Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brought to you by

Sporadic posting of the last few weeks is courtesy of the library web page, the first month of classes, working evening reference and a weekend shift, and serious disdain of dial-up Internet connection. After being chained to my computer at work, I was unable to face the prospect of turning on my dinosaur with dial-up to blog.

My new student workers have been trained with the basics and so far, so good. Being able to leave them in the resource center means I have been able to devote a bit of quality office time working on the library web page; on that front, after surviving a series of technical glitches (servers and firewalls and ftp permission - oh, my) hope shines brightly. The site might be completed and posted before the holiday break. Even the university webmaster has commented on progress made and wondered if it would be "live" soon.

I spent most of today working on a set of pages, one detailing available database resources and the other providing corresponding information. Translated? A lot of copy, paste, links, anchors, and decisions. My hopes of finishing it today, or at least finishing half of it today, were dashed by a difficult dose of reality. I have successfully completed the listing through "B." Realistically speaking, I could have this set of pages done at the week's end. Woo-hoo!

My supply chain of new children's books has a kink, our acquisitions librarian broke her shoulder and will be off work for at least six weeks. No new children's books, no new education orders, no new resource center supplies, and no one to gossip with on the way out the door each evening. Luckily, most importantly, she is resting comfortably at home. I do have a few books to discuss, but not the brain power to write a review that is not drivel.

Now? It's time for Dancing with the Stars, the results show.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Feast or famine, aka whining

I routinely have my television on, but really can not tell you what I am watching. Three of the programs I do follow with regularity, Eureka, Project Runway, and Dancing with the Stars, are time-slot annoyances for me this week.

Hence the whining ...

This evening is the mid-season finale of Eureka and the second night of the Dancing premiere. Sure, I can flip back and forth between the two shows or even simply tape (yes, tape and I have a love/hate relationship with my VCR) one of the two. But why is it that the shows I like are always on at the same time?

Tomorrow I work the last of my two reference evening shifts and I will get home in time to see the second half of both Project Runway and the Dancing results show (which has to be on at 9 instead of 8). Not as big of an issue because I usually boycott the annoying results show until the final fifteen minutes, but still. I will be watching for the red light to go out over one of the couples and anticipating Heidi saying "Auf wiedersehen" to one of the designers at the same time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My red purse

I recently organized the bottom of my closet and moved all of my purses out of a wicker laundry basket into a lovely new sterlite bin. Why? Well, while I really liked the look of the wicker basket, the container is clear with a lid (dust - I'm not the best of housekeepers) so I can see inside without opening. Guess it was karma today that a blogthings about handbags caught my attention.

What Your Handbag Says About You

You are concerned with how you appear. Projecting your high status is important to you.

You tend to be relaxed throughout the day. You are naturally at peace.

You are a low maintenance person. You can adapt to a variety of situations.

You are an organized and together person. You are competent and successful.

You are an outgoing and expressive person. You always speak your mind, and you're very approachable.

You are a very unique and special person. There's no one else who is anything like you.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's my Saturday

Today is the first of my two weekends for the fall semester and business has been brisk in one regard, tours. One of the more inclement days we have seen for some time, it's raining cats and dogs, at last count there have been a dozen tour guides introducing prospective students and parents through the library on their campus tours. They come in the library valiently shaking rain from soaking umbrellas wearing inexpensive university rain ponchos reminiscent of throw-away rain gear available at football games and the Maid of the Mist at Niagra Falls and hear a variety of prepared comments from their guide.

Three categories of tour guides were in the library; newbies, regular library users, and those who have never darkened the door before the tour. New guides present a quick overview and often move their groups in and out in record speed. One of the new guides today asked me to introduce the library to their group (nice) saving me from having to gently correct errors. Guides who are library users add a bit of flair to their spiel and often point out help is available and mention more than available computers. Other guides, sadly, have obviously never darkened the library door and often present misinformation. I usually mind my own business (though it is difficult when this is a great opportunity to speak with groups) and never want to embarrass anyone or interrupt, but during one tour today I had to step in and correct a student who said our instruction classroom was an open lab available to all students at all times (sigh). I mentioned while this room is periodically made available during extended hours before and during finals, it is mainly for instruction. The young man was a bit chagrined, but the parents were reassured (they nodded happily) that the main function meant their students would be provided instruction for library use.

Morning tours seem to be at an end and the rain has subsided somewhat. I am going to order children's books and other necessities for the resource center.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mom always liked me better

Like many siblings, my sister's and I often tortured each other with the time honored phrase, "that's okay, mom likes me better." Doing undergraduate work, education professors routinely cautioned us not to play favorites with students in our classrooms. Working as an education librarian, I joke with "my" professors assuring each in turn that they are indeed my favorite (call me fickle). All kidding aside, today I was reminded why one professor in particular is an all-time favorite.

I know I have posted/blogged about this professor previously, but it deserves repeating. He is vocally supportive of everything I do for the library and resource center, and has been since day one. He routinely brings his junior block students to the resource center for a tour at the beginning of each semester and boasts how the juvenile collection has improved during my tenure. We have a friendly competition concerning the Caldecott selection each year; several years running he had the book and we did not (gasp!). And yes, he brags about it to his students. Every time he requests a collection purchase, I get a thank you email after I notify him the selection has arrived.

Personally and professionally, this professor has graciously agreed to be on my reference list for the last five years. I know the high quality glowing recommendation he presents to potential employers on my behalf, hiring teams have shared his comments during interviews.

Today I got a thank-you note via campus mail from this professor. I was not surprised at the concept of the note itself, he routinely sets a professional example having each of his students sign the note. It would be easy to take the thank-you for granted, but each time I open it there's a small thrill of satisfaction. Here's a glimpse of why he's a favorite:
"You continue to help us understand the abundance of available resources, if we but use them! Thanks!"

The note made me smile (I'm smiling even now as I discuss the note here). So while I may find it challenging not to play the favorites game, I guarantee this professor was at the top of my list today.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Here we go

In many ways tomorrow is the real beginning of the fall term; last week could be termed the "getting to know you" phase. Students have been to each class at least once, my student workers have worked a shift and some will even get their first paycheck on Friday (if they turned in paperwork as instructed), and almost everyone in my class has an active login for the course management software.

On the library front, training will continue in the resource center throughout the month of September before I am able to have office hours and return to the library web page. That is only to be expected with a newly minted staff and I have prepared the web committee for this delay. I already have a scheduled evening and weekend shift for next week, something I like to get out of the way while our business is a bit slower. And, I have had an opportunity to begin ordering for the library by placing two carts of juvenile books into Baker & Taylor. There are several other items on my ordering agenda that need to be addressed, specifically requests that arrived after the money was spent last fiscal year and consumable items (Ellison cutting pads and laminating film) that will be needed shortly.

Though unwilling to go as far as saying hit me with your best shot (I'm not crazy), I'm ready to move with the business at hand ... fall term.

NOLA: Praying for the best

Watching television this morning I found myself looking for familiar scenes and streets while praying for the best outcome possible as hurricane Gustov loomed in the gulf preparing to make landfall. Returning home this afternoon the news being reported now is guardedly optimistic, but time will tell. The photo here is from my trip to New Orleans attending the ALA conference in 2006; inside Cafe Beniet on Royal Street.

Be safe.