Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Afternoon Grins & Giggles

This afternoon's highlight was listening to/chatting in "T Is for Training." If you haven't checked it out yet, you should!

Other than that, I've been answering some email reference questions and counting photocopies in order to bill a researcher. At present I'm doing some research into the possibility of uploading some of our photographs into Flickr. If your institution is doing that, please let me know. I'm sure I have questions for you.

Well, I think it's time to call it a week, at least as far as these postings are concerned. Thank you all for joining in the fun! Enjoy your weekend!

Friday at Last!

Welcome to the end of the "week in the life" postings. Aren't you glad it's Friday? (And orange you glad I didn't say, "banana"?)

Today is off to a rather slow start. So far I've chatted with a reference colleague about a history class we're teaching together next week (methods of historical research kind of thing) and with our systems guru about the best way to put some of our photos online. Time to do something productive! See you in a bit!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Even More Thursday Fun!

What have I been up to since lunch? I'm not exactly sure; this sinus thing has me in a bit of a fog. However, I do remember scanning and emailing some pictures for a researcher, helping a graduate student from another school with a church history project, answering questions for a student worker, talking to the 84-year-old about two boxes of material he's working on, and spending a good bit of time arranging photograph files on an external hard drive. Whee!

I can't imagine the next hour being much more exciting than that, so this may be the last post for today. :)

Thursday, continued

I have a few minutes before lunch, so I'll bring you up to speed.

The Homecoming meeting was run well. We have a vice president who has a real knack for problem-solving and keeping people on task. There was some debate over where to have the tailgate/lunch event before the basketball game, and he asked if we could come to consensus and "agree with enthusiasm" before dismissing. (In the end the discussion was referred to a new subcommittee, but I liked the way he put that.) It lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, which wasn't bad for a meeting like that.

I came back and tackled one more thank-you note I missed from yesterday's pile. I also responded to some email and prepared some documents for filing. I talked to the dean this morning, and we agreed we didn't have anything to talk about at our weekly meeting, so we eliminated it for the week. This afternoon I hope I have time to scan some yearbook photos for one researcher and email another a follow-up message about his request. I also need to formulate some questions about using Flickr to showcase archival collections to send to a virtual friend and colleague (thank goodness for social software!).

See you after lunch!

Fourth Day in the Life


This is Thursday, the fourth day in the "library day in the life" blog emphasis. Thus far today I have crawled into the office and read email. A glance at the calendar reminded me that I have a 10:00 Homecoming Committee meeting, so I don't want to start any big projects this morning. I'm importing some CDs into iTunes and going through some mail from my desk right now. I'm also planning to go to the break room and fix some cocoa - the sore throat and headache have been joined by congestion today, and chocolate makes everything better (right?).

It is also student timesheet day, so I'll pick up their time cards when I go downstairs.

Now working on timesheets. Researcher has arrived. Emailed admin. asst. and former student worker who wants to return about what we do next (find out if she qualifies for work study).

Timesheets are done but now need to be copied and delivered to the admin. asst. We only do this every two weeks, but somehow it seems like EVERY Thursday!

Off to the meeting! More later.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday, part two

After lunch and visits to the chiropractor and allergist, I'm back! I think it will be a pretty quiet afternoon. One student worker has come and gone, and another is working on the files of a women's college that merged with our university in the 1980s. I just highlighted terms in email and article printouts for other students to file if they appear.

I'm hoping to write some thank-you notes I've been putting off for no good reason. Baptist associations within the state often send us a copy of their meeting minutes to retain in the archives. These are invaluable for church historians, and it would be nice of me to thank them.

The maintenance guy just came to look at our remote door latch; of course it's working fine now that he's here! He thinks there's just interference with the radio frequency our remotes use. It's as good an explanation as any, I suppose.

Now back to my thank-you notes... (time passes). Yay! They're finally done! Copies made for filing; letters taken to mailroom. Ahhhh. It's nice to finish a task you've been putting off!

And with only 15 minutes left in my workday, I think I'll go change into my workout clothes. See you tomorrow, I hope!

Wonderful Wednesday, part one

Good morning, faithful readers! Thank you for joining me for today's escapades in the archives. Today is day 3 of the "day in the life" series of postings. It is almost 8:30am, and my day is off to a slow start. I have a raging sore throat, but I'm at the office. I feel fine other than that, so I don't know what's going on. (Update - I now have a headache, too.)

