By Meredith Farkas | July 28, 2009
This is part of the Library Day in the Life meme going on this week. What an awesome idea!
I cheated on this a little — I wrote this up on Thursday since I’m not working until Wednesday. Until mid-August, I’m only working 2 days per week so that Reed can wait until he’s 4 months old to start daycare. I’ll also write up the days I work this week (Wednesday and Thursday).
So here’s a day in my life as a Head of Instructional Initiatives. I don’t think this is a particularly typical day since the students aren’t here so I’m not teaching, but I also don’t think I even have “typical days” during the school year.
8:00 – arrived at work with husband and Reed in tow since I can’t drive due to a sprained shoulder. Colleagues oohed and ahhed over Reed (who wouldn’t?)
8:10 – Fed Reed while computer booted up and went through several updates
8:30 – Checked email and talked to colleague about redesigning our web portal for distance learners (which we just found out we got funding for – awesome!) . We’re going Drupal, baby!
9:00 – Engineering liaison and I met with Dean of the School of Engineering and Civil Engineering faculty member about information literacy instruction for engineering students. It was a great meeting because we all pretty much wanted the exact same thing (problem-based active learning, teaching students to critically evaluate sources, etc.). We’ll be teaching 6 3-hour classes in the Fall, reaching all of the Freshmen engineering majors. YAY! Also talked to them about getting library instruction in somewhere else in the curriculum, like when they have their big senior project and have to do all sorts of in-depth research. It was something they hadn’t considered, but they seemed open to the idea. I talked about what I’ve done with the senior History seminars.
10:00 – Checked reference email accounts and answered several reference questions that came in overnight.
10:30 – opened up spreadsheet of journals in the social sciences and continued to work on making cuts. Mulling over whether to cancel some journals that we get in EBSCO with a one year embargo, since we could get the articles for students and faculty through ILL. It drives me crazy to be paying $1000-$3000 for essentially one year’s worth of content.
10:45 – Emailed political science faculty member with a list of journals I’m considering cutting and requesting feedback. Put a few on the list that I doubt I’ll cancel, but I wanted his feedback as to whether it was an essential title or not.
11:00 – Pumped some milk for Reed (ah, the joys of being a working mom) – browsed RSS feeds during that time.
11:30 – Worked on a course guide for a senior seminar on the Civil War in which I’ll be providing library instruction in September. There are way too many resources on the Civil War and it can be hard to create a guide that includes only the best/essential resources.
11:45 – Spoke to a Drupal developer about the redesign of our library portal for distance learners. His company seems to be the Cadillac of Drupal web redesigns. Very impressive, but we don’t need all the bells and whistles and those bells and whistles come with a hefty price tag.
12:30 – Ate a quick lunch while going through the journal spreadsheet. Why is it that I love trimming the fat off our budget? It’s like spring cleaning. I’m hoping to cut enough that we can get some collections we really need that will likely get a lot of use. Students use databases much more than single title subscriptions.
1:00 – Worked on getting quotes and hourly rates from Drupal-experienced web designers. Hit up folks on Twitter and Friend Feed for suggestions. Got some crazy expensive quotes and some reasonable ones. Continued to check reference email accounts and answered a couple more email queries.
1:45 – D’oh! Forgot that I was supposed to be on Meebo. Quickly logged in.
2:00 – talked to colleague about cutting journals and making the difficult decisions. We both tend to not be as sentimental about the collection as some of our colleagues, so he’s always a good person to get advice from.
2:30 – Put in more work on the Civil War course guide.
3:30 – Asked colleague if we could get usage stats for political science journals I’m considering canceling as faculty member has requested them. Got click-through stats from Serials Solutions and sent them on. Ugh – only 5 hits in two years for one of the journals (and not a cheap one either).
3:45 – Emailed criminal justice faculty about journals I’m considering canceling. Got a quick response about a one that they consider essential and a few that they’d rather not lose if at all possible. Will really depend on how much the SAGE collection they want us to get costs.
4:00 – More milk making and RSS feed browsing
4:20 – Glanced at email and saw one about Freshman orientations (for which there is a library component). We did a fun activity last year, but it was a heck of a lot of work, so I’m a little nervous about prepping for it on my limited schedule.
4:30 – Shut down computer and ran outside to meet Adam.
6:00 – Checked email from home and emailed Criminal Justice faculty member back to reassure that I would not cut any journals considered essential by his faculty.
6:15 – Emailed Drupal designer that I’m considering hiring for the redesign. He seems to understand the scope and isn’t trying to up-sell us on stuff we don’t need right now. Draft email to the powers-that-be about getting the go-ahead to start working with him.
6:45 – Went through RSS feeds while watching Hell’s Kitchen in bed with Adam and Reed.