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8:10AM: I arrive at work. Because of the power outage that closed the library yesterday afternoon at 5PM, I decided to proactively go into work this morning. When I arrive in the parking lot, I can see that the heat is working. Yeah!

Once I get into the building, I turn on all of lights on the first floor. I turn on all of the computers at the circulation, periodicals and reference desks, wake up the printers and go boot my computers (my office is on the second floor).

The good news is that most things boot up fine. One of the kiosk/opac computers on the first floor will not boot. This isn’t surprising given the age of the hardware.

10:00AM: The library opens and everything seems fine. I get ready to leave. As I walk downstairs, the circulation supervisor tells me that our library system client won’t load on one of the circulation computers. This is the same issue on the same computer that I got a call about last Saturday.

I definitely need to investigate this problem. I suggest that the circulation supervisor delete the printers and then try the library system software again. Once the printers are deleted, she can open the software. ARGH!!!!!  This is a sporadic problem that is now happening on computers that are not the same model nor the same configuration.

10:15AM: I head out to enjoy my weekend.

Originally uploaded by ScruffyNerf 

Some pictures of my day today for Library Day in the Life project. 

Computer equipment that I moved today:

 Old Computer Equipment

My Name Plate

 

My Desk – See my Snuggie?

My Desk

Lots of New Computers

Lots of Computer Boxes 

High Above the Library Foyer

The Library Chandelier

My Friday:

8:40AM: I arrive at work. I kind of wish that I could have stayed home. It is frigid outside – highly unpleasant.

8:50AM: I sit down at my desk and go through my emails and myRSS feeds. I have an email from our cataloging librarian who worked a reference shift last night.

My boss replied to my email about keys for the new employee. He will put in a request for the keys that are needed.

She reports that she had problems opening our library system client at the reference desk. When she tried to open the client, an error message popped up with a message about print driver errors. The dialog box would not go away. The client did eventually open. I had a report of this problem from one of the circulation staff last Saturday. I had to to delete the printers on that computer to get the client to open.

I remember that our systems group is making changes to printers and print drivers. We had a discussion about this at our Thursday meeting. I need to do some investigating on this problem. It appears to be random. When I connected to the reference computer that had been problematic last night, everything was working fine – of course. I make notes about the problems and will continue to do so.

I start cleaning up. I need to clean up the systems office and the new person’s office. This is something that I will spend a good deal of time on today.

10:00-11:00AM: Staff coffee hour. I wear my Snuggie because it is cold in the staff room.

11:05AM: Back to cleaning up.

11:15AM: My boss drops by my office with keys for the new library systems technician. Wow, that was very fast!!

12:30-1:30PM: Lunch. I had my mother in law’s American chop suey. Yum!

1:35PM: I sat down at my desk and went through email and RSS feeds again. Fortunately, it has been a rather slow email day.

1:45PM: I unbox a new computer for the new employee. I am going to let him configure it on Monday, but I thought I would at least put it in his office. I continue cleaning up. I now have a large pile of old equipment by the back door that will need to be sent to IT.

2:15PM: I get an email from the HR person that I worked with in the hiring process. She sent me a bunch of orientation materials. As I was reading through the first one, the power shuts off. This always make me nervous. Some piece of computer equipment always dies when the power goes out. My office is fairly dark without lights. I head downstairs to see if there is any information. About half the buildings on campus are down. Eventually, we learn that a transformer at one of the major intersections close to campus caught fire. The electric company was working on it. No one had any idea how long the power would be out.

After two hours of doing very little, the library is getting very, very dark. We attempt to get more information. Sunset is at 4:53, and we can’t stay open in the dark. At about 4:20PM, the director decides to close for the evening. I felt as if I had to wait around for this decision. I tell the director and the circulation supervisor that I will come in tomorrow around 8AM to check on things. We aren’t supposed to open until 10:00AM.

