library day in the life 8.2

Today was a slow day. I don’t mean that I didn’t have work to do, but more that I lacked energy. It’s probably because I slept after midnight last night and had to get up at my usual 5:20 am. I’m sure it’s also tiredness from the busy weekend and Monday.

Unlike yesterday, there were no deadlines today, so I could afford to be a little bit flexible with my schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I still had my whole day planned out from 5:20am through 11pm as part of my time management experiment, but I was okay with moving things around. I did some of the things that I didn’t get to yesterday, and I moved up a couple of tasks that I had (re-)scheduled later in the week.

Commute. The day started out fine but, like yesterday, the commute took longer than usual. I don’t know what it is these days. It’s either the traffic is worse, or my vanpool is leaving a few minutes later, which then makes a big difference in the amount of traffic we encounter. I arrived at work closer to 8 than 7:30.

E-mails. As part of my time management, I’m only supposed to be on emails until 9am, and then another hour in the afternoon. Yesterday, I never got to my afternoon hour. Since I got in later today, I had less time to do emails and other online stuff. That felt weird. Today, I wasn’t as strict about the whole email thing. I found myself reverting to my habit of looking at all my email accounts every so often and looking at some emails when they pop up. I don’t think I was doing it as much as normal, but definitely reverting.

At 9am, I had a phone meeting with Sandy Wee, President of the Asian / Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). I don’t think I ever announced it here, but I was elected Vice-President/President-Elect early last year. So, I’m fulfilling that role in 2011-2012. Sandy is a super-organized person–I really need to take lessons from her! Before my tenure even began, she started copying me on emails. Once my term officially started (after ALA Annual 2011), she instituted regular phone meetings between the two of us. (I think Immediate Past President Florante Ibanez was the first to do this.) So, today’s phone call was our regular once-every-weeks meeting.

We had a lot to talk about today. At Midwinter, Sandy generously gave me time during our Executive Board (EB) to do a brief “future of APALA” brainstorming session. I wanted to use that discussion to help me inform what I’ll be doing during my presidential year. During today’s call, we talked about a lot of the things we discussed at the session, including creating a planning task force, which I intend to do soon. Sandy was also giving me some advice about making committee appointments, something I also need to do shortly. We had so much to talk about that we actually went over our allotted hour.

Since I was already in the APALA frame of mind, I did a few APALA-related things throughout the day, mostly reading and responding to emails and communicating to the committee to which I’m the EB liaison.

I have so much to do to prepare for my presidency. I better start scheduling all these tasks! But it should, hopefully, make my actual term a little bit easier. My upcoming presidential term is actually part of the reason I’m doing this whole time management thing–I need to get ready for a crazy 2012-2013. In addition to being President, I will also be Chair of ACRL’s Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee and might potentially be doing a research project (if awarded funding). Egads!

ANSS. I think I was really in the mood to do committee work today because I decided to do work for the Anthropology & Sociology Section (ANSS) this afternoon. Well, maybe it’s more that it’s been a week since Midwinter, and I really needed to follow up on things and get them moving. I was actually supposed to do this yesterday, but it got preempted. I had moved it to later in the week, but I decided that I needed to pay attention to this sooner rather than later. I typed up the notes I took during the 2012 Program/40th Anniversary Planning Committee and posted it on our Facebook group workspace. I hope people start discussing soon because we really need to make some decisions and get the ball rolling quickly.

Commons. After chatting with Sandy, I had Zoe Borovsky, our Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship, give me a quick tour of our Research Commons. I’ve seen it before, but I was specifically asking her which spaces would be ideal for a small class (5-10 people) that wants to view a film. She pointed out the research pods, the study rooms, and the small classroom as possibilities.
research pods (picture taken over the summer, before the Commons opened)

When we were touring, I could see that the spaces were full. I haven’t really been in there, other than passing through, since we first opened it last fall. What struck me was that, though the Commons is supposed to be this dynamic, collaborative hub, people were really just using it as study space. Questions: If all the students want is study space, do you give them that? Or, do you force them to see the research possibilities? How do you make this space live up to its potential?

In the afternoon, I showed the same spaces to a student in charge of the class, which is on the experience of Pacific Islanders (PI) in educational systems. Like me, he thought that the pods was not a good option. It’s hard to have a discussion when you feel like you’re intruding on people studying. He did like the study rooms, which I found out had whiteboards as walls. (I’m not sure if I knew that before but just didn’t remember or not.) I showed him the small classroom, as well as our conference spaces.

smaller group study room, with screen

Part of my goal with meeting this student was to reach out to the PI student population. As PI Studies (among other subjects) librarian, I technically do collection development, research, and instruction in this area. While it is PIs who are most likely to do research on this topic, not all of them would necessarily want to. However, while I am committed to developing a PI Studies collection (it actually wasn’t an area of focus until I made it so), I also want to help the PI community, whether or not they are actually using the materials I purchase or taking PI Studies classes. I want them to know about libraries and what we have to offer. I also want them to know that we can work together to create programs on PIs or that interest them. I think I conveyed that. Let’s see if something comes out of it.

Lunch. I was supposed to have a working lunch today, but I decided to have real lunch instead. I had brought lunch for me and a co-worker, which we ate outside in the sun.

Minutiae. Other than the stuff I already mentioned, the other things I did today included: doing a reimbursement form for ALA Midwinter (somehow took longer than the 30 minutes I allotted for it), the Midwinter survey (procrastinating much?), more emails, and some cleaning up/filing.

After. The rest of the day remained sluggish. Got to my vanpool early and to the trainer’s early. But everything was just going really slow at the gym–everything I did seemed to give me pain, and I hadn’t come in sore from yesterday’s workout. I think I may have done something to my shoulder — a pinched nerve maybe? Left the gym a little bit early, started the rest of my evening ahead of time. I even started this post early. But now, I am behind. Sigh. Better go to sleep.

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