What can I say about today? I guess I could sum it up as a day of questions, ideas, people, technology, and materials. Hmm…that kind of sums up librarianship, doesn’t it?
Reference desk. After the usual check of emails, I was on the reference desk from 9-11am. I like to be on the desk in the morning because that’s when I’m most alert and energetic. But early mornings are actually quiet on the desk. Not that the reading room is empty. It can actually get quite full. But it’s mostly undergrads studying.
While I was there, a faculty member came in to ask a question (which I don’t remember anymore), then he asked if the library does training for iAnnotate. He said that he and he his colleagues were interested in getting training on it. I had never heard of it and didn’t know if anyone in the library knows, so I took down his info. Once he was gone, I looked up what it was –an app for making annotations on PDFs, and that certainly has research applications. I emailed my departmental listserv and a couple of other librarians if they knew about this app.
While I waited for the response, I posted this on Facebook:
Should there be a specific librarian in a library whose job it is to keep up to date with apps & other programs that have research applications? If so, who?
I’m mostly a subject bibliographer, and I can be caught up in my own little world. It’s not that I’m not interested in technology, but that I don’t have the time to play around with it. That’s why I posted that status. I know there’s people who do stuff like that, but I wanted to see just what my friends have to say about it. The consensus was that emerging technologies or user experience librarians do this kind of work. I’ve seen these titles before, but I guess I never actually thought about what they do! Consequently, I didn’t even think of my friend, Evivva Weinraub Lajoie, Director of Emerging Technologies and Services at Oregon State University Libraries — that’s basically what she does! [head slap] She even has a whole department who works on these things with her. Now that the lightbulb is on, I am now wishing that I could do a field internship with Viva.
Peer review. When on the desk, I usually bring things to do. Today, I brought redacted copies of my reference letters for peer review. (You can actually see them in the above picture.) I have to read them before my packet can be turned in, and today is the deadline. Later, in the afternoon, I was getting antsy because I didn’t want to have my packet turned in late, and I still have to see the whole packet and sign off that I’ve seen the documents. By the end of the day, I knew it wasn’t going to be turned in on time. I hope I don’t get dinged for that.
Orders. I also brought lists of titles for collection development. I am a bit behind on this and have to really get cracking. I also did some of this later in the afternoon.
Research proposal. After my shift, I hand-delivered the signed hard copy of the research proposal I was working on. I still wonder if I’m a bit crazy to want to do it, as I already have too much to do, but I know it will help me in my job. So, do I will, if I get funded. For now, though, I can forget about it until April or May, when the decisions are made.
Colleagues. Normally, I’m cooped up in my office, barely coming up for air. Today, I actually talked to quite a few people. As Martha says, it’s a good thing.
Networking/Outreach. I have a colleague, Eloisa Borah, who regularly organizes get-togethers with students of Filipino heritage from UCLA’s library school. She usually invites me to these. Today, we had one, but it wasn’t just for library students. There was one PhD student in the information school, but there was also a grad student from the World Arts and Culture Department and the Pharmacology Department. A Filipina staffer from the Asian American Studies Center was also there. It was a good event. I not only got to meet the grad students, but we came up with some ideas of how we can work together. I better follow up with them. I also came away with a couple of research ideas. Unfortunately, I already have a lot of research ideas and can’t really get to anything new for at least 2 years. Still good to keep in mind though. And who knows? When the applying-for-grants bug hits me, I just might go for them anyway.
Data visualization. At the end of the day, there was a little bit of excitement, in that I had to decide really quickly whether I wanted to go for an opportunity or not. A couple of weeks ago, I had asked our Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship if she knew data visualization because I’m interested in getting training in it. She sent me some links but, because I’m so busy, I’m really less likely to do things on my own as I am when there are scheduled classes. Long story short, Edward Tufte is having a couple of one-day courses in LA next week. I’m not entirely sure how helpful it’ll be, and I’m not entirely comfortable with the implication that I will then become a resource on this, but I would really like to learn this stuff. But, if work is willing to pay for it, why not, right?
Letters. I didn’t have to go to the trainer today (thank goodness, as I’m too tired). Instead, I got to start the A Month of Letters challenge, in which we’re supposed to mail at least one item–letter, postcard, cookies, a leaf–each day that the post runs in the month of February. We also have to write back to everyone who writes to us. That’s a total of at least 24 items to mail.
I’d been meaning to write to people for a long time, so this certainly force me to do it. I’m actually really excited about this challenge. I happily gathered all my stationery that’s been languishing forever in my drawers. I searched for the calligraphy set that I acquired during one of my trips last year, but I couldn’t find it. I did find the wax and seal that I bought at the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany.
I only got to write two letters because 1) I was trying to figure out who to write to first, 2) I then had to pick the appropriate stationery, and 3) I wrote somewhat lengthy notes. My shoulder, which had been bothering me, complained, so I had to stop.
I’d say it was a good day…