4:50PM: The moon is absolutely beautiful tonight. I head outside the library to take some pictures. I forget my mittens, and my hands feel as if they are frozen within 5 minutes. I go get my mittens and head back outside.

5:00PM: I head out.

Walking Across Campus


Walking Across Campus

Originally uploaded by ScruffyNerf

It was snowing rather heavily as I walked across campus today for my afternoon meeting. While the snow isn’t visible in this picture, this was my view as I set off from the library. The snow was actually beautiful, especially since it was not accumulating (and it wasn’t terribly cold).

My Thursday:

8:40AM: I arrive at work and get a parking spot. Yeah! I am happy that the parking situation should return to normal tomorrow.

8:50AM: I sit down at my desk and start to read through my emails. I also read my RSS feeds and think about the day.

I try and print a label on the new Zebra printer that I was configuring yesterday. ARGH!! It seems to be printing fine, but nothing actually gets printed on the label. Serisouly!! I hate label printing. Config sheets print fine.

I start putting together a spreadsheet of library staff computers with their original date of deployment. I have 9 more new computers for staff, and I need to decide where they are going to end up so that I can give this project to the new library systems technician.

9:25AM: I get an email from one of the reference librarians with a link to an article on Boston.com about an upcoming Snuggie Pub Crawl. I got a Snuggie from my mother-in-law for Christmas that I keep in my office. This is a great topic of conversation in the library.

9:30AM: I get an email from the person who is digitizing art slides on campus. She will be on campus next week and can meet. I respond with times that will work for me.

9:35AM: I start to get ready to walk across campus for a meeting. I remember to grab our library system backup tapes to bring over to IT in order to switch tape sets. I set out.

10:00AM-11:15AM: I attend my weekly system’s group, IT meeting. I report on the issues with our digital asset management system on Monday. One of our sys admins suggests to me that it might help to automatically reboot the server on a schedule. I write this down so that I can think about it and come up with an appropriate reboot schedule.

There is also a push to make sure that older records in various systems that might still contain social security numbers are purged. We used to have SSNs in our library system, so I need to discuss purging old patron records with our circulation supervisor.

11:30AM: I am back in my office. I debate about the efficacy of throwing the label printer off the balcony (my office has an door to an outside balcony). I decide that this course of action would only make more work for me.

I read through emails and delete most of them.

I continue to work on a schedule for computer rotation. There are several question marks. I think that I might want to discuss this with the Manager of Desktop Support. It might help to know whether or not I will be able to get additional desktops next fall.

12:00-1:00PM: I go have lunch. I decide to go out and get pizza. This affords me the opportunity to return my vehicle to the parking lot behind the library. The pizza makes me happy.

1:05PM: I return to an email from one of the reference librarians about editing web pages in the content management system. He is having a problem making changes. I send an email asking him to let me know when he is at his desk so that I can look into this.

1:10PM: I start a list of items that I will need to go over with my new employees next week. It comes to mind that I need to find out about getting keys, about getting his voice mail set up and about his schedule on Monday.

1:25PM: The reference librarian calls. He is at his desk. I ask him to log into the CMS and connect to his machine. I see the issue – a link to a survey does not display in the editor. I can see the link when I open the CMS, but I have the admin client. I look around and the link is there in the HTML. I start to walk him through editing the code when I have a thought. The link in question is actually an anchor or bookmark link. These types of links do not work well in our XML-based site. I go into the code and delete the anchor reference. Lo and behold, the link itself is now visible in the reference librarian’s CMS client. Very weird, but the problem is now solved.

I continue to work on training materials for next week.

I try the label printer again with no success.

2:40PM: I am copied on an email from the circulation supervisor about some transfer students that are not in our library system. This means they were not in the file of active students that we received from IT last week. The circulation supervisor requests a new file from IT. I’m included in the email because I am the one who uploads the files.

