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Besides world peace, I’d really like a Kindle. Will I get one? Not likely. They run about $359.00 for the device. It’s time to start saving my pennies.

Kindle

Kindle

We are ordering two for the library. I’m really looking forward to trying out the new one. We’re also ordering two Flip cameras. All of these items will circulate and I’m excited about the students having use of them.

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Thank you Hershey bars were handing out by HR today. One of the woman in HR is really dedicated to making employees feel valued and appreciated. She’s started a variety of things, like quarterly supervisors meetings, that should help improve communication and general morale. If everyone gets on board. I’m on board because it’s helping me to learn about the college and my specific role. Which reminds me that I should her a written thank you note for all the work she is doing.

My first three months on the new job have went by quickly. I’ve made a few minor changes and now it’s time to start working a couple of larger changes. It’s going to be stressful and I’m likely going to make a couple of people very unhappy with me, but I know that we can be more efficient and potentially open up another opportunity.

Yes, that was very vague. Maybe I’m becoming more like DH by the day in not wanting to talk much about work. The thing is, as a supervisor, I don’t feel comfortable sharing too much outside of my office and the library. And while I find my job interesting, the day-to-day of it isn’t all that exciting.

Although we do have occasional excitement. A couple of students got into a scuffle last week. I wasn’t here for it, but we’ve been having some ongoing problems with one of the students involved in the incident. One of the public safety officers spoke with the student later that day and I haven’t seen the student in the library since then. While I’m sure he’ll be back, it’s nice to have a break from his antics. I’d imagine the students who come in here for the quiet are also appreciative.

I’m in the process of putting together our last big book order for this fiscal year. I’ve got an intern from our business program who is helping with some of the more boring parts of the process which frees me up to spend a bit more time looking for some materials. The intern has also helped put together a brochure for the LRC and I also plan to have her work on a self-guided tour for the library.

It’s hard to believe next week is spring break here. My two full time employees and I are going to Springfield for a library conference the first three days of the week and then I’ll be heading to Kansas for a 4 day weekend. I’m looking forward to the conference and the chance to meet more IL librarians.

I did get a few new pictures this weekend on the way back from visiting my parents in eastern IL. It was so windy though that it was quite a challenge. I wonder if your hair can be blown off your head? *laugh*

I did get a couple of pictures of the shawl, but I don’t have my camera with me today. It’s really grown and I’m almost to the neck. I hope to finish a couple of other things tonight and share the pics later in the week.

Blargh!

Posted on: March 2, 2009

I’m now in the midst of budget writing season. Good thing I had a weekend out. There is the potential of some late working days in my future.

icanhazcheezburger.com

icanhazcheezburger.com


And, I GAINED 0.6 lbs. this week. Yuck! But I didn’t do any exercising last week since I felt so lousy most days and had all I could manage with working. Pffft.
icanhazcheezburger.com

icanhazcheezburger.com


Now I’m more motivated and took a few minutes today to some meal planning and write out my grocery list. I didn’t do my shopping this weekend as I was off whooping it up, so I’m hitting the store tonight. I’ll likely also pick up a few produce goodies at Hyvee in Moline when I go to Stitch and Bitch this week.
icanhazcheezburger.com

icanhazcheezburger.com

Oh snap!

Posted on: February 15, 2009

Charley and I went driving today so I could get some pitchers pictures for my photography assignment. He was incredibly well-behaved and held still when I asked him to so that my arm wasn’t jiggled by the leash. It’s great because I like the companionship even if we don’t talk much. Here are a few of the pictures I got today.

Valentine’s Day was very nice. DH got home in the late afternoon and had a present for me. It was very unexpected! We went to IHOP for dinner. While it’s not a romantic location, we both like the food and it’s generally quiet enough that we can have a conversation. Which we did…about politics, dogs, and other stuff. Since I only get to spend about a weekend a month with him, that’s more important that some fancy schmancy dinner.

