Thursday, 2 February 2012

Day in the life, Part 8, Day 3

Day 3 – Wednesday

Finally got to grips with the budget! Looked at it last night at home and made a plan of things to look into this morning. Made some decisions which I hope are right. Spent a welcome 30 mins or so discussing with the boss and making sure he agreed that it was now right, and the figures were as close as they could be!! Emailed my excel guru to let her know and thank her for her help.

Plans for today now include tidying my desk which is completely covered by budget printouts!

However, the best laid plans, as they say …

Had an extra meeting with boss to discuss way forward on a couple of projects. Spent a little while perusing MARC records that we had imported for a specific purpose. On closer scrutiny this leads me to believe I have misinterpreted some of the MARC rules – oooooops!

Had a quick look at the ordering figures to see if these might have had an impact on the size of the cataloguing backlog, which is now running out at about 18 shelves and is the most we’ve had for a couple of years. Sadly, we cannot blame the librarians ordering new books, as orders are actually a little bit down on last year.

Ohhhh, hang on I can hear someone shouting for help! …

Ah, shelf being loaded with new books has just collapsed, nearly on top of someone. Hmmmm, shelf and bracket seem to be bent. Off to search for new ones.

The understairs cupboard has yielded another couple of brackets, but one of those was also defective. With a bit of brute force and ignorance and a little help from my friends, I have now managed to put the shelving back together. These shelves are checked regularly as part of the health and safety inspection but obviously, as they are being continually emptied and re-filled they can be a bit more unreliable than the shelves in the library. How to cure this problem?

Anyway, it’s now time to go home and I still haven’t tidied my desk up. Ah well, Monday is another week! (I only work the beginning of the week.)

Post script

Waiting in car for child to finish band practice, I’ve been thinking about creating some notices to put up above the shelving. If I have different wording on different coloured notices and move them around regularly, there’s a possibility they might be read and that might help to prevent further near-misses or accidents. Will do this at home tonight.

That really is all from me this time round!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Day in the life - Part 8, Day 2

Day 2 – Tuesday

All night-time water drunk. Bad night. Really tired.

Didn’t bother trying to park on campus today. Enjoyed the walk, if a bit chilly!

Straight in to looking at the budget figures again! So engrossed forgot to collect the Duty Manager pager and go to a 10 o’clock meeting! Arrived late to interesting meeting about inter-library loans; much food for thought.

Had many plans for today, but this has turned into a most surreal day! Still fretting over budgets, but I think I may have worked it out.

Today everyone seems to want me to sign their leave card: Is it the sight of the cataloguing backlog that is putting them off, I wonder?

Have sent my congrats and what I consider to be some useful links to a newly promoted member of my team.

Hmmm, as Duty Manager this morning, I failed to resolve a dispute over fines: This is disappointing. Haven’t had to look into such a situation for literally years, so I’m sure I could have dealt with it better than I did. Usually, I get involved in breaches of security, or having to advise people who want to bring children into the building.

Hot on the heels of the fines dispute, I find myself listening to an upset member of the team. Probably didn’t do that justice either, as feeling pre-occupied with unsatisfactory fines discussion, niggling doubts about the budget figures and an overwhelming sense of having too much to do in the time available. Maybe just listening was enough.

Hadn’t realised how difficult it can be to take part in a new staff induction! Numerous emails floating back and forth, but eventually it’s sorted.

Oh, just received a nice floor plan from one of the library offices; apparently they’ve had some move arounds and thought we might like to know where everyone now sits! Bit more sophisticated than our own desk plan!

Oh, someone undertaking NVQ wants to do the cat/class option! It’s great to hear that people are still interested in technical services work!! Better find out what they need from us. Very conscious that the person who used to help people with these units has now retired; hopefully we can find enough time to do this properly.

Have now put all the data back into the budget spreadsheet and it’s looking ok, but will take it home and look at it with a different perspective! Oh dear, having to text child to report I’m running 30 minutes late so he’ll have to stand around in the freezing cold waiting for me!

Day in the life - Part 8, Day 1


Before work
Bedside glass of water untouched: Must have been a rare peaceful night – don’t know as didn’t wake up to find out! Unfortunately, news from the scales was not good.

