Librarian Day in the Life, Day 5 (Round 4)

The fifth day in the life of the Head of Digital Access and Web Services at Montana State University Libraries. Based on tweets in chronological order.

  • 8:35am. AM check of email & twitter. My annual review is today at 2:30pm. Should be a good conversation with the deans. #libday4
  • 9:15am. Filling out monthly summary leave reports. Have a block of time before annual review. Need to stay in office & close door. #libday4
  • 10:58am. Email faculty re: feedback on tenure document revisions due noon on Mon. Reading draft of 3-5 year strategic plan for lib. #libday4
  • 11:09am. Quick visit w/team member re: moving architectural drawings app into production. Performing code audit and moving it up. #libday4
  • 1pm. Heading to lunch. Answered a quick Infotoday #cil2010 email re: javascript workshop. #libday4
  • 2:17pm. Excited by opps for DAWS team in strategic plan. Digitization, archiving, web services… Heading to annual review. #libday4
  • 3:30pm. Good review. Now meeting w/range science faculty re: U of Idaho participation in MSU range science DB. #libday4
  • 4:50pm. Joy 2 meet faculty that geeks out over pictures of grass you digitized. Collab w/U of Idaho looks promising. Weekend. End #libday4.

Ahh, the fifth and final installment… LibraryWeekintheLife… It was a Friday which is usually an open day for me. Time to think about week, start on some projects, prepare for next week. It also a day where some admin duties get finished. The morning was mostly about taking advantage of some free time to talk to team members, audit some code before making it live, and preparing for my annual review. The review was a good conversation about where my work is heading and how the team can help the library in the next year. Nice surprise at the end of the day as a range science professor was giddy to see some of the Hormay collection digital objects. It always helps to see someone genuinely excited about your work. There are times when you wonder who’s going to find this stuff valuable. More people do than you know… It also looks like there may be some funding for the range science project. Great to see as we did the initial metadata, DB and app design, and conversion pro bono. The theory was: if we show them something of value, we would be able to look for funding with next iteration. Worked out this time.


Librarian Day in the Life, Day 4 (Round 4)

The fourth day in the life of the Head of Digital Access and Web Services at Montana State University Libraries. Based on tweets in chronological order.
  • 8:35am. AM check of “the twitter” & email. Corresponding with film grad student over plans to do promo for Digital team. Start #libday4.
  • 9:45am. Thinking re: how to present Herbarium project to Bio Faculty. Working w/team on collaborative indexing/keyword project. #libday4
  • 12:35pm. Big win @ meeting w/faculty re: Herbarium. All metadata & scanning will be done by motivated faculty member. Lunchtime. #libday4
  • 3pm. Drop ins & drop bys. Conversation w/team & colleagues re: new digital media service. How to launch, get buy-in, make it easy. #libday4
  • 3:10pm. Filling out student time cards and reporting team leave for admin. Living the dream. #libday4
  • 3:21pm. Hour or so in front of me. Time to work on topic recommending search engine (proof of concept). Work includes data entry. #libday4
  • 4:17pm. Making Libguides API play nice with our database lists. I hate you unencoded &, but you are now fixed with urlencode(). #libday4
  • 4:33pm. @springshare @LibGuidesFAQ Whom do I talk to about structured data coming out of your API? <LI> in caps is not valid HTML. #libday4
  • 4:40pm. Broke search app. Checking error logs. Good place to stop for now. PM email check and then home to fam. Fix later. #libday4
  • 4:46pm. tail -50 error_log command gives: “syntax error, unexpected ‘ on line 253 of view.php” Note for later. #libday4
  • 8:57pm. Back in the saddle. Email colleague in Arts & Architecture re: people we met yesterday interested in #libday4
  • 9:05pm. Tracking down parse error in “search for databases by topic” app. #libday4
  • 10:05pm. Reducing noise to signal ratio in Google reader. Best signals get bookmarked at delicious/diginit/ #libday4
  • 10:35pm. Final PM email check. Thread re: Bio faculty’s flickr photostream @ ; metadata for plant repositories. #libday4
  • 10:55pm. Falling asleep at the wheel. Will have to fix search tomorrow. End #libday4.

Pretty average day.  Had some nice chunks of time, but I chose to do the face to face thing a little more.  It can take more time, but the “Drop Bys” can be an effective means of getting a person’s true feelings on a subject. No mediation by email or other tech, just one on one conversation. You can see some of my admin duties above as it’s the end of the month. Necessary stuff, but not my favorite. Big news for the day was the meeting with a Plant Sciences faculty about digitization of Montana herbarium samples. He’s already using flickr and has access to a high res camera. To top it off, he’s motivated to do metadata. Huge. Subject specialist with integral knowledge of objects doing first batch of metadata. We have plans to go after grant, but will build prototype using flickr API. Tasks for the day included: programming, data entry, networking, negotiating org politics, debugging, “metadataing”, admin documentation, prototyping, and sleeping. More tomorrow as I have my annual review with my deans… Bring it.