Today is Wednesday, which means Special Collections is closed to the public, and my two assistants are both off. I may have some student workers appear later in the day, however. So far today I have dropped off two bags of trash at our local recycling center, made it to work, caught up with Twitter and FriendFeed, and started plowing through work email. I think it's time for some caffeine of the fizzy variety! (I'm not a coffee drinker.)

Rather than yesterday's play-by-play, I think I'll just summarize today's achievements, such as they are.

The only email I have to act on is one inviting me to write an article for the newsletter of the Archivists of Religious Collections Section for the Society of American Archivists. Apparently I volunteered to do that on last year's membership survey. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time! I only need to write a paragraph or so according to the email. But what shall I say? Just looked over some back issues of the newsletter, Archival Spirit. Looks like most folks submit information on new collections or projects they are undertaking. I'll have to think about something regarding our Baptist collections to share; most of our recent acquisitions have related more to our university side.

Yesterday's pile-sorting and inbox-cleaning yielded a couple of checks and a book order for the Georgia Baptist Historical Society. I've prepared a deposit slip, copied the checks, updated our membership list, mailed the books, and sent the checks/deposit slip to the bank. While I was in the mailroom, I discovered that my recent Gaylord supply order has arrived, so I brought the boxes upstairs. I'll let a student unpack them later and make sure everything is accounted for. I also chatted with some folks from Technical Services while I was downstairs. Special Collections can be pretty quiet, so it's nice to visit other departments when I can.

Weather check: 64F and rainy. I need to go out for an allergy shot, but I'm also going out at lunchtime and again to the chiropractor this afternoon. I think I'll wait and get the shot after I go to the chiro. Just spent some time reading other people's "day in the life" postings. Librarians and archivists do a lot of neat things! And I'm always relieved to see that other folks procrastinate (like I do) and struggle to find projects for their student assistants (like I do). It's nice to know you aren't alone in this business.

Our dean mentioned an Educause e-book in our library management group meeting the other day. I thought the title sounded familiar, so I looked it up. Yes, I recalled correctly - my former office-mate and I cited it in our article for the 2006 issue of Provenance, the journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists. Maybe I'll check out the print version instead of trying to skim the online copy again. I haven't read it in several years.

Ok. I have an hour until lunch. I think I'll work on a paper I have to write and present this spring. I'll go ahead and post this much now; hopefully I can add more this afternoon. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday in the Archives

Week in the Life, day 2

Here are today's antics. Enjoy! (And pardon my tense-switching.)

6:25am - Alarm goes off. Ignore until 6:45, then get up. Dress for work and pack clothes for workout, eat some oatmeal, and head out the door about 7:20. It's very foggy today.

8:00-8:30 - Arrive at work. Find parking spot. Put lunch (egg salad sandwiches-to-be) in fridge. Haul self and stuff to third floor. Open department and boot computer (this happens in stages). Turn on space heater. Check voice mail - one message from yesterday afternoon that I missed. Good - I can delete that one. Check email - about 15 new messages, but that includes ads and spam notifications. Respond to one message; print out newsletter draft for assistant to check. Scroll through Chronicle of Higher Ed email; nothing I want to click through today. Quick romp through Twitter and FriendFeed.

8:30-9:00 - Make lunch plans for tomorrow. IM friend. Email former student who created newsletter draft to thank him. Proofread document for colleague. Delete canceled meeting from online calendars. Boot up iTunes. Chat with building steward about recycling program in library.

9:00-9:30 - Let researcher and student assistant from other department in. Show student where books go that she is delivering. Continue proofreading. Take document downstairs.

9:30-10:30 - Chat with reference staff about various topics. Pop ibuprofen for sinus headache. IM another friend. Look up address to send a book order. Pack box of books.

10:30-11:00 - Check email. Forward scholarship info to my student assistants in case they have an interest. Take box of books to mailroom; pick up mail. Only one envelope at present - travel forms my dean has approved. Yay! Back to Special Collections - researcher has a question. Look up book for her; no luck. Phone call - does library have a laptop that can be used in a presentation for the Faculty-Staff Christian Fellowship today? I have no idea; please call our administrative assistant.

11:00-11:30 - Show man from facilities where our recycling bins are. Find other resources for researcher, who squeals with glee. Chat with her about her dissertation topic and all the good stuff she's finding here. Chug away on my first liter of water for the day. Print weekly meeting minutes for filing. Photocopy check for book sale. Realize it's time for a deposit. Prepare deposit slip and envelope for admin. asst. Finish that first bottle of water at last!

