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Page history last edited by Bobbi Newman 14 years, 5 months ago


Happy New Year!

Today is the start of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year - a fitting re-start to this patiently waiting blog and a chance to capture a Day in the Life of this Vietnamese-American Library, Museums and Cultural Arts Director. So, here goes:

6 a.m. - woke up to darkness, but no rain. Read a bit of The New Yorker and Automobile magazines.

6:30 a.m. - out of the shower and into several layers of warm clothes. Mmmm - fresh-brewed coffee steams in the new coffee maker.

7 a.m. - the aging dog and geriatric cat have been fed, watered and medicated. The 3 foot branches of flowering quince have been set into water, with a coral ruffle of sweet peas at their base. 

7:30 a.m. - my husband and I share two newspapers in companionable silence. Then I check my email and send a few e-cards.

8 a.m. - over the hills into town and to work. I park in the lot behind the police station and walk the few blocks to the Library. Glad I have my wool scarf around my neck. Wish I had gloves.

8:25 a.m. - into work. I check myself in, wipe the whiteboard clean, write today's date and head upstairs to my office.

By 9:30 a.m. I've learned half the Circulation staff is sick, checked in with the custodians, responded to the Library Board Chair and City Manager's emails, conferred with the Circulation Manager, met with my Executive Assistant II and re-scheduled an afternoon appointment.

By 12:30 p.m. I've had two one-hour updates with two managers, walked the Library floor in search of better locations for several noisy kids' manipulative toys, exchanged emails with Friends members about an upcoming chocolate and wine tasting fundraiser, reviewed final drafts of a 20% budget reduction "scenario", written thank you notes for a $500 grant check and a donation and had two more half cups of coffee and a half a doughnut.

By 1:30 p.m. I've re-assigned Admin staff to help cover the check-out desk, met with city building staff and fire inspectors reviewing the Library's fire suppression system, reviewed plans for a digital creativity lab, chatted with an archivist about digitization and preservation projects, left messages for the incoming and outgoing museum and cultural commission chairs - and decided I need a walk outdoors.

For the next half hour I walk to the bank and bakery (stop to receive calls from both chairs, lucky I brought tonight's meeting agenda on my walk), meet a Library Board member and check in about last week's meeting, walk back towards the Library with a yogurt in hand and enjoy the warmth of the sun on my face.

By 3:30 p.m. I've checked in with staff a) at a medical appointment, b) with ailing parents, c) about an upcoming staff development day, signed and mailed several pieces of correspondence, drafted a 2d quarter state library grant report, met with a community member interested in donating art to the Library and taken a call from a tv reporter interested in an interview for the late night news about possible impacts of testing for lead in children's books. I confirm that I can be interviewed after the museum and cultural commission meeting ends - we settle on 6 p.m. 

On my way to my meeting at 3:45 p.m. I alert staff to the upcoming tv taping. For the next hour and a half, as lead staff person for the commission, I respond to questions about the budget, volunteers, fundraising, heritage tourism and the arts in society.

At 6 p.m. I'm back in the Library, brush up on talking points (and brush on some lip gloss), head over to the picture book room where I'm on camera for about 15 minutes. Try to head off any apocalyptic scenarios while stressing the importance of libraries in difficult economic times, families reading and books for kids. We finish up and I head back to the check out desk. Another staff person calls in sick, but remaining staff say they can make it until 9 p.m. I pack up my budget reduction scenarios, two possible contracts with other jurisdictions and an advanced readers copy for light reading. On my way out two police officers enter to photograph some graffiti/vandalism on the upstairs terrace furniture.


Out the door by 6:30 p.m. Happy first day of the year of the water buffalo/ox! 

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