Librarian Day in the Life, Day 3 (round 4)

The third day in the life of the Head of Digital Access and Web Services at Montana State University Libraries. Based on tweets in chronological order.
  • 7:30am. Has decided that Earl Grey Tea doesn’t cut it. Going for coffee. Start #libday4.
  • 8:25am. AM email check. Thread re: ALA talk on cloud computing. Building search index for article DBs w/keywords fm Yahoo BOSS API. #libday4
  • 9:42am. Figuring out how MySQL automagically does relevance ranking. #libday4
  • 9:52am. Checking MySQL error logs. #libday4
  • 10am. MSU herbarium digital project discussion. #libday4
  • 11am. Preso to school counselors re: #libday4
  • 12:41pm Back fm lunch. 11am pres to MT school counselors on new tech in education went well. Open afternoon. Time for programming. #libday4
  • 2:15pm Still working on optimizing search index for articles. Making progress with mysteries of MySQL relevancy ranking. #libday4
  • 4:15pm. Search interface is on dev. Team testing queries. PM email check. This portion of day over. Time for Fam time. More later. #libday4
  • 9:15pm. Back again. Trying to make openURL queries to Serial Solutions API work from one of our citation DBs . #libday4
  • 10:15pm. Trolling through my feeds via Google Reader. Saving/tagging interesting stuff to Delicious. #libday4
  • 11:30pm. Google Waved reminder re: starting to record DOI in citation database records. It makes openURL much easier. End #libday4 day 3.

Quite a bit on the technical side today. Largely due to my having a 4 hour block in the afternoon. But, here’s the thing: if I want to build/work to customize library apps, I need these blocks of time. Picking away at these projects for a half hour here or there doesn’t work. Just before lunch, I had the opportunity to speak (with Terry Beaubois) to a group of school liaisions for the k-12 set. It was a Q & A session about new technologies that could be used in the classroom. uStream, iTunes for k-12, mobile devices were pieces of the discussion. It hardly gets any play above, but the MSU Herbarium project could be a winner. Rene Tanner has been working with the Bio department and pointing to our digitization services. Rene and I have an eye on some grant possibilities for the project and some early prototyping using Flickr as a data store.  Great day overall. Some of the meetings tomorrow have been canceled. I should have some big chunks of time tomorrow as well. Looking forward to it.

Librarian Day in the Life, Day 2 (round 4)

The second day in the life of the Head of Digital Access and Web Services at Montana State University Libraries. Based on tweets in chronological order.

9am team meeting. 10am MSU Extension Pub digitization meeting. Doing AM check on email. #libday4

11am Mtng w/instruction librarian to talk design & dev of mediaHub: . 11:30am weekly mtng w/Associate Dean. #libday4

12:37pm. Back fm lunch. Building interface for mentor/liaison app. Prepping for later mtng with colleague re: Openurl pres in Feb. #libday4

1:40pm. Google Waved initial questions for RangeLands West digital project. Looked at sample data for gotchas with data import. #libday4

2:35pm. Back from openURL presentation prep. Checking code demos: . Need demos for general API mashup topic. #libday4

2:41pm. Coffee break with team member. #libday4

3:45pm. Back fm Library Faculty Advisory committee. Elected new chair & set up mtngs to facilitate discussion btwn Deans & Faculty #libday4

4:04pm. PM email check. Checked Google docs for shared presentation. Making sure files on dev server for work later after FAM time. #lib4day

4:35pm Going home to the fam. Colleague stopped by to ask about best format for data import. Loaded ? .csv in spreadsheet? #libday4

9:02pm. Baby sleeps. Working on Google maps mashup for ed grant. Maps colleges + events in MT. #libday4

10:15pm. Final email check. Finished with grant work. Time to relax. End #libday4.

This was a day with most of my meetings for the week. I’ve been trying to work my schedule this way as it frees up those precious blocks of time later in the week. Blocks of time where I can actually get some programming projects started. I’m still trying to find the work/life balance and you can see my working from home after Piper is in bed. This is very routine. If anything, I was surprised at how much I was able to work between meetings. That doesn’t always happen.

Librarian Day in the Life, Day 1 (round 4)

I decided this morning to participate in the “Librarian Day in the Life” project organized by Bobbi Newman. I like the idea of making my job more visible. I’m also hoping to learn about my typical week by capturing it in writing. I’ll primarily be tweeting the events at the hashtag #libday4 from my twitter account at At the end of each day, I’ll present a digest of my tweets as a blog post with commentary if necessary. Here’s day 1:

Alright, I’m calling it. #libday4 day 1 is over. Tomorrow is my meeting day. Like to get that over early in the week.
less than 20 seconds ago from web
After baby hiatus… Drafting revision to tenure documentation. Auditing digitization opps with Range Science and MSU Herbarium. #libday4
13 minutes ago from web
Working on annual strategic initiatives for team. Prepping for team meeting tomorrow where we discuss possible initiatives. #libday4
about 7 hours ago from web
Rewriting some PHP and HTML code for web form/DB integration. Importing sample data into said DB. #libday4
about 8 hours ago from web
Writing about possible learning outcomes for ACRL webinar; Finalizing plans for #cil2010; Answering work emails. #libday4
about 10 hours ago from web
Working on geolocation javascript for project. Debugging w/help of Tweeps & FB. Release code sample and explain in blog post later. #libday4
about 11 hours ago from web
Help me test javascript geolocation function @ . 1. Working accurately? 2. What browser? #libday4
about 12 hours ago from web
Mmm coffee… checking twitter, Google Reader for development, digitization, library stuff. My morning routine as human aggregator. #libday4
about 12 hours ago from web
@BillDrew4 My apologies for bumping you from #libday4 editing. I hit the wrong button.
about 13 hours ago from web
Down with the #libday4 mix.
about 13 hours ago from web

This day is a unique in that Monday is my “work off-site” day. As faculty, we have some freedom in how/when we get things done. As long as we are producing results, we have some latitude. It’s nice to work in a place that inherently trusts you. Monday is typically a research day, but this one turned into a social networking, coding, and documentation kind of day. Tuesday is my “day of meetings” as I like to get the face to face done early in the week and set up my projects. Expect some reporting on comings and goings tomorrow.