IDS Lightning Talk on SUNYONE

SUNYONE is a pilot project of collaborative collection development for purchasing titles not currently owned in SUNY libraries. I've been involved since the beginning and recently gave a Lightning Talk about the project at IDS.

The link below should take you to the Google Doc presentation slides that I used. I suggest viewing the presenter notes for it to make any sense at all. ;) Go to the Actions box on the lower left hand part of the window. Choose Show Speaker Notes. Enjoy!

New Window introduced to Rock by Lawn Mower

There is always excitement in a library. It doesn't always sound like a gunshot hitting glass, but sometimes it does.

No one was hurt, except for the window and perhaps an ego or two.
It was more effective at waking everyone up than a pot of coffee. The downside to that staff-alertness method would be the cost of repairing new windows everyday.

Letting Go of the Culture of Perfect: an experiment.

Today, working the Saturday reference shift, I did an experiment. I had a not-extensively trained student worker help process books. That being said, I was right next to the reference student that was going to do the work, so I didn't think I'd be taking that much of a leap.

The proof is in the processing
With a few quick introductory instructions, and two samples, I set the student to assembly line processing a truck of hardcover books. One-side did not have slip covers, the other side did.

The results:
Stamping property stamps via assembly line method seems faster. It probably is faster, with a few slightly smudged results. (No difference in the quality from the normal students.)

The student missed my instruction to do just the non-slip cover side first, then see me for more instructions. So I have about 7 spine labels taped on slip covers that will be covered up with mylar cover protectors. Not a big loss of either time or materials.

A few of the spine labels are listing slightly to port or starboard. I admit, this REALLY bugs me. But I think it is that culture of perfect thing getting in the way. Are the legible, yes. Can they be shelved properly like that, yes. Will the world end if I don't spend several minutes repositioning (possibly reprinting) those spine labels, no. *breathes deeply and moves on*

Even fewer spine labels have little folds in the tape covering them. See the above questions and answers. FWIW this doesn't bother the perfectionist in me quite so much as the listing labels did.

I did have to reposition 3 spine labels that had call numbers that couldn't be read from the skinny spines they were placed on. Not bad for a student's first time out.

1 label needs to be printed again, the person who printed it the first time didn't notice the date was half-cut off. Not the student's fault.

The only heart-stopping (OK I'm exaggerating) real problem, the student herself pointed out to me. She queried why there was no order card or paperwork for a volume one of a two volume set. I found volume one labels had been put on volume two, but volume two's spine label had disappeared. Given that the labels for v.1 were already stuck on v.2, this requires new labels be printed anyway. So the disappearance of the spine label doesn't really add additional time to fixing the problem. Also, mixing up volume labels is a very common mistake for students on their first attempt at processing books.

The only things remaining to be done to the books are to add the security measure (Didn't want to advertise where we put these things to the general public) and mylar covers for the slip covers.

So with minimal training, a reference student helped process a truck of hardcover books with only 1 real problem.

Now what do I do with that information?

Shovers & Makers

I'm very pleased with the LSW Shovers & Makers concept. But, it's given me a classic HL professional dilemma.

How to pump yourself up, without sounding conceited while ignoring that little voice that says you aren't all that hot, you just have everyone else fooled.

So I'm going to use this as a forum for a brain dump.

Ways that I shove:
I have to shove that little haunting voice to the side that says I've got the world fooled. This voice has been with me awhile. It was at it's loudest my senior year of college while I stressed over an honor's thesis and spent many a sleepless night locked up somewhere trying to write. Strangely, when that voice was the loudest, was the exact moment I realized I wasn't alone. My co-honor's program conspirator fessed-up that she felt the same way. Here we were, Honors Program, English majors that the department had given special honors to, and we were both convinced we'd fooled everyone and weren't really that smart. Years later, when my mother went back to college, she expressed those very same fears to me. What a silly thing for the smartest most talented woman I know to think, yet she felt that way too.
Of course, the hidden conceit in thinking you had the ability to fool all the highly educated folks around you is something I hadn't considered at the time. But, I digress.
Basically, I've learned to shove that voice aside, and to know that I'm not the only one who thinks that way. Hopefully someone else will now know that they aren't alone either. It occurs to me, that perhaps this voice is what allows the conceit to stay away. Self-doubt just has to be kept in check, so you don't become paralyzed by it.
(Please note, I wasn't a psych major. ;)

Shoving the "it's always been done this way" out the window. Now that requires a slightly different shove, not quite as violent as the one needed to curb your feelings of inferiority. No, this shove is a little more steady and reasoned. Start out by truly understanding the "way it has always been done" while looking for places to improve. When you can prove how changing is better, you've done most of the muscle work. The flip side, is that if your way fails after a decent trial period, you have to be willing to shove your pride to the side and go back to the other method.

