Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nose to the grindstone

You've got mail! The first day back at work and truer words, truer words; I had email, snail mail, blog mail, and intercampus mail patiently waiting for my arrival at work today. Some day I will learn, maybe remember is more accurate, to sign off on email list serv's before leaving for extended periods of time. Not this time, I had over 250 email messages gracing my inbox. After weeding (hey, that's what librarians do!) I had less than four-dozen that actually needed attention. Work snail mail held a nice surprise, my ALA Midwinter meeting badge. The blogmail, email accounts for specific blogs, was ridiculous for my collaborative librarian blog project; there were 125 spam messages, most of which had subject matter I am too embarrassed to mention here (puh-lease). However, it is a shame I was too late for that British lottery ticket. Praise be, the intercampus mail held hiring and contract information for my new GA. I was thrilled to sign and returned it promptly to the Dean's suite. After wading through the mail waters I spent most of the day playing catch up.

Preparations made before leaving provided me with a definite advantage, see Early Lunch Blogging, Procrastinating with Purpose, and Missing, Lost & Paid. The 2007 Teacher's and Children's Choice books currently in the juvenile collection have been pulled for the circulation/reserves person to process, the books ordered before the holiday break have arrived and are awaiting cataloging with pretty little orange post-it notes declaring they should go on reserve when processed, and the award book listings are bound with yellow highlighting titles on reserve and orange highlighting titles ordered that have not yet arrived. I found three additional titles to add to my mock Caldecott session (as of yet unscheduled) that received the same post-it note treatment. I even had a chance to add titles to the collection development blog, moving the holiday hours post further down the page in favor of resource center reference and booktalk titles.

Updates made to the online course were the focus of my afternoon. With the university switching course management systems, the distance-learning page was updated. Now existing tutorials are no longer valid and changes had to be made to the course web page and introductory handout. On the plus side, I made a simple one-minute Camtasia screen movie showing students how to maneuver to the new location. It was fun. I obsessed. I will probably edit it and/or start over tomorrow. Regardless, there will be time to send out email to each student taking the course for Spring 2008 - and - since I will be in Philadelphia the first day of class, everything is set for the GA's to hit the ground running.

Well, it will be as soon as I do the schedule.

Cappping off my day was a visit from the boss. Seems he has assigned a project to our new reference librarian regarding instant messaging for the library. She is going to research and "play" with different systems (here's hoping for Meebo) and I am to work in tandem to prepare the library web page for the finished product. This has a possible start date of after Easter and/or spring break. I am all for the IM process and think it would be a definite plus for our library web site to provide patrons with this customer service platform. It would be simpler to let me build the new library page without having to continue to update the old. I admit to a bit of crankiness, as it appears someone else's new project has become my new project. But to be fair it is something that can, and should, be done and I am the most logical person to supplement the proposed project. This is where I step back and look at the big picture; maybe I can turn the library web page project, along with adding new web technologies, into a poster session submission. See, finding that silver lining in crankiness.

Is it wrong to be thinking TGIF for tomorrow when I only work a two-day week? As always, handling the first day back after break with style, grace, and sarcasm.

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