Library Day in the Life - Round 7 - Jo Alcock Consulting
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Library Day in the Life – Round 7

Library Day in the Life – Round 7

This week I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life project which charts the day-to-day activities of library workers at different points of the year. This is the fifth time I’ve participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009, January 2010, July 2010 and January 2011. I’m currently a full-time Researcher at Evidence Base, Birmingham City University, UK. Although my job title doesn’t include the word librarian and I don’t work in a library, I still consider myself very much a librarian – our research helps support the library and information communities.

I decided to do Library Day in the Life a little different this time round; partly because I’ve been busy, and partly as I’m not sure verbatim accounts are the most interesting thing to write or read. So instead I’ll be writing a summary of what I’ve been up to this week (using Nirvana, my to do list, to help me as I can check my logbook to see what tasks I’ve finished). My work life and professional interests often cross over so this list includes some pure work tasks, and other professional related tasks such as committee work and studying.

      • Attended a half-day internal training session on our competencies framework for the library – this is something we are going to be using as part of our reflection for our annual performance reviews to analyse our strengths and things we need to improve on.
      • Packed up my office – we’re moving offices again but we don’t know where to yet so we’ve been moved to some temporary classrooms as others needed our office. It’s the second time we’ve packed up and moved in less than a year!
      • Worked on some data for an evaluation project – we’ve been working with one of the JISC Activity Data projects to help them evaluate their project. We’ve gathered data from the service itself and from surveys and focus groups we’ve had with project stakeholders. To finalise the report I created the relevant data tables and charts to accompany the figures.
      • Attended Handheld Librarian V – one of my interests at the moment is how libraries can utilise mobile technologies, so I attended Handheld Librarian which is an online conference. It’s great in that it means I can attend without the cost of travelling to America, however the time difference meant it was a late night – the conference was 4pm-11.30pm UK time!
      • Attended the Handheld Librarian V virtual expo – the day after the main conference, there is a virtual expo with booths from a number of suppliers. Some were closed when I tried to check them out, but I did get to watch a great demo of iBallz!
      • Registered for Library Camp UK 2011 – Twitter exploded (well, the librarian corner of Twitter anyway!) on Wednesday when Library Camp UK 2011 in Birmingham was announced. It sold out in less than 24 hours, and there were 175 tickets! There’s now a waiting list so I made a donation via the website to enable more people to attend.
      • Blogged about my experience at ALA Annual 2011 – I used a Tumblr blog for the conference but wanted to also share the main points on this blog
      • Applied for ALA Emerging Leaders – I’m keen to support our professional organisations, and when I was at ALA Annual 2011 lots of people recommended the ALA Emerging Leaders program which is for young or new professionals. It introduces them to ALA as an organisation, provides the opportunity to work with others at a similar stage in their career (on a project for part of ALA), and helps them move into a committee position. It’s a great program and some really incredible people have been part of it in previous years. I’m keeping everything crossed that I get a place, but there’s a lot of competition!
      • Contacted someone who is interested in joining the CILIP West Midlands committee – Last week I spotted a blog post from someone in the region who is keen to join the branch committee. We’re always looking for more committee members and have a vacancy for secretary at the moment so I promised I’d send some information about the committee and what we do. I love being part of the committee and would encourage others to get involved in committee work – it’s good for developing skills, making a difference, and it’s really rewarding too.
      • Organised an informal meetup of library people for a quiz in a local cafe next week – at a meet up a couple of weeks ago, a few people seemed interested in doing quizzes. I love a good quiz so when I found out about one in Birmingham next Monday, I got it organised. Hopefully we’ll have enough people for a team or two.
      • Blogged about the LIS DREaM event – I attended the LIS DREaM (Developing Research Excellence and Methods) project launch conference last week and blogged the highlights on my work blog
      • Blogged my Thing 5 for CPD23 on reflection – I’m a bit behind on this but really enjoying the programme, and the reflection was a good one, particularly as I’m hoping to Charter at some point so will need to hone my reflective writing skills
      • Had a conference call with colleagues – one of my colleagues is semi-retiring to go part-time so we had a call to discuss some of the work we’ve got coming up and how we are going to organise it. We also all have loads of leave to take – it seems like one of us could be off every week from now until Christmas (and there is only 3 of us!)
      • Submitted my MSc dissertation – this is definitely the most exciting thing I’ve done this week; I finally got my dissertation completed and sent off. Organising printing and binding as a distance learner is tricky, but in the end it has worked out best for me to get it printed and bound at Aberystwyth so I just had to send off my signed declarations. So all being well, yesterday was the last day of studying for a while, and it feels lovely to have a clear desk and a much clearer mind (I even bought and built a VegTrug ready to start growing some veg!). I would like to Charter though, and have even managed to find a fool mug lovely person who is willing to mentor me next year. I may set up a wiki to start collecting material between now and then, but my focus has very much shifted from academia; I’m planning to spend my free time supporting professional organisations through committee work and other professional involvements (oh, and some non-professional activities such as crafts, growing veg and hopefully seeing more of family and friends).

And that was my week pretty much – not as much time spent travelling this week (last week I was in London on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), so lots of time working at home to catch up with everything and get everything in order so that I can enjoy my week off this week.

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