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Library Day in the Life: Wednesday, November 10

November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3:30 pm – arrive to start work. Login and begin checking emails

3:45 pm – Asked by a student to help with logging on to one of the library’s computer workstations. She has stopped by in the past and is not sure if she should log in with her email address or just her username. We go over the proper procedure and she’s then able to log in successfully.

3:50 pm – The Head of Access and Technical Services stops by to chat for a few minutes. We talk about the carts of books behind the information desk that I need to review to see if they should be withdrawn from the collection (these are 2nd copies of books in the catalog). We also discuss some of the printing issues at the library and the IT department’s fix for these. It sounds like many of the issues have been taken care of. Printing issues have been an ongoing problem for students throughout the semester.

4:00 pm – I respond by email to a student who is studying abroad. He is looking for help on how to access the library databases offsite. I send him an email with a list of instructions and some sample search terms to try, along with a list of databases to start his search with.

4:20 pm – a student stops by and is having trouble opening a file that was saved on her Mac. It has a .webarchive extension. After trying to open this in several different programs, I find that Safari on Windows may be the only way to open this, since we do not have any file conversion programs installed. Unfortunately, the library workstations also do not have Safari installed. I can install this for the student, but she is in a bit of a rush and says she will instead just try it at home. I’m wondering if we should install Safari on one of the library workstations to prepare for this in the future just in case ?

4:45 pm – someone from the maintenance department stops by the information desk to ask about taking down a setup for a lecture (tables & chairs). We stop by the circulation desk to find out more information about this and he says he will stop back tomorrow morning, since what is on his work order doesn’t match what needs to be taken down.

5:05 pm – a student stops by with a journal citation. She hasn’t been able to find the article online and wants to know if we have it. I show her how to look up the library’s list of journals online to see if it’s a journal we have access to, either in print or electronically. It turns out we do have access to the journal and the article is available online. We go through how to save the article (with this journal, we need to ‘print’ it as a PDF, and then the article downloads). I also showed her the process for filling out an interlibrary loan form online, if in the future she has a citation for an article or book that we don’t have access to.

5:30 pm – my supervisor (who is Head of Reference also is in charge of the information literacy program) has set up an account on Delicious to gather links on information literacy. Going through some of my own links on Delicious to see what I can add to this new account.

5:50 pm – two students stop by regarding journal and newspaper articles. One student mentions that her professor has requested she find “hard copy journals” for her research. We discuss the fact that the journals in the university’s electronic databases are essentially the hard copy, just in electronic format. We go over how to access these remotely. The other student asks about finding historical newspapers in our databases. We then go over the steps of how to access this database from the main library page. Both students ask about citing in APA format and I point them to the Purdue OWL site and also a LibGuide that one of the librarians here created for help in citing different formats.

5:55 pm – a student stops by and is looking for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV TR). I walk with her to the print reference material area and show her where this is kept

6:05 pm – a student asks for a note stating she was here tonight instead of study hall to give to her lacrosse coach as proof she was in the library at this time

6:15 pm – we have a scanning workstation here at the library that works well 99% of the time. But a student has just stopped by to say he scanned in 50 pages of a book and seems to have lost everything. There doesn’t appear to be a way to retrieve what he has scanned unfortunately. I told him he might want to try scanning in sections of 5-10 pages. He says he doesn’t have the time now to do this over but will stop back later.

6:45 pm – emailed one of the professors here at the university to let him know we have just published a LibGuide that focuses on the United States Presidents. This professor is writing a book on the Presidents that is due out in 2011 and asked us for help in locating books and articles on the presidency back in September. The help we provided for him then is the basis for the LibGuide I created and hopefully other students and faculty will also find it useful.

6:50 pm – one of the student workers stops by and asks for help filling out her timesheet

6:55 pm – a university alum stops by and asks to use one of the library workstations. We allow non-students and staff to use the library PCs if they have a valid ID and we record these in a log.

7:15 pm – sent an email to my supervisor asking if we should consider setting up a library blog that features contributions from all staff members, as another way to connect with the university community. We’ve already talked about setting up a Facebook page for the library, but there needs to be a meeting with other departments on how to standardize the look of these pages across the whole university.

7:25 pm – my supervisor emails me and asks me to help a distance student with research on sports rivalries. One of my favorite topics ! I’ll be doing some preliminary research on this tonight and will send the student some starting points to consider.

7:30 pm – 8:00 pm – dinner break

8:25 pm – student is looking for “The Bluebook” to do legal citations. We have a copy of this behind the information desk as it is a reference resource, but student was hoping to take the book out from the library. He said he would stop back when he had his final list of citations for his paper and just borrow the book to use while in the library. I took his email address and let him know I would contact him if I could find a legal citation generator online similar to or

8:45 pm – student is having trouble printing from one of the Macs. We go over the correct printer to use and he is able to print his documents

8:55 pm – a student asks about purchasing software such as Microsoft Office 2010 at a discount, as she mentioned she received an email about this but then lost the email. We find the link on the university website that outlines the discount program and I give the link to her so she can access from her home and decide if she’d like to purchase this

9:15 pm – finished sending the instructions to the distance student who is looking for resources on sports rivalries. I sent him instructions on how to search through several of the library databases and also sent him links from Google Books that had nearly full previews of books on sports rivalries. I’ll wait to hear if he needs additional resources as well.