2:44PM: I get another email from the circulation supervisor about a new laptop that the tutors in the writing program on campus use when they are working with students in the library. The laptop will be kept behind at the circulation desk. The circulation supervisor wants to know if the laptop can be stripped. I reply that I will get back to her about this later.

2:50PM: I get ready to head across campus for my 3:00PM meeting. I walk through the snow which is actually rather pretty.

3:00-4:30PM: I attend a meeting of our campus’ portal implementation team. We launched a portal for finance employees last July. The portal will be launched to students this semester. We are working on finalizing content for the portal.

4:30PM: The meeting ends. I go downstairs to the help desk to pick up the IT welcome letter for my soon-to-be employee.

4:50PM: I head home.

5:10PM: I arrive home to find that my mother in law had stopped by the house today with American chop suey and tortellini soup. I am very excited because I love both of these – and more importantly, I don’t have to cook dinner. Yeah!

5:47PM: I remember about the emails that I needed to send regarding employment issues for my new person. I get out my laptop and do this.

6:02-6:30PM: I see an email from the reference librarian who I worked with earlier saying that he finished editing several web pages. Because of the time invovled in publishing changes, I decide to approve and process the updates tonight. I vpn into the CMS and approve the changes. Now, I am really done for the day.

Jerks Rule The Earth

I was rather fascinated by Clay Shirky’s blog post, A Rant About Women. I wholeheartedly agree with Meredith Farkas’ comment about the provoking title of Shirky’s post. But then again, I certainly understand that controversial titles (and subject matter for that point) garner more notice than politically correct ones. Plus, if one follows Shirky’s advice, the path to success is generally found by those to behave like an “arrogant self-aggrandizing jerk.” I don’t know Clay Shirky and am not sure if I want to actually imply that his choice of title is indicative of the arrogant self-aggrandizing jerkish behavior that he suggests us women indulge in or not (ok, maybe I do :) ).

Overall, I can’t argue that I have noticed that men tend to push the envelope and promote themselves more than women. But, I do feel compelled to note that this is a generalization and is not true across the board. I also have to say that I am guilty of being the type of woman who will do almost anything to avoid self-promotion. I don’t ask for anything if I can help it. This is how I’m wired. I was raised to always think of others first and then worry about myself. There are times – many times – when I realize that I need to step up an speak for myself. But, this is difficult for me. I understand that I should be better at it – and I should try harder.

To me, the bigger issue is a societal one – what this says about the values of our society.  I was troubled, very troubled, by Shirky’s admission that he actually gave the male student a better recommendation because the student had overstated his abilities. That isn’t so much self-promotion to me as it is lying. And, Shirky rewarded the student for overstating his abilities? I don’t get that at all. This is very problematic for me.

I certainly understand the fact that successes are often driven by perception, and that perception isn’t always based on reality. However, it seems to me that the reason that “arrogant self-aggrandizing jerks” succeed is because we allow it. Shirky is suggesting that we continue to perpetuate this societal structure that rewards people who are willing to break laws and risk incarceration to succeed (the incarceration thing is from Shirky’s post). I am not willing to do that.

Like Meredith, I am proud that I am not willing to compromise my beliefs in order to collect accolades. I do not want to be an arrogant self-aggrandizing jerk. I do not think it is appropriate to ask someone to write me a letter of recommendation and then overstate my abilities. Does that make me the type of woman that Clay Shirky is complaining about? Maybe – ok, yes, it does. And, I’m okay with that. Chances are, I’m not going to push myself to the top of anything that I do. As I get older, I find myself growing into myself a bit more. I’m getting more comfortable with who I am. But, I’m getting there on my terms. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with choosing not to play the game of life the way that Clay Shirky sees it. I think people need to start questioning why they are willing to say yes to people who ask for something even if they may not deserve it.

In My Office


A Self-Portrait in My Office

Originally uploaded by ScruffyNerf

In honor of Library Day in the Life, I thought I would share a picture of myself in my office. My office is extraordinarily hot in the afternoons these days, so short sleeves are currently a must.

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