11:30-12:00 - Took deposit to admin. asst. Chatted with her for a few minutes. Checked catalog for a book I've never read but need to (To Kill a Mockingbird, never read it or seen the movie). Our copy is out. Checked shelves anyway for something I thought might be another copy, but it was just a study guide. Back to Special Collections. Watch a video recommended by a friend before heading downstairs for lunch.

12:00-1:00 - Lunch and weekly meeting of Faculty-Staff Christian Fellowship. Terrific presentation today by one of our professors on his trip to Senegal last summer with a group of students.

1:00-2:00 - Back to Special Collections. Greet student assistants and find projects for them. Chat with assistant. Receive box in the mail - hooray! It's the roller-brush for my vacuum cleaner at home! Find agenda for Thursday's Homecoming Committee meeting and put it in my calendar. Look over Cooperative Baptist Fellowship newsletter from mail. Check email. Find a project (and boxes) for third student assistant. Find project for 84-year-old. Finish reading CBF newsletter and put it on giveaway table. Proofread Georgia Baptist Historical Society newsletter that will be mailed soon. Respond to offsite patron who wants images from yearbooks (photocopies or scans?).

2:00-2:30 - Talk to student assistant about filing; mark some documents for her to put away. Receive final changes for GBHS newsletter; make changes in Publisher. Email former student who worked on this issue; sent him corrected file. Email assistants my upcoming travel dates. Help student who comes in to Special Collections but doesn't really need us; she needs to know how to find books using LC call numbers. Give her a quick lesson in the stacks; find two books with her. Email her a "cheat sheet" for finding things in LC.

2:30-3:00 - (Could today be any more exciting? I can't believe you're still reading!) Finally open yesterday's mail. Turn iTunes back on; it's been off since I went to lunch. Erg - want to shake off-site researcher who wants waaaaaay too much stuff from us. Refreshing Twitter/FriendFeed and catching up.

3:00-4:00 - File some paperwork that has been on my desk. Clean up pile of stuff to left of computer monitor. Make notes based on notes I want to recycle. Look up Robert Oppenheimer's death date. Create new to-do list. Answer reference question. Recycle pieces of paper I no longer need. Check bank balance in moment of terror (after finding dues renewal notice). Handle phone call about our hours for the rest of the week.

4:00-4:30 - Help student assistant look for double-sided tape (find some in closet). Continue cleaning up pile on desk. Find Access report I have no memory of printing last September. Keep it? Toss it? Hmmm. (Put it with the items it was related to in compact shelving.) Oh, good - mystery items. Did I answer these? Should I answer these? (Oh, dear. The autosave feature in Blogger isn't happy. I have 30 minutes to go here, but I'm going to try to post before I lose this.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Monday, Monday: A Day in the Life

"Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head..."

Well, sort of. Woke up about 6:30am. Dressed, breakfasted, and left house about 7:40. Started the day with a visit to the chiropractor, and got to the office about 9:00. Turned in Watchmen at circulation desk.

As I do on most workdays, I booted up my computer and checked work email and Gmail. Only 46 new emails on the work account today; not bad for a weekend. Deleted a number of those that were Facebook announcements. Also checked the answering machine - no messages were left over the weekend. Scrolled through Twitter and FriendFeed feeds quickly to see if there were any I wanted to respond to. Selected starting track for iTunes; I need music!

Doctoral student researcher arrived this morning. Because she was in last week, we already had her materials pulled and ready to go.

Worked on reference question from a phone call I received after 5pm last Friday - when was our softball field given its current name? Oddly enough, we did not have a university subject file on the softball field or a biographical file on its namesake. Spent some time looking through campus newspapers and advancement office publications. Talked to athletics director to see what he knew. Returned call to patron from sports information office who was seeking info; gave him our best guesses.

Faculty member stopped by to chat; we talked about university matters and his daughter, one of my former student assistants.

Talked to dean about a letter I needed to send out and upcoming travel arrangements.

Noon: lunch break! (Saw former student assistant on way to lunch; she's interested in coming back.)

After lunch: responded to a reference question about interlibrary loan of microfilm reels. Sent letter to group that wants their collection back (no dice, according to our university attorney). Made copies for attorney and dean.

Former student assistant stopped by to see if I would be a reference; he's applying for an internship. (Of course I will.) Talked to him about his senior history paper due this fall. Suggested a collection he might find interesting.

Contacted our building steward about problems with our remote-controlled door lock. We either need new batteries for the remotes, or something is wrong with the lock. She has informed the appropriate person in facilities maintenance.