9:25 pm – I emailed the student who stopped in earlier about legal citations. I sent him a couple of links, one is a site at Cornell that is a guide that may help if he cannot get back to the library to use ‘The Bluebook’

10:05 pm – another printing issue…a student without his ID card is trying to print to the library “pool” printer (where guests can also print and the charge is 10 cents a page). It appears as if that printer has been blocked on the library workstations. I placed a work order with the IT department for them to take a look at this.

10:50 pm – the library sounds like a library…unusually quiet, even for this hour

10:57 pm – time to go home…until next time….

100 Library Blogs for the Future

August 6, 2009

I received this link in an email from a listserv today on 100 Best Blogs for Librarians of the Future. There’s many familiar names on this list, but plenty of new ones as well. Definitely some I will be bookmarking and referring back to….

100 Best Blogs for Librarians of the Future

“The Citadel and the Open Space”

May 29, 2008

I listen to Dr. Albert Mohler on the radio nearly every day on the way home from work. I enjoy his perspective on how culture intersects with Christianity and in his blog today, he discusses the future of libraries in post titled “The Citadel and the Open Space — Will the Library Survive in the Internet Age?” In his post, Dr. Mohler cites an upcoming article by Robert Darnton in an upcoming edition of The New York Review of Books. Most of what’s discussed is familiar ground and touches on Google and digitization of books and other topics. It’s clear though that Dr. Mohler is a fan of the printed book, and the physical library space:

The future will be digital (or whatever replaces digital media), but the future will also need the library. The library will remain as a citadel, where books need no batteries and reading requires no Bluetooth or wireless technology. The spirit of scholarship will always be most at home among books, and the soul committed to learning will always find nourishment in the library.

If you’re interested, you can read Dr. Mohler’s post here.

Working In Groups ?

September 4, 2007

The semester started about two weeks ago at SJSU and I’m taking just one class this semester – LIBR202 – Information Retrieval. This is my 4th course in the program overall, but it’s the first one that has a significant amount of groupwork. We have three major assignments, and two of those (one on descriptive metadata, the other on vocabulary design) are to be completed with a group. Those two assignments count for 50% of our overall grade.

I’m used to doing things at my own pace and schedule, so this will be a different experience for me. Our group has members in different time zones in the U.S., and one member in Germany, so that will be a challenge in itself. The subject matter is really interesting – how users seek information and how we can design IR systems to fill that need. Anyway, I’m just wondering what your experience has been with groupwork assignments in your MLS program, particularly those of you who are in online programs ? I know that each school and program is different, but if you have any general tips or advice on how you’ve managed groupwork in your own program, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance 🙂

Nothing To Read At The Library…

August 2, 2007


Voices Inside My Head

August 1, 2007


Yesterday I received the second of my textbooks for the fall course I’m taking at SJSU in Information Retrieval. Looking over the material, I get the sense that it’s going to be similar to learning a new language for me. After quickly skimming through the textbook, a voice inside my head reminded me that summer is moving fast. The course starts on August 23, which only leaves about three weeks left of summer relaxation. I think this will be my toughest course so far.

On a mostly unrelated note, my wife and I went to see The Police concert here in Connecticut last night. I can remember trying to get my parents to buy tickets for me the last time they played together in 1983. Unfortunately that Shea Stadium concert sold out quickly, and it’s been a long wait to see them together again. But it was well worth it. They played nearly all their hits and sounded like they haven’t missed a beat. I’ve seen Sting four times, but this had a much different feel to it. And in addition to their hits, they played “Voices Inside My Head”, which was always one of my Police favorites. Anyone else out there a Police fan who’s seen them on this tour ? You can read a review of the concert here.

I hope those of you who are also taking a breather from coursework this summer are enjoying your break. Fall will be here soon enough….

Advice for Information Retrieval ?

July 5, 2007

Last week I registered for the fall semester at SJSU. I registered for one of our core courses called “Information Retrieval”. I’ve been looking over some of the course materials to try and get an early handle on it. It looks like a much different type of course than I’ve been used to so far in the program, the others being more theory-based and general writing assignments. One of the course texts, without graphics, can be found online here. The other required text is more recent. I’ve ordered the Marchionini text and will order the Meadow one soon.

Anyway, I’m just wondering if anyone has taken this course, or one like it at your school, based on these texts and has any advice for me ? This looks to be a more project-based type course, so I want to get a headstart this summer before the course begins in late August.

This will probably be my last post for the next couple of weeks. I’m getting married on Saturday 🙂 Hope you all had a nice 4th of July holiday….