Ah, my favorite kind of shoving would be putting other people in the limelight. This is where I can give all the well deserved praise I want, without feeling guilty! I'm surrounded by a group of great people who are themselves shovers and movers and are capable of making great things happen. I try to tell them how much their efforts mean to me, and to our patrons. They're also great at taking ideas I shove at them and turning them into reality.

Moving... Well, I move myself to do what needs to be done, no matter the type of task. Admittedly, I may move a little slow at times, procrastination being something of a way of life. But I always pull through in the end.

Constant moving and re prioritization of tasks is critical and something that I feel I handle well, most of the time. I don't know that I've ever experienced a day at a library where everything went just as planned, all my to-do's were accomplished and I didn't have to put something aside mid-task. I'm not sure how I'd feel after a day like that, other than pretty sure the end of the world was nigh.

Hrm, so I need to move on with my Saturday, and I still don't have that smashing entry for Shovers and Movers. But, I've thought about it. So that's a start.
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There's a light on this library that won't light on one side.

Originally uploaded by Amerk.

Part way through this morning at work the overhead lights went off. Which left everyone's Christmas lights and a bit of natural Rochester-grey light coming in from the windows.

It set quite the mood and was pretty enjoyable. When I started to yawn I turned on my desk light and took this photo.

Turns out the guys working on construction in the quiet study room needed to be able to see their laser level. Sadly, they must be done as the lights have come back on.

Roving Reference

Yesterday I had a wonderful and busy reference shift. It was rewarding to be able to help students with everything from computer glitches to locating biographies of people with a certain disorder. A colleague tried to ask a question a few times, but students kept coming up. In a quiet moment I IM’d her to ask what she wanted, and the next quiet moment allowed me to send her an answer. I guess I thrive on juggling, to a certain degree.

Strangely, my roving reference interview didn’t take place until, (say this in a deep movie announcer voice) later that same day, (/movie announcer voice) as I was a couple miles from home. At a slightly odd intersection a semi-truck in front of me straddled the double yellow and stopped. No signals, and no safe way around on either side had me stopped a few yard back from him. (I didn’t want him to roll back into me.)

The driver hopped out of his rig, I assumed to check on a piece of equipment. Except that after he rounded the backend, he kept walking towards me. His body language indicated that he was confused and had a question, so I rolled down the window a bit. He asked, “Which way is North?” I pointed in the proper direction. But every instinct in my body said that this wasn’t his real question. So in good reference interview fashion I got him to tell me he wanted to go to Route 31 and his ultimate destination was Rochester and that he couldn’t use the Thruway. Which would have been the easiest, heck, we were less than 100 feet away from it.

So I gave him the best directions to get to 31. I described the way to get to route 31 and before I’d gotten him to his second turn he looked very confused, so I started over again, leaving out landmarks that I had thought would be useful the first time. “Turn left at this intersection that we’re at right now. at the next stop sign turn left again on and stay on that road, even when it makes a 90 degree turn. The first stoplight will be Route 31, turn left to go towards Rochester.” He thanked me for directions, decried the lack of signage on this back-country road that runs parallel to the thruway for all of maybe 2 miles and got back in his rig. My route home took me most of the way down the same road I sent him, so I waited long enough at my turn to make sure he went the right way (Left) at the stop sign. After some hesitation at the stop sign a left signal turned on and he made his turn. I hope he got there.

So that’s the story of my roving reference from my car. Which is really funny since I don’t have any indication on the car that I’m a librarian, just that I’m an Amerks fan.

Made it to Potsdam

We got in just shy of 11pm. Checking in in under 15 minutes to avoid parking tickets was not a problem.

Thanks to the two guys who helped with the luggage. They got more then they bargained for when they offered to help since I'm on the third floor. I hope that they enjoy the wine. Which would require them finding a corkscrew since I didn't give them one of those...

The room is pretty nice for a dorm room. I'm pretty sweaty from the stairs. Getting my fan plugged in was my first priority. Bathrooms are sparkling clean and the kitchenette looks quite useful. Lots of yummy goodies are in there too.

I've got the room set up. Glad I brought the NetworkCableThatAteTexas, but not sure it will be useful outside the room. I noticed 2 orange coloured network drops in the knitting lounge, wonder if they're active? I'm also glad I brought a sleep mask, lots of ambient lighting from outside but I am not into cutting off air circulation by closing the blinds.

I really should set an alarm and turn in. 8am pre-conference, here I come...

There's no place like your Regional Service Provider?

Anyone else concerned over a rumored push towards eliminating Regional Service Providers for OCLC?

Waldo has sent out a letter to NYLINK members indicated that they could save a certain percentage by going through OCLC directly. It does outline certain services that you would give up and includes your NYLINK membership in the cost savings (Since supposedly you won't need them anymore.)

Normally I'm an OCLC-girl, but I find this new-found advertising of their direct service suspicious.