Day 1 of ‘Library Day in the Life’ (8) on which I did lots of stuff…

So this is the first time that the Library Day in the Life project has come around when I’ve thought that blogging my work week might actually be a viable proposition (at the start of the week anyway!). I’ve always liked the idea of it and enjoyed reading other’s posts so here goes…

And I’m already getting an inevitable pop culture reference in, as the project makes me think of Howard Jones’s ‘Life In One Day’. Not his best effort. BTW for those that know him, don’t you think he looks like Owen Massey McKnight?

Opening up
Mondays have taken on a new complexion for me recently as I’m now down on the rota to open up the Information Centre. You might question why I’m part of this rota given I’m in charge and have 4.5 FTE staff reporting to me? Well, I think its important for me to muck in where its not too costly – in terms of what I’m paid – to do so, besides it keeps my eye in with processes and problems at the desk. Today opening up was a pain as there’d been a power cut or somesuch at the weekend so nothing was working – Bloomberg terminals, our promotional plasma screens, public terminals.

Email fascism
Next up a quick squish through my emails. I’m a bit OCD with my emails. They are all meticulously filed and I feel as though I’ve failed if there’s more than 5-10 emails in my inbox at any one time! By the end of the week I have to be faced with a glowing white blank screen or the world ends. Doesn’t it?

A selection of the type of emails waiting for me today:

  • a request for info about the availability of a market research report
  • a member of staff won’t be in due to a poorly child
  • more MBAs want to link with me on LinkedIn
  • a non-Judge student wants to know how to research the  activities of a 19th Century businessman (this came to me but was re-directed to the staff member ‘on enquiries’ today)
  • my Deputy, Kirsty, wants me to come up with a truth or a lie (a la Would I Lie To You) for the icebreaker activity for some training we’re running on Wednesday
  • someone wants to know how to access a Corporate Governance database called RiskMetrics
  • people have been looking at my profile on
  • the usual library automated system notices

While still pending from last week were emails about:

  • sorting proxy server authentication for our databases with the IT dept (I have a budget of £300k pa for databases)
  • getting a price on the DealScan mergers and acquisitions database
  • writing my report for the Operations User Group on Friday
  • prepping a presentation on our ebooks collection development policy for Cambridge librarians

Followed by a quick scan of Twitter via HootSuite, and the idea to participate in #libday8 is planted, partly, if I’m honest because 8 is my lucky number.

Meeting with Meg…
Meg, my part-time Projects Officer, has been away for a week so this is more of a two-way briefing session to share what has happened and also what she will be doing this week. Most significantly the news that Kirsty will be leaving us in April to take up the job as Hertford College librarian back in Oxford (where we both used to work). Its a good move for her, but I’ll be very sorry to see her go. We also needed to discuss a few slight changes of responsibility and action over our service front-end: a blog and a social media session we are preparing together entitled ‘Twitter for Research’. We also covered her upcoming projects which chiefly relate to enhanced support of faculty and researchers through further promotion of what we can offer them. We are about to launch: Bi-weekly ‘Research Alerts’; a document called ‘Research Toolkit’ detailing our services; and, for all user groups, a guide to ‘Apps for business and pleasure’ (but as Meg felt the need to clarify NOT ‘sexy’ apps). 

Course preparation…
There followed a bit of time to look over the prezi that acts as the framework for a morning of ‘Personalised Customer Service’ training for my team and Libby Tilley’s team from the English Faculty library – the aforementioned Wednesday training. I need to kick the event off and then Kirsty and I are taking it in turns to present and facilitate. Should be a lot of fun as we’ve picked some funny and interesting YouTube videos to show to pep it up and there’s going to be lots of group discussion.

Ridiculous! Lunchtime for me already as I’m going to the Cambridge Chop House with two other business school managers. I do try to take a lunch break but don’t find it very easy, today I have no choice which is probably a good thing. But 12:00 that’s not lunchtime! 13:00 is lunchtime, everyone knows that. I did find the time during lunch to send some sarcastic tweets to Kirsty about her traitorous departure to The Other Place. The food was an ok Fisherman’s Pie, Marisa’s (my wife) would have been nicer as it would have had prawns and a crustier cheese topping.

A bonus hour
First thing in the afternoon I was meant to be meeting with a member of my team about revising our annual student online survey ahead of its launch next Monday, but she’s the one at home with a poorly child. So this is that wonderful bonus of an hour’s time that I hadn’t banked on. I check my Nozbe (highly recommend it) tasks app on my iPhone and see I need to let Meg know how we’re going to divvy up the Twitter session. I’m about to collate the content I have so far with a view to emailing her some suggestions as to her angle, when I get an email from Emma Coonan. Otherwise known as everyone’s favourite Librarian Goddess, Emma was inviting me to join the Dropbox folder for her new book, with Jane Secker, on ‘Rethinking Information Literacy: a practical framework for teaching’ for Facet, following their ANCIL research, for which I’ve agreed to write a chapter on presenting and communicating knowledge. Reading through the guidelines and what’s expected of me, made me realise I have lots of questions for her and that the Twitter session might be a great way of exploring some of the avenues outlined. I ask to meet her for a coffee. To find out more about ANCIL check out this video:

FT Rankings
I receive an email alert about the global business school rankings from the FT which are a big deal if you are a business librarian like what I am. The ranking affects all sorts of stuff, but most notably attendance on our MBA course, which brings a huge amount of money into the School. In a simplified nutshell if the rankings are down, then numbers of good applicants might drop, and the number of MBAs that year will drop and ultimately I might lose some of my budget.  I am relieved to see that Judge has retained its position at 26 in the list. I communicate this fact to my team and await the official email from the Director giving his take on this ‘steady state’ result.

Foiled escape plans
Another email catch-up slot and I’m mildly irritated to note that two of them are from people chasing me to chase someone else who I have already chased – patience people! I decide to go elsehwere in the business school in order to not be tempted to read my email so I can work on the Twitter session when the phone goes. Five minutes later I’ve said ‘Yes’ to hosting a database event at Judge for the market research database company Euromonitor and set about booking a room and sending possible menus by email. I attempt to leave again and promptly receive a phonecall from Rowland Thomas the Economics dept librarian regarding  the possibility of organising a Bloomberg terminal over at his Library using one of our licences. I add ‘Contact Bloomberg’ to my ‘to do’ list and then succeed in escaping my office.

Twitter for Research planning
This is much quicker than I imagined due to the research I’d already undertaken last week. I plan for the session to be part-discussion, part-presentation but to offer an overall approach that makes it clear that we don’t have all the answers and that using the platform is very much a personal choice. As well as a prezi presentation, there will be interactive post-it note exercises, discussion in twos, videos of Stephen Fry and a PhD student talking about social media, demos of crowdsourcing and of using Twitter from within HootSuite.

Wrapping up
I round the day off with a  chat with Kirsty about various staffing matters and her recent resignation and return to Oxford. We’ve worked together on-and-off since 2000 so its going to be strange saying goodbye again – although I have now done that several times over the years! My evil email inbox has once again filled up: 5 junk, 5 fyi, and 10 to act on, including a hugely useful reply from Emma about the direction to take for the IL book.

I’m on leave tomorrow as I’m meeting an actress for lunch to talk book projects so, like Worzel Gummidge, I’ll have my other head on.

Altogether now… “Put a ‘Wur’ after double-u and a ‘wur’ after oh…”


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