Tuesday, August 29, 2006

For this I became a librarian?

Granted, I've never had to clean up any bodily fluids at the library, but I've been through the wringer on automation issues. And today was #1 of all-time frustrating automation h-e-double-hockey sticks.

Today was our big implementation of PCounter. For a long time, I've had to listen to administration gripe about the amount of money spent on printer ink. For as long as they've been griping, I've been countering with the fact that we should install a true pay for print system that forces users to pay for their printouts before they can print.

I wasn't nervous about the installation the way I was when we implemented PC Reservation. Perhaps it was because I just watched Office Space the other night and just don't care about work anymore.

But I digress. It wasn't the actual software installation that drove me to tears today, it was the 3 hour process of figuring out exactly which group policies and which local PC rights I had to give to the user to get the printer drivers and software to install. (And how to configure the mandatory profile so that we wouldn't lose any changes.) Once we figured that out, the installation was really very simple, albeit, time consuming.

So today was probably the most grueling day I've ever had at this library. It wasn't quite as physically demanding as when I worked at my college library and we moved the contents of the third floor to the basement and the contents of the basement up to the third floor, but I'm completely drained. (How I have the energy to type is beyond me.)

I still have nearly 15 PCs that I still have to hook up to the new printers. At least I can get into work an hour before we open tomorrow and I should be able to cover a lot of ground in that time.

Now for some sleep that knits the ravelled sleeve of care.....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Stating the obvious

People crack me up. Why is it, when a person comes to me because they want help with something computer-related, they always say: "I don't know what's wrong."

Really?? You don't know what's wrong? Gee, and I was so hoping that you were asking for my help because you were able to solve a problem on your own.

I should be a nicer person

A patron had brought in a printed resume from a while ago and wanted to type the resume up in Word. She was having great difficulty using Word and after about an hour, only had about a paragraph typed up.

One of the reference librarians came to me asking if we could scan the resume so that the patron could just edit it. Of course! was my happy reply, just come on down and fire up the scanner and I'll show you how.

So we scanned the document and the reference librarian sat there and proof read the whole thing before saving it onto a disk for the patron. I think she even did all the editing to make it look like the original resume. The whole time I'm thinking that's really going above and beyond to help someone. I personally wouldn't take the time to do it.

About an hour later the same reference librarian calls me and I roll my eyes as I answer the phone thinking I just want to be left alone with my cataloging. But it turns out the patron with the resume from earlier was so grateful that she brought in a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee and tea to thank us for our help.

I did eat a donut (which is nice, since I don't have anything for lunch) and I'm drinking tea now (which is also nice, since I have a cold) and I'm feeling very humbled.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Third time's a charm?

I just applied for yet another library job. Let's see, I had one interview in December of 2005, one interview with follow up interview in January 2006, a phone interview in March 2006, then one more interview with follow up interview in July 2006. So I made it to the short list twice, but I can't seem to figure out why I'm not landing these jobs.

But last week another assistant library director position opened up. I felt obligated to apply, though it was hard to write a very enthusiastic cover letter. I'm completely discouraged by this crappy job hunt. I'm tired of it all, but I'm also tired of my current job. But I figure I can't complain unless I'm also doing something about it.

Sure I'm being deliberately vague, even though no one reads this blog. What would my ideal job be? I think I've got one in mind:

Systems support. Our library system has a shared ILS, and I could be the go-to girl for the member libraries. I'd like to travel to each member library to train staff on using the system, help catalog materials, and assist with technical support issues as well. I'd help profile new consortium members, assist with retrospective conversion, and in general help libraries make the most of the ILS.

Okay, two good things about my current job:

1) I've been thinking a lot about my library's current ILS setup. I think it leaves a lot to be desired. I am looking forward to our upcoming system migration, as it gives us a chance to sort of start over.

2) Since the person who was in charge of ordering general supplies managed to escape the clutches of the library by quitting, the responsibility for general supplies has fallen into my hands, temporarily. (At least I was told it was temporary.) What this means is more power for me.

We have these horrible cabinets of despair that hold all sorts of office supplies, some from the 1970's, but no one can bring themselves to throw out a box of stickers that we no longer use, even though the adhesive has dried up and the box is decomposing. But now they are officially under my power and thus begins the great office supply purge!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On the Purpose of Public Libraries

The Annoyed Librarian nails it once again! I love this part:

Bureaucracies expand because the self-interest of bureaucrats is to keep their power. Apparently, public libraries are no different. Many libraries are desparate to seem relevant regardless of the lack of coherent or compelling rationale. Apparently, just getting people through the door is a compelling enough rationale. Is this the kind of tepid purpose that inspires librarians today? ("Take a look for inspiration!") Do librarians even want to be inspired anymore?


I find it hard to believe that anyone goes to work for a public library really expecting to raise the intelligence level of a community beyond the "--for dummies" level. Face it, public libraries are about recreation first, education second.

perspicuous

This is a good word:

perspicuous

WorldCat

Need something?? Find it in a library!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Updates

Family:

We finally decided to send the kids to St. Peter for school this fall. There was a momentary flurry of paperwork, followed by the hassle of school supplies, but we've got orientation on Thursday, so things are falling into place.

We still need to find a piano teacher, and I am hoping to figure out how I can fit back in to our new/old church.

Work:

I pretty much ran the whole gamut of emotions when I learned that the job I interviewed for was offered to someone else. So that makes 3 really serious interviews in 8 months. That may not seem like a lot, but each time I had my hopes up pretty high, plus I sent out a few resumes that got no response at all.

Then last Friday another Assistant Library Director position opened up. One that is geographically good, with a slight increase in salary. The thought of writing another stinking cover letter and going through that whole interview process has got me exhausted already. I'm sick and tired of being rejected, but I don't feel I can complain about my current job without at least trying to get out when I have the chance.

Friends:
I called JKS Wilder the other night, out of the blue. I don't call my friends all that often, especially the ones whom I consider to be my closest friends. Does that make any sense? No, it doesn't. At any rate, we had a lovely conversation and but it made me miss her terribly.

Other:
Our Gamecube has been spending the summer at my in-laws house, so I've gotten back into playing Dark Cloud 2. I'd forgotten how much fun it could be. There's really nothing better than wiping out a few dozen baddies to get your frustrations out.