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A gorgeous day in Eugene, OR

Page history last edited by libtechlady 13 years, 1 month ago


Day in the Life of Margaret Hazel, Virtual Branch & Innovative Technology Manager

Eugene Public Library, Eugene, OR


7 am - I get up a little later than usual, because this is my 11-8 working day of the week.  Get myself and the boy ready.

8:50 am - Take the boy to daycare at his elementary school around the corner.  Wonder if the daycare will be there next year when the district combines the school population with another under budget cuts.  Mental note to keep checking on this.

9:03 am - Get home in time to sign into a conference call, discussing the nascent NISO standard recommendation for a U.S. data model for RFID use in libraries.   Have been working on the standard for months with a group of folks around the country.  Have learned a lot. 

9:15 am - I make myself somewhat obnoxious, and recommend we cut 5 paragraphs that the Chair wrote, as not really important to the document.  He seems to take it well, fortunately. 

9:38 am - The conference call ends.  We're getting close to an agreed final draft.  Whew.  I am proud of the work, which has taken many months.

9:39 am - discover my husband has fallen back asleep, so I rouse him to get dressed and run him to his physical therapy appointment.  He's been off work for two weeks with a back injury and heavy meds.  Since he is a nurse, it's likely to be a while before he can return to duty.  As he said to his doctor, would you want me, on Valium and other drugs, handing you your medications?  And thus I am driving him to appointments, rather than him driving himself.

10:00 am - I enjoy some quiet time reading Tasha Alexander's And only to deceive while I wait for my husband.  I started the series at the end, and now am reading the first one.  Oh well.  Mind like a sieve for this kind of thing, I don't remember the spoilers I've already read.  Oh, I took one Tech Phone call from work.  Phone should have been forwarded to someone in the building.  It's a question about the wireless service that I can't answer without my computer, so I refer her to the City IS Dept.

10:30 am - we drive to Brail's to get some breakfast for me and some early lunch for me.  I order bulgogi - the diner is run by a Korean couple.  I take most of it home, since I'm not really hungry yet.  The 11-8 schedule makes for a weird eating schedule.

11:15 am - Back at home, I send some notes from the conference call to my work email.  I need to send some edits to various other task team members.  Putter about, grab some leftover split pea soup and Kalamata olive bread to eat for dinner at work, and head out.

Noon - It's a gorgeous day, and I regret that I'm working late.  I'd ride my bike, for the first time in a month or two, if I wasn't getting out after dark.    I walk in the door of the library, and a colleague snags me immediately, as she walks out, and hands me the "In Charge of Building" phone.  Someone's gone home sick, and someone else is in a meeting...

12:15 pm - It turns out the Director went home sick, which is unusual, and the User Experience Manager is taking over leading the Library Advisory Board for her.  She finished the meeting and took the phone back.  I reluctantly close the blinds on my South-facing window, as it's just too bright.  Spencer Butte is beautiful at the end of town, all its fir trees showing dark green against the blue sky.  If I leave the blinds open, it gets too hot, too.  My thermometer says it's already over 76 (the upper limit of how hot we are supposed to ever heat our offices.  Of course, the building is so energy efficient, we end up cooling it in the winter.)  I turn on my fan and remove my wool dress jacket.  It remains over 76 today until well after the sun goes down.

12:30 pm - I'm making my way through 70-some emails (a small number today!) waiting for me, and several task reminders I'd set myself on Friday.  My email is warning me that I'm running out of space again, even though I threw all of my RFID vendor information into an archive a few months ago.

There are several favorable comments on my sneak preview Core Tech Competencies, which I'd sent to the other managers at the end of Friday, and a few good suggestions for additions.  I remember I wanted to add something about RFID to the list, and do so. 

The call about the wireless from earlier was not satisfactorily answered in the eyes of the patron, so a few emails are flying around about it.  I promise to follow up.

A duplicate charge on the eCommerce, someone in Circ will refund it, various arrangements fly back and forth for a City-level web site usability testing I'm involved with, I'm asked to present at a meeting I can't attend, which prompts me to check my calendar for a variety of appointments that need updating, changing, questions asked, etc.  I fill out several leave slips for driving my husband to PT appointments in coming weeks.  I sign a birthday card, and catch up with a colleague on weekend happenings.  She spent Saturday coralling volunteers for a large civic/university parade (have you heard of the Oregon Ducks?).  I spent it at a leadership workshop for Planned Parenthood legislative action teams around the state.

