is a presentation about dotCMS going on. Well, almost any CMS looks good to me when all I have is SharePoint. While watching the presentation, I keep checking emails and continue emailing.  Multi-tasking is good I guess but I become afflicted with ADD sometimes. What did he just say?

12: 30 The third presentaiton about Cascade by Hannon Hill (?) is over. I really liked the option of repurposing the content in different formats–xml, pdf, html etc.  I leave hoping the 5-member evaluation committee will pick this one but wondering about the first CMS presentation I missed.

1:00 Back at the garage. Got a even better spot! Since the presentation actually ended an hour early, I head out to Student Center to pick up something to eat.  The hair salon in the student center is awfully empty today.  I decide to get a much-needed hair cut.  It takes less than 20 min.! I run back to office with my lunch-Oreo cookies and milk I bought from a small store in Student Center.

2:00 Staff meeting to check the progress of To-Do items before the library opens next week. We look good!

3:00 Work on Library page content on the Student Intranet being constantly interrupted by continuously urgent emails. Make some plans for the library orientation slides. Send out the last Public Access PC to the school IT.

5:15 How come I am the only person left again in the office? I am going home now.

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.