Wednesday was relatively quiet. Everything I needed to do, I could do in the Center and there were no meetings scheduled. I started the morning with some troubleshooting on the Google Calendars we were setting up for the office. I had already created a Google account for the office and set up the calendars under that account, then made it “shared” with my own Google account and everyone else in the office. I filled in more of the events that we had already discussed and left many of them as “all day” with lots of question marks in the titles since we still have a lot of details to confirm.
I worked through lunch proofreading a grant proposal for more library training. Usually, when I get something to proofread, I also pretty it up. In this case, there were a lot of tables full of budget figures in the proposal so I added very small touches like lightly shading the header rows, giving a thicker border above the “Total” rows and things like that, making the tables a bit easier to read.
I spent the last couple hours converting more of our webpages to the content management system that the entire library is switching to. The office I work in is just one small unit of many, many departments within the University Library, thus we get pulled into the big, overarching decisions with everyone else.
After I left the Center, I spent a couple hours working on LibGuides stuff. I added my notes from Tuesday’s training session to my outline and searched for video tutorials that I could add to our training guides.
Thursday was full of experimentation, which is something I truly love… most of the time. I synced Thunderbird with the office Google Calendars (via Lightning and Provider) and installed a couple extensions in order to get a customized print-out of the schedules we needed for the programs in the Fall. It was quickly apparent that tweaking this work-around would require a little more time than I could give it right then, so I moved on to other projects.
One of our international librarians has spent the past year with us and she is leaving soon to go back to Pakistan. I have learned *so* much from her and had such a wonderful time getting to know her. She stopped by my desk and we had a good talk about file management practices… or the lack thereof. We both bemoaned the messy, duplicated, frustrating nature of shared network drives. Every place I’ve worked at for the past 10 years has had such a feature yet not a single one of them has used them well. People still email drafts back and forth to each other, which are then saved on desktops or in personal folders of the network drive and pretty soon there are a dozen different versions of the same document. We talked about the search limitations and clunky interface involved in trying to find the right file in the right folder. Mused on the potential of tagging for file systems. But even information professionals don’t know what exactly to do with their information. Alas.
In the afternoon I had a one-on-one LibGuide training session, which went really well. We focussed on the “Books from the Catalog” box and created RSS feeds from UIUC’s New Titles page as well. I realized I need to add a blurb to the handout about the difference between “copying” a box and “linking” a box.
Friday hit me with the revelation that the IFLA conference is only three weeks away! We got the schedule for our GSLIS booth coverage at IFLA in Quebec — I’ll be one of the volunteers. I’m also going as part of the Mortenson Center crew to present a poster there, which was one of the projects I worked on today. The Center has a pretty clever approach to conference posters — they create slides in PowerPoint (like a lot of people do) BUT! they make several slides instead of one big slide. They get these slides printed out as 11 x 17 laminated mini-posters, which lay in the bottom of a carry-on very conveniently and without the need to be rolled up. At the conference, they arrange the mini-posters however they’ll fit with the poster board provided, sometimes they leave a couple slides off. It’s all very flexible, easy to pack, easy to set up and take down. So I’ve been formatting the slides for this year’s poster, adding images from our archive and getting it ready for our last proofing next week before it’s sent to the printers.
I also worked on an excel spreadsheet for our program participants; the spreadsheet will link to several mail merge documents in Word for things like name badges, contact lists, introductions for speakers and so on. We’ve never done this before with this program. In years past, the list of participants was simply repeated from one Word document to another, with various information added and left off and reformatted and so on. In an effort to make our documents more centralized and efficient, we’re trying out the mail merge approach this year. Hopefully it works smoothly.
The day ended with the beginning of another project – I started proofreading a publication that will be coming out this fall on international library leadership institutes, which sorta started here. This publication is also the basis for our IFLA poster and – lucky me – it’s actually a very interesting read!
And now it’s Saturday. I’m at home. I’m going to have a couple chocolate chip cookies and work on home projects rather than work projects for a while. 🙂