DH has been gone since 7 am today and won’t be home for another 2 hours, at least. The dogs and I slept in and napped most of the morning. You’ve seen the results of my afternoon. Tonight I plan to watch the beginning of the new season of The Amazing Race. It’s interesting to see the places they travel. I think I’ll work some more on my neck warmer. Looks like I might need it this week with the temperatures dropping again.

Tomorrow morning DH is bringing his car in for some work and I plan to follow him to town. We’ll have some breakfast and this great restaurant before I get on the road. I hope to have some time along the way to do get some more pictures…especially if there is still loads of snow left in Iowa.

Then it’s back to work and the usual stuff. I’ll be in and out of town again this week for meetings and training stuff. Yes, I’ll be glad when all this traveling back and forth to the Quad Cities is over. But I’m learning a lot about the college, which is extremely helpful. There is also an academic librarians meeting this week that I’m planning to attend up at our campus in Moline. So far all the librarians I’ve met here in IL and nearby IA have been extremely welcoming and helpful.

Now I’m trying to decide when I can travel over to eastern IL to visit my parents. I’m hoping for the first or second weekend in March. That sounds like it should be far in the future, but this year is moving along so quickly. Wow!

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The weather outside is amazing today. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to get outside to enjoy it before it gets cold again tomorrow. It’s a reminder of what we have to look forward to when spring really arrives to stay.

DH is at Ft. Campbell this week. I guess the band there is deployed, so they had to go play for ceremonies and stuff. Of course, it doesn’t mean a great deal for me, except that I don’t get almost daily updates on the dogs. They’re kenneled right now. I’ll pick them up on Saturday morning since DH won’t get back from TDY until the evening. Happy Valentine’s Day to us. Eh! I’m thinking about making something good for us to eat at home that night since he’ll have eaten out all week.

Then DH will be gone most of Sunday since they have a concert somewhere in north west Kansas. I really won’t see much of him this weekend, but it’s the only 3-day weekend I have this month. Trying to save the vacation time for March.

The count-down has started in the Sheep in the City Ravlery group. I think it’s 17 days away now. I have my roommate, classes, registration all take care of. I’ll stop by the LYS in BigUtown to pickup yarn for my top-down sweater class while I’m in town this weekend. This trip is my early birthday present. I didn’t go to the knitting weekend that I wanted to last year and am glad that I get to do something like this finally. It should be fun and I’ll get to learn a few new things while I’m there. Maybe I’ll finally get a sweater knit!

Work is good. Here’s a quick update:

  • We’ve got a great student employee in here who is learning the ropes quickly. Certainly helps to have another set of hands when things are busy. A faculty member also approached me about a student who needs to finish up some internship hours. I have some projects that I want to work on and will be glad for the extra help.
  • I’ve been asked to sit on a search committee and said yes. It can be time consuming, but it will be a good way to get to know some of the other people around here. I’ll be going to the Quad Cities campus Thursday morning for a training about how to use our application system.
  • The Weight Watchers group at work is really fun. Soon, I’ll be in the midst of budget stuff. Hopefully I’ll stay motivated this time. Our leader is a hoot and she really makes it entertaining. My last leader was kind of odd, like she’d joined the cult of WW. I have a hard time relating to people like that.
  • Right now I’m working on the last major book order for this fiscal year. We have some specific gaps that I’m looking to order for. We’ve got about $4000 more to spend. It’s not a lot when you start adding it up, so it takes some serious evaluating.
  • I like having weekends off. It’s nice to be able to take care of personal stuff and not feel rushed because of work or travel. It also makes my regular work schedule very stable, which is something I enjoy.
  • I’ll be going to a conference sponsored by the state library in March and another in-state conference on information literacy in April. That’s the extent of my travel for the next few months. It will probably be 2010 before I do any major conference travel again.
  • Working Out

    Posted on: February 7, 2009

    It’s been over two months since I started my new job.

