Library Day in the Life – weekly round up

Last year I took part in Library Day in the Life (#libday7). For one week I wrote a daily post on Google+ about what I had done during the day, and an end-of-week round-up. I enjoyed the experience and the chance to stand back a little and look at what I do, reflecting on what is important in my work. Therefore I decided to join in #libday8, which took place last week.

This year I decided to put my daily posts onto Posterous. Google+ seems to have faded from view a bit, and I thought it might be useful for me to get set up on Posterous. I probably should have got myself sorted out on Posterous before the week started. I had a few teething troubles, but I think I understand how the site works now. I liked the simple text editor.

My biggest problem with last week was lack of time. It was not a normal week for me: three meetings took up a day and a half between them, one big piece of work took about the same, and I also had to spend quite a bit of time drafting my annual appraisal report. All in all, it was a miracle I had time to do any other tasks. As the week progressed the writing of my daily report got pushed later and later into the evening and eventually disappeared. However, I made notes each day and finished off the outstanding posts yesterday evening.

It was a good time to be doing some of that reflecting I mentioned above as I also had to look back at the past year for my own appraisal report, and for the Library annual report. The broad themes of my #libday8 week were similar to those in my ‘#libday7 week – writing, editing, disseminating, journals – but subtly different, looking more towards the future and more broadly at the publishing world.

The future is represented by The Francis Crick Institute. My institute will close and become absorbed into this new organisation in 2015.  Much remains to be decided, but one of my meetings last week was concerned with looking at the way Library and Information services can be delivered at The Crick.  Helping to define this will be a major task for me over the next few years. Another meeting was concerned with issues of how information resources are licensed, and the changing face of higher education.  The RWA furore and the Elsevier boycott, as discussed by Stephen, also featured in my week.

More parochially I was busy with the final stages of producing our Institute Annual Report and with pushing out short news reports on the website, about some of our scientists’ more significant papers.  Both tasks can be quite time-consuming and brain-demolishing.  Helping to keep internal comms flowing smoothly took another slice of my time.  It is easy to forget that information doesn’t flow naturally – it has to be pushed, given a helping hand.

Looking back I note that coffee seems to help with that information flow.  Several times when I went for a coffee I seemed to bump into just the people I needed to see.  I wonder whether I should spend my day just walking round the Institute and bumping into people (note to boss, if you are reading this: I am not serious). Of course if everyone just replied immediately to the emails I send them things would be so much better!

Other things for the future will be managing the new Library space once the refurbishment is complete, and managing our new ebook service if we do decide to proceed with it. More news about those, hopefully, in #libday9 in about six months’ time.

Here are my daily posts from last week:

About Frank Norman

I am a librarian in a biomedical research institute. I've been around a few years, long enough to know that exciting new things fall into the same familiar patterns. I'm interested in navigating a path for libraries as we move further from print to electronic resources to open research, and become more embedded in research workflows.
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2 Responses to Library Day in the Life – weekly round up

  1. Nice, Frank, and an interesting project. But one question – why either Google+ or Posterous? Why not simply post them here?

  2. Frank says:

    Thanks, Richard. Yes, that is a pertinent question. I feel that the daily posts would be a bit overwhelming for the blog. Also, they are less focused than I try to be in my posts here; just an outpouring of stuff I did that day, perhaps with a little context. It was quite relaxing just writing something without having to think too much about it.