Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Library Day in the Life: January 25

It's damp and dreary today in Western Pennsylvania. Traffic this morning was terrible. I've been averaging a 45 minute drive to campus, today it took me about an hour and ten minutes. I wasn't the only librarian affected. A number of librarians on Twitter and Facebook noted their commutes were as bad and, in the case of one, worse (45 minutes turned into 3 hours).

Not far from the campus is a billboard. Since I started here in September there's been an attractive ad up for the campus. After the winter break, they changed it. A red light and this project motivated me to snap a quick photo.

It reminds me that as the head of the campus library, I need to keep in mind ways to tap into this selling point.

Once I got into the office, I spent some time reading and responding to email: agenda items for the Virtual Reference Team meeting on Friday, a collaboration with two student learning units on campus, and a request for a smoke detector in the building since we still have a smoking issue in the main stairwell.

Tuesday afternoons from 12-3pm ET I staff the University Libraries' Virtual Reference Service (VRS). I've been working this shift since I joined our VRS Team during the Fall 2004 semester. Statistically it is our second busiest shift. If memory serves me right, in 2009 we received 22% of our questions during this day/time slot. I also conducted 305 sessions that year. During a lull in my shift, a LIS student I recently became friends with on Facebook messaged me there with questions about his career path and attending ACRL. I find myself doing more and more mentoring, talking about the profession, and career goals via Facebook. I still do quite a bit of this via email as well.

Virtual reference and lunch this afternoon

I rounded out my day by meeting briefly with my reference librarian. We just checked in on two things. I'll meet with her on a more substantive topic later this week. I also went through more email, and was pleased to find a conference call scheduled for tomorrow was canceled so we could use that time to work on what we were planning to discuss. I intend to use the time precisely in that way.

A highlight of the day was to see a tweet from Spacesaver about their ALA Mid-Winter Wrap Up blog entry. There I am! I completely forgot they took a picture when I claimed my prize. I feel like a winner all over again.

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