    Things are going well. I still have a great deal to learn and absorb, but I don’t feel overwhelmed on a daily basis like I did when I first started. However, people have been really helpful and welcoming, which has made learning a new place less stressful.

    Yes, the people there are really decent. Sure, like anywhere, there are a few that I’m glad I don’t have to deal with daily. But in general, I have found my co-workers (both in my area and elsewhere at the college) to be friendly, pleasant people. It makes getting up the morning for another work day more than bearable.

    Being a supervisor is what you would expect. I have to deal with various things, but mostly my staff are competent and hard-working. It helps that Human Resources seems interested in making supervisors successful by providing us with quarterly updates. The main thing that I’m trying to navigate is not getting in my employee’s way. They were without a boss for several months, so I’ve had to take on the things the previous coordinator did and figure out exactly what those things should be. I’ve encountered some minor resistance, but nothing that is causing me any real problems.

    I’ve made a few minor changes that needed to happen just to enable me to work efficiently. Change in any place is a hard thing. So, the things that I’m thinking about doing, I will do slowly…albeit with a bit more discussion than I care for. But I do have to be sensitive to how other people deal with alterations.

    The most surprising thing for me has been that I feel like a full-fledged librarian. Having my hands in all the day-to-day things that we do keeps me interested and engaged. I’ve had to relearn a few things, but that hasn’t been a problem. I do like being able to do a variety of things beyond just reference and instruction, although I still enjoy both of those areas very much.

    Despite my anxiety about moving and starting a new job, so far it’s turning out to be a positive. I like my position and I like the college. So far, so good.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about food and weight this week. Trying to change your habits does that to a person.
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    I realized that part of my problem is not being able to imagine myself anything other than heavy. I’ve been overweight for so many years that the very idea of ever being slim is mind boggling. It’s just a fantasy for me. How can you imagine something that you don’t remember being?

    It’s a mind-set that I’m going to have to work out of because it doesn’t lend well to success.

    Anyway…
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    It’s been a fairly busy week around here. I was in Peoria for a grant workshop yesterday and will be there again tomorrow for a training on the Outreach module of our circulation system. In plain language, I’m learning about the part that will let us have books and other things at our building in town…and still keep track of where they are. Yay for college vehicles, so I’m not burning my own gas all the time.

    I did get to SnB last night. Things were pretty low-key and I got a slipper almost finished. One of the women in the group recently was diagnosed with cancer. So some of us are working on projects to give her as part of a big gift basket. I’m making some slippers. I also picked up a couple of books that I hope will cheer her up.
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    Although I shouldn’t stay up late to read, I keep picking up good books…or at least interesting books. I finished reading The Host this week. This is by the same author who wrote The Twilight series, although this book is not a YA book. It was a fairly predictable story with few twists, but I still enjoyed it. If you’re not into sci-fi chick lit, I wouldn’t recommend it.

    I did not want to get out my cozy warm bed this morning and deal with another cold day. It was one of those days when I almost wished I was sick or injured so I could just stay home. And I like my job and my workplace. But winter has worn a bit thin on me this week. And I like winter!
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    Today is a long day for me because I have class this evening. So, before heading off to work, I harvested some lettuce from the Aerogarden, slathered some cream cheese on a bagel for breakfast, and grabbed a container of leftovers for lunch and supper. Also had to grab my instruction manual for my camera, the recharged camera battery, and the actual camera.
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    It was time to head to work. Most mornings, after taking off my coat and turning on my computer, I head straight for the coffee pot. This morning was no exception. Coffee in hand, I sat down at my desk and prepared to deal with overdue notices. One was quickly taken care of by renewing all the books on the patron’s account. It was a faculty member, and I’ve started extending the courtesy of just renewing items for them and sending them a reminder email that they have something checked out. Seems to be going over well. I have to check on another book that I’m certain I saw come back, but it still showing up as checked out and overdue. Sometimes I have to go check the shelves to make sure because things do slip through. Once I’ve done all my checks, I pass the notices along to one of the part-time people. She’ll do a final search to make sure I didn’t miss something and then mail the notice out.