Registered for Day in the life, round 8. Frustrated by not being able to use IE; had to resort to Chrome. Used tiny.url to create url for blog, but not entirely sure that’s what I was supposed to do, and perplexed as the link has come out in bold. Sighhhhhh.

Spent the journey to work listening to Radio 4, planning my work day and thinking about jobs I need to do after work (despite being a #latenightlibrarian).

Must check on the state of the cataloguing throughput. Must catch up with a member of the team. Have put all my revalidation documents onto my USB; they were scattered on my work computer, my home computer and my laptop! Now, didn’t I read about something in #cpd23 that helped with file organisation????!!!! Wondering if the boss has managed to catch up with the person we selected for a promotion last week.

Humph, no space in the work car park: I don’t usually bother trying, but ... Very cold walk to work has resulted in sciatica resurfacing on one side and hip pain returned on the other. You’d think I was 71 not 51. Sometimes resent paying for work car park when I rarely manage to get into it. Often arrive at work stressed and on the verge of tears – over car parking?? Golly, I’ve lost the plot a bit, haven’t I? Oh well, at least it’s been interesting to see the old Allied Carpets/MFI buildings knocked down and the land flattened, but not sure how I’m going to react to yet another supermarket going up in their place. Also interesting to follow the building progress of the university’s sports centre, after the demolition of the Bow String Bridge. Plans to pedestrianise the “main” road that runs through the centre of the “campus”, while a nice idea, will see me (and probably lots of other folk who come from north of the city) having to take a huge detour.

Tea made. Long chat with team member who was unexpectedly off last week. Chat with boss about one or two things. Cataloguing shelves checked. 18 ¼ shelves. Possibly partly due to one cataloguer being off on extended leave, one taking annual leave to work on personal course, and one being a bit ill. If I get a chance I’ll do some, but do bear in mind that I shall break all my rules and go for the multiple copies, not the interesting, more difficult stuff!

Going through emails. Amazing how many come through, but I get confused because I look at it at home and answer any that are either urgent, won’t take long to answer, or are quick to answer, which means that I sometimes don’t go back over them properly and so miss some of the others.

Ah, an e-book invoice; good, been waiting for some! Oh, hang on, the balance doesn’t look right. Must go and check. Oh, both the people I need to discuss this with are in [different] meetings.

A member of team can’t attend a mandatory course because it’s not being held during hours that match her working pattern: I need to check the availability and suitability of the online version.

Meeting now set up for tomorrow to discuss inter-library loans??? That’s interesting as I work in a cataloguing and acquisitions team!


Headache requires more tea. Arghhhh, now I remember why I never go in the staffroom at this time – too many people, not enough kettles, slow running cold tap, bumping into folk you’d rather avoid ... Bother, left last week’s [soya] milk in the fridge and just used that instead of this week’s. Luckily it looks and smells ok, but wonder what it will taste like? Have now eaten the filling from my sandwich, so it’s bread for lunch.


Oh, it’s now 1pm and I have spent the last 2 hours with one of our spreadsheet experts to see if we can find why I seem to have an extra couple of thousand pounds to spend! Now I have something to work with I’ll finish this off first, before going for lunch.


Now back at my desk doing a couple of odd jobs before I go up to the enquiry desk for a couple of hours of answering queries!


Steady stream of enquiries at the desk this afternoon. The usual problems with the photocopiers and other equipment. People having problems tracking down journal articles (or rather, more fundamentally, not realising it was journal articles they needed, not books). The usual confusion over which floor to go to for which books, misinterpretation of the information available on OPAC, and people not being able to find books on the shelves. Sighhhhhhh...


After a short tea break, I am now going to do some cataloguing! It’s a treat: I don’t get to do it very often, but I’ve had enough of spreadsheets for one day, and we do have a small backlog! Despite telling everyone to take their books for cataloguing in chronological order of receipt, I am going to take as many multiple copies as I think I can do, but shhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone!


Have managed to get through a grand total of 14 books in 2 hours. 14 books in 2 hours????? That’s a rubbish amount of cataloguing, but I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t do it very often and have to keep checking the MARC manual, the LCSH file and webDewey!! Long gone are the days when I could get through 143 in 7 hours!!

So, hometime ...