This week I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life project which charts the day-to-day activities of library workers at different points of the year. This is the sixth time I’ve participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009, January 2010, July 2010, January 2011 and July 2011. I’m currently a full-time Researcher at Evidence Base, Birmingham City University, UK. Although my job title doesn’t include the word librarian and I don’t work in a library, I still consider myself very much a librarian – our research helps support the library and information communities.
Day in the office today – which ironically usually means I get much less done (too many interruptions and errands). It took me longer than expected to get in this morning (had forgotten what traffic was like during peak times!) but I travel by public transport and always have my iPad with me so I can work on the way in. I finished drafting comments for the report I’ve been reviewing during the journey, and caught up with news on Twitter.
When I arrived at work I found a lovely surprise parcel of goodies from Lisa Jeskins who is part of the LILAC Conference organising committee. I’d been telling lots of people how much I love the LILAC conference whilst I was at ALA Midwinter last week so had joked that I should be on commission. Lisa clearly thought I should be so sent me these:
I’d also had some new stationery delivered so I had quite an exciting start to the day (I know I’m sad but I love getting new stationery!). After a quick catch up with my colleagues, we decided to bring forward a discussion we were planning for next week (it’s rare that we are all together). We’re getting our communication in order and have devised a new system to help share news from our department with the rest of the library and with those external who are interested in our work (most of our work is external). Internally, we’re using the library newsletter whilst externally we have an Evidence Base blog (and may later set up a MailChimp mailing list once our new website is sorted). My colleagues aren’t very familiar with blogging so I agreed to help them get started and provide some informal training for them. Unfortunately we had many hurdles (it seemed to take ages to get their accounts sorted!) and then we got interrupted by an IT guy so we didn’t get as much done as I’d have liked.
I went out for lunch with Damyanti, but we went slightly later than expected and lost track of time whilst we were there so I returned back to work later than expected. Oops! Time for lots of grovelling to manager and quickly preparing for a project Skype call – I’d done my own preparation but hadn’t had chance to discuss with my manager. The call was for the JISC m-library community support project, and we’re at the point now where we know broadly want people want from an m-library community and we need to make decisions on how we can best deliver that. It was a productive call and I certainly feel a lot clearer about our activities for the short term at least. I’ve been interested in investigating how libraries can utilise mobile technologies for a long time, and I’m really enjoying working on a project I’m so interested in. There’s lots of really innovative work out there and we’re hoping to be able to share this with the wider community to prevent duplication and help drive developments further forward.
After the call (and after adding actions to my to-do list and tidying up project documents), I did a bit of work on the Twitter account for another project, the Journal Usage Statistics Project (JUSP). We’ve had a Twitter account (@JUSPSTATS) for a few months now but we haven’t been using it often, partly as it didn’t really have clear ownership or purpose. I’ve worked with some of my colleagues on the project to discuss our intended use and have developed some guidelines. Today I shared them with the rest of the project team, answered some questions about Twitter use to a colleague who is new to it, and set up some saved searches on Twitter to keep an eye on. The Twitter search interface is a lot better than it used to be and seems to work well – I didn’t know it was so easy to set limits such as language and geography in addition to keyword and phrase searches.
That took me to almost the end of the afternoon – there was just time for a few emails and actions to be added to my to-do list regarding the JUSP project, then I visited the library general office to return the travel insurance card (I took it to Dallas for ALA Midwinter) and headed home. Thursday and Friday I’ll be working at home so hopefully able to get some real work done!