    I had my last meeting with my direct supervisor today. She is retiring at the end of the week. She’s been a great help as I got acclimated and accustomed to my new position. Her part is Friday and I still need to figure out what dish I’m bringing to share and I need to pick up a gift certificate for the local quilt shop. She plans to learn to quilt now that she’ll have the time.
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    This afternoon I will work on any ILL requests that have come in today. I will also work on more ordering now that I have the notable books list for 2009 from ALA. I also plan to finish up the January faculty newsletter and do some more work on our LRC brochure.

    Tonight is photography class. Sometime in the late afternoon, I will break away from work for awhile to wander about and get some pictures to bring to class. I’ve got to get in the habit of bringing my camera with me everywhere I go because I’ve seen some good shots this week. Unfortunately I can download them from my brain.

    At the end of the long day, I’ll head home to relax and maybe read a bit before going to bed. It’s amazing how little time I spend reading, even though I am a librarian. Some people think that’s all we do all day.

    It’s time for round two of Day in the Life of a Librarian. However, like many librarians, I don’t have one day that is really like all other days. So, you’ll be subjected treated to a whole week.

    My morning started with a training visit. I’m still getting familiar with our circulation system and while I’m quite comfortable with it at this point, I did have some questions and a few modules to learn more about it. It was quite informative.

    After I get done with this post, I plan to go pull books for Interlibrary Loan requests. The whole process will take about a 1/2 hour.

    Then I leave campus to head to the Quad Cities campus for orientation. Over the next few months, I will be going there at least twice a month for different training things as I continue to get familiar with supervision stuff and the whole college. Fortunately we have vans that I can use so I don’t have to burn my own gas.

    I’ll be in the Quad Cities for the rest of the afternoon and although I’ll return to campus when I get back to town, I’ll be done for the day.

    I do plan to work out after getting back. We have a small fitness center on campus that is free for employees to use. So I intend to start making use of it.

    Then it will be home for dinner and knitting.

    Now that I’ve started a new job, it seemed an appropriate time to write a new post about a typical day in my librarian life…if there is a day you can call typical.
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    Most mornings I get up around 7 am. I’m still not a morning person, but it’s nice to have more of a routine again. By 8:15, I’m at work.

    The first thing I do when I get into my office (yes, I have an office with a door!) is turn on my computer. So much of what I do for the rest of the day will involve the computer.

    After that I go find some coffee. If it isn’t already brewing, I’ll get it going. My full-timers are generally here before me, so they’ve already got the library opened up for the day. Often there are morning distance education classes, so one of my staff is somewhere in the building at that time making sure the classroom technology is working properly.

    After pouring a cup of coffee, I sit down at my desk and check the library’s Google mail account. This is where we get our intralibrary loan lists and the overdue lists. If our part-time person isn’t here that day, I’ll take care of pulling and preparing the books for ILL. I always take care of looking over and printing the overdue notices, which I then set out for one of the evening part-time people to double check. She makes sure that we don’t have the book on the shelf before the notice is sent out. When she’s not here, I take care of that myself.

    A couple of times during the day, I check for any loan requests that come through OCLC First Search. On a typical day we’ll get one or two requests. When they come in, I pull the books, get them ready for whatever transportation method they’re going by, and enter all the information in the ILL database I’ve created for those requests.
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    The rest of the day is filled up with a variety of other tasks depending on the day of the week and how many part-time employees I have working. I do shelve books when our little cart is starting to overflow or when I’ve done something like taking books off the New Book shelf to move to the regular stacks. If an order comes in, I will often help with some of the processing involved, such as entering the received books into our spreadsheets or helping cover the books.
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    Sometimes I help out when the mail comes in for the day. We tend to get mail in the morning and afternoon. It brings the usual stuff like catalogs, bills, and our periodicals. I’ll check in newspapers, magazines, and journals. This involves barcoding, labeling, and date-stamping them among other parts of that process.
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    Now that the semester has begun, I’ll also be spending time preparing for instruction sessions. Since I can focus specifically on my job here, it seems like I have more time to really prepare for the individual classes that I’ll be working with. I look for reference books, periodicals, and other materials that I hope will be useful to the students in addition to databases and internet resources. I’d really like to see our print collection used more because we do have some good things even if we are a small library.

