Library Day in the Life Project, Days 2 & 3

I was too tired last night to write up day 2… So here we go!

I caught up on email and worked on some grading at home in the morning, then arrived at the library around 10 am… To discover that the movers had already been in to remove tables from the “flex space” of our main floor in preparation for an event today (Wed.)… The problem being that I had an event planned that afternoon (Tues.)! So I went into “oh shit” mode and ran around figuring out how to manage the situation.

It wound up working out better with the furniture moved anyway. The event I had planned for that day was a glazing workshop to glaze the bowls that we made for Empty Bowls two weeks ago. We needed to put down plastic to protect the carpeting, so we would have had to move the tables out of the way anyway. Instead of using the tables that are usually in that area — and that are connected by power cords so are kind of a pain to move around — we had to run around and steal unconnected tables from other areas of the main floor. The worst part was that I had to ask a staff member to manage that, because I had to run off to a dentist appointment that was scheduled months before this event was planned!

I got back to the library around noon, which left adequate time to make sure everything else was in order for the 1pm glazing workshop. The Empty Bowls coordinator and volunteers arrived, we got everything set up, and students started to arrive! We didn’t have as many people participate as we did for the first one, largely because one professor had brought two classes of students over for the bowl making workshop, but he was out of town yesterday and suggested that they use that time to come back to glaze bowls… So several did come back, but not all of them. I had fun and glazed the two bowls I made two weeks ago!

We glazed until 4, then got everything cleaned up. Around 4:30, I slipped upstairs to my office to check my email — one of my colleagues had gotten her emailed acceptance to ACRL Immersion while I was glazing. I got in too! Yay! Though, when I got back downstairs to finish the cleaning up, I apparently seemed pretty quiet, so she didn’t ask for fear that I hadn’t gotten in — I just was out of it because I hadn’t eaten lunch!

After cleaning up and putting stuff away (or at least on a cart right outside my office!), catching up on email, and rewriting my super high tech whiteboard sign to promote live music on Friday, I finally left around 5:30 or 6:00.

Later that evening, I worked on more grading and chatted on facebook with a friend that works the 3-11 pm shift at the library. She asked if she could redo my sign, because I had used a marker color that wasn’t showing up well. I said “Absolutely! And if you’re feeling artistic, feel free to pretty it up!” And boy did she! It now looks fabulous!

OK, so on to today, #libday8 day 3.

I felt like crap today. I hope it’s just allergies… Or maybe it would be better if it’s the flu, because that would come and go and be over, whereas allergies will hit repeatedly and every year. Ugh.

The main items on my agenda today were to attend a lunch for new faculty members (those of us that started in the past year) with the university president and teach my class. The lunch was only an hour and there were several of us there, but I wound up getting out the door later than I had meant to because I was fussing about what to wear. Of course, I caught up on email as I always do over breakfast and as a way to procrastinate actually getting out the door…

Since I arrived after 9:00 and before 11:30, I had to park in “the grumpy lot,” so named by my boss because it makes her grumpy when she has to park there! Realistically, we’re just spoiled. It’s not that far, especially compared to some of the parking-to-building distances I was used to at Mizzou — but that’s a much larger campus!

So I went in the back door to the library and went upstairs, where my boss asked about the lovely sign in the lobby… Which I hadn’t seen yet! I checked email again, chatted with a colleague about her class, printed off a worksheet for my class today, and headed out. Our systems librarian just started a couple of months before I did, so he was also headed over for the lunch. We talked about walking, but I offered to drive in the hopes of getting a better parking spot after lunch! OK, super lazy, but it rained all afternoon, so I’m glad I did it!

Lunch with the university president was interesting. I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten in a university cafeteria (lived off campus as an undergrad, opted for Subway or comparable when I had to eat on campus), so I was clearly a n00b at navigating that.

Then we headed in to the reserved room. We all introduced ourselves, and then the president outlined his agenda. We are a small regional university — well, small compared to University of Missouri or University of Virginia, we only have around 10,000-11,000 students enrolled. But the goal is to become a “destination university”. That means promoting what we’re good at, plus focusing on improving graduation rates, improving on campus culture (more events, more fun), and increasing graduate program enrollment.

So, when the discussion turned to what sets us apart from other Georgia universities, I got to bring up our “academic research & the library” information literacy course. Last fall, my boss and another colleague had been chatting via email with someone from another USG (University System of Georgia) library about our credit-bearing info lit course. Then someone else heard about it. Then our dean mentioned it at some state-level meeting… In mid December, we started planning to have representatives from those first two universities come to meet with us to talk about it — a super informal get-together. When we got back from winter break on Jan. 2, we learned that it had grown to about 30 librarians from 10 different colleges/universities across the state! It may not mean as much to non-librarians, but I think it’s pretty awesome that we’ve got people coming from across the state to learn how to do what we do!

After we wrapped up, I gave him one of the “love your library” buttons that I made using Char Booth’s template. He put it on right away, which is of course the politic thing to do. I wonder if I’ll see him wearing it again! (I’m so cynical.)

Anyway, after lunch I did manage to get one of the close parking spots in front of the library, so I finally saw the sign near the front entrance. Holy crap! I had been just writing in dry erase marker on a whiteboard. The night crew had printed & cut out big letters to tape on to the board, using it like a schoolteacher’s bulletin board. It looks so much better than anything I am creative enough or have time to do! So they just made themselves my go-to folks for signage!

From then until class, I’m not really sure what I did, other than wish my headache would go away. I probably checked email, chatted with colleagues, and checked facebook. I made copies of the worksheet for class and printed off a sign to put up in my regular classroom to remind them that we were meeting in the library classroom today.

This was the first time I had brought them as a class to the library, so we met in the lobby and I did the 5-min. pointing tour that we normally do for the first year experience classes. Then we headed in to class, where they worked through a worksheet that led them through developing a research topic, searching the library catalog, and going to actually retrieve a selected book. I think it went pretty well! Though, some took a bit longer than others, so they left to get their books after others had already returned and didn’t get back until 10+ min. after class was scheduled to be over. I hope it’s a good sign that they willingly did that — if they had pointed out the time, I would have accepted the worksheet as it was, since they had all been actually working every time I walked by. So hopefully it means that they were enjoying it!

After class, I went home pretty much as soon as I could get out, took some ibuprofen and a nap. I can’t say I’ve done anything work related since then! I even forgot about #libchat tonight.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is better!