Library Day in the Life/Week in the Life


Most of my days are spent at the keyboard...

I have not had much time this week to blog each day about what I have been doing (and I’m not sure it would make entertaining reading if I did!).  So I thought why not chuck it all into one post?  That would work wouldn’t it?  Let’s find out…


Most of my working week this week has involved doing a bit of a spring clean through our e-journals.  This means checking through what our e-library says we hold and matching that up with what our subscription actually gives us access to.  Sometimes I stumble across journals that we have access to that have not been activated, sometimes I find the reverse.  Whilst it is a laborious job, it is one I volunteered to do as I wanted to make sure that what we say students have access to is actually what they have access to.  If this information is not accurate it can lead to frustration amongst students, which has its own obvious consequences (the dreaded ‘G’ word).

Alongside a bit of spring cleaning, I have also spent most of the week dealing with student enquiries.  This normally involves fixing up their e-library access or helping them find the resources they require.  As I used to work in a more customer facing role than my current position, I do like being able to maintain contact with ‘customers’.  Being in an office all day can leave you feeling a bit disconnected from the student experience, but the odd query every now and then certainly helps to maintain a certain connection.

Of course, Wednesday was the big day…the day of the first Voices for the Library meeting.  It was an exciting day, finally getting to meet a bunch of people I admire greatly.  But more importantly, we achieved a lot.  It was without doubt one of the most productive meetings I have ever attended.  Maybe that is what is missing from most meetings…if it was a bunch of strangers thrown together it might make for more productive discussion.  Who knows?  Anyway, stuff was decided and agreed and then it was off to the pub. Nice 🙂

In terms of my work for Voices this week, my main focus has been on preparing stuff for next week (although I’m not going to reveal what that’s all about!).  As the man behind the Facebook Page, I have been putting some final touches to something that I hope will look impressive when it is on public show.  Damn, it’s hard not blurting out what I am referring too!  Well, hopefully it looks good!

I’m also trying to look at other ways to improve the users’ experience of our web 2.0 presence.  I am really keen to make the most of our Twitter and Facebook Pages and make them interesting portals to what we are doing on our site and beyond.  I have been experimenting with using Facebook Notes to produce a short summary of what we have posted on our site and what has been in the news library-wise.  I don’t think it is something I can commit to every day, but I like the fact that it may reach people who haven’t picked up on things during the day due to lack of access to our web 2.0 access points.  It provides a nice little summary and also points people back to our site.  Not only that, but it also reaches people who aren’t on Facebook as Notes can be read by anyone (and they  have an RSS feed – a rarity for something as ‘closed’ as Facebook).  Like I said, I’m always trying to think of new ways to get our Facebook Page out there a little more.  I’d love to hear from anyone who has any suggestions of useful applications that may be worth exploring.

As well as my job and my VftL work, I have also been looking closely at what my local council (Kent) is doing in terms of libraries.  There has already been talk of closing libraries or establishing ‘community’ libraries (an Orwellian concept if ever there was one).  Who knows where this will lead but worrying times indeed as the public library issue finds its way a little closer to home.  Let’s hope Kent tries something imaginative, rather than going for the slash n’ burn approach.  We’ll see.


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