Moved boxes of personal papers for my 84-year-old part-time assistant. He has organized the material and prepared inventories, but I needed to do the shelving. No problem.

Emailed HR office about whether I need to do an annual evaluation for my new part-time person who just started work in November (no).

Attended weekly library management group meeting. No weekly Tuesday meeting this week, so that's good news.

Found folders for a processing project our technical services staff is helping with. Talked to returning student assistant about her schedule for the semester.

(Two other students came in to work today. They filed everything from the biographical and university "to be filed" boxes and then worked on boxes of papers from the administration building attic.)

And now it's 4:48. I think I've covered all the highlights (and most of the lowlights) from today's work experience. In a few minutes I will attend a fitness class at our gym and then head home. See you tomorrow!


Monday, January 19, 2009

25 Things You Didn't Care If You Knew about Me

I've really enjoyed seeing the "25 things you didn't know about me" meme making the rounds, so I thought I would chime in. Some of you may know some of these things, depending on how long you've been around me. However, I still thought it would be fun to see what I could come up with for my list. Here goes nothing!

1. I was an extra in Driving Miss Daisy. "Uncle Walter's birthday party" (the reason Hoke and Daisy go to Alabama) was filmed at my grandmother's house in Griffin, Georgia. My mom delivers the birthday cake and says, "Happy birthday, Uncle Walter!" If you know exactly where to look, you can see my grandmother seated at the table. And I am in front of the French doors talking to a guy from Georgia Tech and holding a root beer. (Picture of me with Morgan Freeman.)

2. I was born with a hole in my heart (atrial septal defect) that wasn't discovered until I was in graduate school. I had surgery to fix it in 1995. Afterward, the doctor told me I could play sports again, which made me laugh.

3. Speaking of sports, I enjoy watching college football. I got my master's at Florida State and went to the Sugar Bowl game (FSU/UF) in 1995. FSU won. :)

4. I met my husband online in 1997. My parents couldn't object too much - my brother and his wife met online and married in 1996.

5. I'm a huge Beatles fan and saw Paul McCartney in concert twice in Atlanta (1990 and 1993).

6. My initials are LAMB, and I collect sheep (but not real ones).

7. My favorite number is 7.

8. I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was in high school.

9. I worked in London, England, for four months in 1996. I was the computer lab supervisor for Florida State's study abroad program there.

10. I'm also a huge Monty Python fan and met Michael Palin at a book signing when I was in London.

11. While I was in London, I heard a sound one night that I assumed was thunder. It turned out it was an IRA bomb exploding in the other end of the city.

12. I once took Kate Pierson of the B-52's shopping for antiques in Macon, Georgia.

13. I won a statewide poetry contest in high school for a poem I wrote about a chocolate rabbit.

14. I own a pair of gold Disneyland "mouse ears," but I have never been to Disneyland. I have, however, been to Walt Disney World, and I have another day left on my ticket when I'm ready to go back.

15. I love cartoons, but only the good ones (Looney Tunes, Ren and Stimpy, the Smurfs, the Powerpuff Girls, and others are considered "good.").

16. I have kissed the Blarney Stone. Someday I will find the picture of that event and post it.

17. When I was about four, I overfed a fish that belonged to my brother. The fish died.

18. I taught myself to play the flute and played in high school band. Somewhere I have a band letter as well as an academic letter.

19. I was "STAR Student" (top SAT score) for my high school. I have recently reconnected with my "STAR Teacher" on Facebook.

20. I own a Chia Pet.

21. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party. In fact, I'm not a member of any party.

22. My husband used to teach martial arts, and I decided to take lessons from him. I made it to green-purple belt, and I loved breaking boards!

23. I cannot stand sauerkraut, but I will eat boiled okra like it's goin' out of style.

24. The first records I ever bought were 45rpms of "Stars on 45" and Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts." I think I still have them.

25. I was president of the drama support group in college. We coordinated cast parties, found ushers for the plays, helped backstage, and did service projects. I dressed up as "Octopuff," an anti-smoking octopus, for the American Lung Association on more than one occasion.

And if knowing is half the battle, you should be in pretty good shape! Want to play along? Consider yourself tagged, and feel free to post your own list!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another "Library Day in the Life" emphasis coming soon!

Bobbi at Librarian by Day reminds us that it has been six months since the first round of our "Day in the Life" postings. Do it again! And if you missed it last time, there's no time like the present!

Just post what you do in a "typical" (ha, ha) day in your library or archives. If you're like most of us, you aren't sitting around reading books!