2:30 pm - Head down in catching up with work, I realize I've missed a meeting with a colleague, but when I check, she's fine, and we didn't have anything to discuss anyway.

3:00 pm - I take my weekly hour-long shift on the Adult Reference desk, down on the 2nd floor.   I take over a question from the staff leaving the desk, helping a person find a specific web page they "found easily" on Saturday, about charts & graphs...and they wouldn't accept anything else.  I finally wrote down a page that seemed substantially the info they were asking for, and they went away.  Unfortunately, they had a very strong odor about them, and I had it in my nostrils the rest of the day.  Moderately busy day, one question about using the catalog, one about finding ASL DVDs, one about how to download ebooks and audiobooks.  I think we convinced her trying to do the downloads on our wifi would be a terribly tedious process.  The other librarian on the desk and I confess to each other that we don't own eReaders or audiobook devices.  Well, I have my Pre, but don't use it for that.  We both profess our enjoyment of paper books.  I feel so retro. 

A woman notices my new name tag, which actually says I'm the Technology Manager.  She seemed impressed, which was fun.  I'm always a little apprehensive a patron will see it and chew me out for some perceived lack of tech in the library.   Probably silly, since we actually do pretty darn well these days.  I have kept, however, a comment slip from my 1st month of work, before we moved into the new library 8 years ago, which says "Get new technology, you cheap fools!"  Love it.

4:00 pm - I check my snail mail box down in Circ. Nothing.  I rarely get snail mail anymore.  Back up to my 3rd floor office.  More email, and a call from the babysitter who picks up the boy on the days I work past the 6 pm closing of the on-site daycare.  I forgot to leave the car seat.  I convince her to go to my house, and call my husband to get her the other seat.    He tends not to pick up the phone for other callers.

4:30 pm - dinner break.  Split pea soup, remember?  And the funnies.  I must read the funnies on my main break in the work day.  I subscribe to a print paper.  I read the front (ha, typed "home") page of the newspaper and the local section and the letters to the editor with breakfast, in case there is any library or City-related news I should know about.  But my break at lunch needs laughter and distraction, or at least a wry smile.

5:00 pm - I call the In Charge of Building phone number, to find out who to pick it up from, since I get it from 5-8 tonight.  I walk down to Children's on the 1st floor (how many times have I gone up and down the central spiral stair today?  I must start wearing my pedometer again.  Good exercise!) and they tell me it's been quiet all day.    I knock wood. 

5:05 pm - back in my office, after climbing the stairs again and peering into the various public areas I'm responsible for, I start in on some concentrated work on the Core Tech Competencies draft that I need to send to the Leadership Team by the end of the day.  I think of quite a few more things to add, check LibrarianInBlack's recent ALA post and adapt her "Personal Skills", which is about being flexible and ready for change.  

I set it aside and do some work on the NISO Standards, the Vandalism section.  Can't quite word it right, so I send an email to the Chair and let him know he'll get my edits tomorrow.  I add an apology for eviscerating his text.

My tech calls, asking about changing his schedule in March, when his next term of nursing classes begins.  We think we can spread his hours out better, actually, to cover some times we were thin, so I approve the changes. 

I do another check of the Tech Competencies, for consistency of phrasing, then send it off to the LLT.

7:40 pm - the first closing announcement comes over the PA.  I start closing up windows, setting reminders on things I didn't get to, making some quick decisions on a few things to finish them off.  It's gotten dark, as of 5:30.  My office temp is 76.8. 

7:45 pm - I shut down my PC, gather up my things, and head down to help close up the building, standing at the front door, saying goodnight to people.  The closing song, a snatch of James Taylor, plays... "rockabye sweet baby jane..."

7:57 pm - I've received calls from all the floors that they are clear, and let the Circ staff know they can shut things down and go home.  I almost forget to tell the Security Guard we're done.  The last checkout completes, and we all scatter to go home.  I turn off the ICOB phone and plug it in for tomorrow's morning person.

8:05 pm - in my car heading to pick up my sleepy boy and take him home.  It's been a pretty full day! 

8:45 pm - done putting him to bed, and checking Facebook, which is both a personal and professional account.  Several fun work-related links to check out.  The work never ends, but this is some of the fun part.

10:40 pm - I realize it's late, and I head off to bed to read for a while and go to sleep.  Good night!





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