    Soon, I’ll be working on our annual budget. I’ve already started doing some minor things with it, but I’ll have to complete it by April.

    I also take care of the staff scheduling. This isn’t usually too complicated except when we have something going on or someone is going to be off. Most of the time, the schedule doesn’t vary much week by week.

    I’ve also been spending some time most days working on ordering books. While I’ve done some actual ordering to get familiar with our vendors, one of my full-time staff does that. I do most of the selecting. Reading reviews can be time-consuming. I also have to do some digging around at times to find requested books or other materials that we should have on our shelves.

    One big project that I started shortly after I arrived was the reference collection weeding and updating. It’s been awhile since that has been done and we have some things sitting out there that are out-of-date or just need to go away. I’ll also be doing some shifting in that area once I’ve got this first part completed.
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    This may not sound like a lot, but it does fill up a day. Mornings really seem to fly by and there have been many days when I’ve looked up at the clock to realize it’s already lunchtime.

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    Upcoming

    Mar. 10 - Photography Class

    Mar. 11 - Quad Cities SnB

    Mar. 12 - Lincoln Reenactor performance at BHE

    Mar. 13 - Annual budget due

    Mar. 14 - SnB trip to Galena

    Mar. 16-21 - Spring Break

    Mar. 16-18 - On the Front Lines library conference in Springfield

    Mar. 19-22 - In Kansas

    Mar. 23 - Orientation in Quad Cities

    Mar. 24 - Photography Class

    Mar. 26 - Spring Break for Academic Librarians workshop in Peoria

    Mar. 27 - Supervisor Development in Quad Cities

    Apr. 2 - Using Social Technologies in Library Instruction workshop

    Apr. 6 - Weight Watchers

    Apr. 6 - My birthday

    Apr. 7 - Photography Class

    Apr. 9-12 - In Kansas

    Apr. 10 - College Closed

    Apr. 12 - Easter

    Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

    Apr. 13 - Weight Watchers

    Apr. 14 - Photography Class

    Apr. 16 - Evening Instruction Session

    Apr. 17 - Information Literacy Summit

    Apr. 18 - A Day of Books and Quilts at Toulon Public Library

    Apr. 20 - Weight Watchers

    Apr. 21 - Photography Class

    Apr. 22 - Renegade Reference meeting in Bloomington

    Apr. 23 - Illinois Library Day

    Apr. 24 - Quarterly Supervisors Meeting

    Apr. 27 - Weight Watchers

    Apr. 28 - Photography Class

    Apr. 29 - Supervisor Training in Quad Cities

    May 5 - Photography Class

    May 12 - National Library Legislative Day

    May 25 - Memorial Day - College Closed

    June 4 - RSA Users' Group meeting in Peoria

    June 6 - SIL's birthday June 6 - Brother and SIL Anniversary

    June 8 - Nancy Pearl at Bradley University

    June 13 - WWKIP train trip to St. Louis

    July 3 - Holiday - College Closed

    July 4 - Independence Day

    July 10 - Mom's Birthday

    July 10-15 - ALA Annual Conference in Chicago

    July 17-19 - Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL

    July 31 - 10th Anniversary

    Sept. 7 - Labor Day, College closed

    Oct. 6-9 - Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Peoria

    Nov. 23 - Brother's birthday

    Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day, College closed

    Nov. 27 - College Closed

    Dec. 7 - MIL's birthday

    Dec. 18 - DH's birthday

    Dec. 25 - Christmas Day

    Dec. 26 - Dad's birthday

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