“First, have something to say.” Also, a brief list.

With a tip of the hat, and apologies, to Walt Crawford, I blush to admit that I have been far too busy today to blog seriously. Hopefully this will not get me kicked out of Library 2.0.

I suspect not. After all, one danger of blogging without cause is  potential mockery in The Onion. Anybody who winced might want to power down their computers and take a walk.

Projects juggled today included:

  • Putting final touches on our Staff Development Day group presentation
  • Making decisions about the next steps in the website redesign
  • Helping a patron research biotechnology
  • Coordinating renewals, invoices, and budget planning with various database committee members

An alchemist’s work is never done.  Good thing we work in teams.

Back to work. Also, more interesting web resources.

It was great to be “LAV unplugged” for a few days, but it’s also good to be back in the business of helping people in multple formats!  I’ve spent most of my day catching up with projects, primarily the staff development day presentation.  After a round-robin of  group e-mails and massive wiki edit sessions, I’m feeling really good about what the group has accomplished.  Stay tuned for a new supporting page, too, which will go live on Staff Development Day (that’s 12/3/07, for the uninitiated).

By way of a “welcome back,” Mary Ellen G. pointed me to survey data from the Medical Expenditure Panel. Housed under the larger umbrella of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, this website contains survey data on various areas of interest, including health care disparities, underserved populations, mental health, and the uninsured, and it’s the newest addition to the Reference Services del.icio.us account.

Of the many gems backed up in my newsreader, Social Actions is a site worth exploring. Although the site design has a few odd kinks to iron out, the principle is sound: Social Actions functions as a social action metasite, so that potential donors and helpers can search multiple sources via one convenient interface. The most intriguing technological feature here is RSSA, or “Really Simple Social Actions.” Based on the principle of RSS feeds, it’s a new way to make online activism easier. For more information, see the official RSSA site. It’s a work in progress, still, but an exciting one.

Cross-departmental. Also, Thing and Things.

Met this morning with everyone involved in planning the Library 2.0 session for Staff Development day.  Two of us are from the IT department, two of us are librarians, and all of us are on the same page, which is terrific.  If the group doesn’t object, I’ll be happy to post our presentation here after the fact.

Also spent an hour working at our Customer Service (formerly Circulation) desk, an assignment I feel everybody who wants to understand libraries should do at some point.  Beth L.’s staff should get an award for the yeoman’s work they do, especially when the lines get long, and the goal is to give good service fast.  I’d like to do this again – I can do “good” and “fast,” but I think I need a little more practice to do both simultaneously!

2.0 dabblings have been on the back burner lately, due to database kerfuffle and website redesign.  However, I took the time today to finally create a LibraryThing to document my professional reading habits. There’s only one book in it so far; I”m posting in the hopes that being publicly accountable for the things I create will inspire me to maintain them!

In that same spirit, I’m thinking about signing up with 43 Things; however, I may do this as a personal project and not a work-related one. If you browse the site and see the wealth of things people have pledged to do this year, it might inspire you, too.

Brought to you by the letter D…

What I’m up to today:

Data collection.  See that shiny new “Meebo Me” window?  I’m playtesting to see how intrusive such a widget would be in a reference setting.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to ding me, whether I’m in or not.  Ask me reference questions, real or faux.  Ask me how I’m doing.  Tell me what you’re doing.  We’re going for verisimilitude here, so don’t hold back…I’m keeping stats!

Database training.  Led a session for a dozen students from a nearby uni.  It seemed to go well.  What was very interesting was that it was definitely a mixed-proficiency group, so some folks were zooming ahead, and others needed coaching.  Teaching by Walking Around – you’ve got to love it!

Databases redux:  Why am I being denied access?  What’s coming up for renewal when?  Who’s our vendor contact where?  Why can I find anything in these files?  All part of the exciting world of database care and feeding.

Drama.  Namely, purchasing it.  A good liberal arts education prepares you for many, many things, including diverse collection development assignments.  Whew.

Dinging.  I love it when folks send me links – makes up for the fact that it’s hard to keep up with all the news, even with fine newsreaders like Bloglines. So, courtesy of my fine peer Gina B., check out Zotero for citation management. They even have a WordPress plug-in, if you should need it.

There’s more, but you get the drift…what’s new @ your library?

Presentation slides are up.

I had the opportunity to teach a database training class for the CLP sub pool over the weekend.  Teaching is great because it asks that you reframe what you know, or think you know, and then communicate that.  And, of course, you  always learn in the process. You can see the presentation here – some of the slides are a bit wonky, and I’m not sure if that’s me or GoogleDocs. Still, I’ll take this for document and presentation creation over the standard software any day of the week.

And now, to charge headlong into my follow-ups. Although they already had it in spades, my peers who work on e-mail reference regularly get a 1000% increase in respect after Friday’s fusilade of ponderous inquiries. On the bright side, more practice with the trade catalog can only be a good thing, right?

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