Library Day in the Life 4 – TGIF Edition

I woke up raring to go today, so after a trip to work complete with car-dancing and a stop at Starbucks, I was ready to work.

First off was finishing this month’s orders. I saved the best for last – the 600s! This is always my favorite section. So much variety, and so much of it is really popular with patrons. Some random selections from what I ordered today:

After that, I processed my patron requests for the week. They have become a lot more manageable this year since we cut down the number of active ILL requests patrons can have (yes, right now everything goes through ILL. we’re working on a system to have purchase requests be submitted separately). I have had almost half as many as I used to have. What used to take me a good half of the day or longer now takes just a couple hours.

After lunch, I took care of the last couple stragglers in the Extensive Searching/Nancy Drew ILLiad queue, fixing titles and saying no can do.

The rest of the afternoon is spent with email and gathering info and documents to start compiling info for my sections of our draft collection development plan. Getting going on this is one of our big goals for the year. I’m looking at what another couple libraries have done and also pulling some from our weeding guidelines. Our plan is going to explain, in general terms, what our guiding principles and processes are for developing the library collection. This will be one of those documents that is continually evolving, but you have to start somewhere, so we’re trying to get something down on paper. I think this is going to be a really good process. We’ll be getting input from our branch staff once we get a draft. I think it will really help all of us to be on the same page. And I really like the idea of more transparency with our patrons on how/what we buy.

And on that note, it is the weekend and time to RELAX. Thanks for checking this out. I really plan to post more. I swear.


Library Day in the Life 4 – Thursday

Thursday. I love Thursday. It’s almost Friday! 🙂

Had scads of email when I got in. Delete, delete, delete. Peered into the twitterscope and Friendfeed and a couple library blogs – fer reals! I read actual library blogs. I know, right?

Had a pow-wow with my supervisor and co-worker, talking about the meeting re: floating yesterday. A debriefing, of sorts. Can I just say, I love the people I work with? Our vision and attitudes in regards to our collection are so in sync. We just work well together. that, and we are all awesome. 🙂

So I finished up the cart of 700s I started yesterday afternoon. Cart wrangling can be sort of tedious, mostly because of the TitleSource interface. [don’t even get me started on the UI nightmare that is TitleSource3. I will go on for days.] For the bigger areas, I have multiple carts (divided either by Dewey subcategories or broad subjects) for titles I want to purchase. When it comes time to buy, I have to move the ones I want to buy into a new cart, but it’s all a guessing game at that point, because I haven’t always pre-determined how many copies of everything I will buy. So I make a best guess and see how close that is to my target budget amount once I have everything allocated. Often I end up having to move some stuff back and save it for another month; once in a while, I’m under and it’s like Christmas. 🙂

My last cart of the month will be 600s. I tend to save it for last, because I often have many patron requests in this area, so those will chip away at my monthly budgeted amount, so it is just easier to wait and see how much is left.

Before tackling the float carts of the day, I had to stop and take ibuprofen. If I am going to have sore muscles post-exercise, it hits me about 20 hours later. The shoulders and arms got a workout yesterday at yoga, so there you go.

Big chunk of graphic novels to re-allocate today. Mostly Marvel. lots of juvenile nonfiction too, so good news for the new library, which is looking for more. 🙂

And thus we have another day down in the non-stop-thrill-a-minute life of this collection development librarian.


Library Day in the Life 4 – Wednesday

Today was not terribly exciting or different from any other day.

I spent a good chunk of the morning getting a cart of 900s ready to purchase. The hardest part of buying books is always deciding which ones to buy, since there’s never enough money to buy everything you want. It’s especially tight right now because we’re tweaking our budget year and trying to stretch our budgets. not an unusual thing these days. Right now, my criteria is:

  1. Books I have noted to get asap to fill a particular hole or a new edition of a current title, then
  2. Books with favorable reviews
  3. Other books that sound interesting (though there are fewer of those thrown in these days).

It’s definitely not a precise science. The 900s always have LOTS in the #1 category because of all the travel guides. We’re putting a bunch more on standing order when our new budget year starts in a few months, so that will help a whole lot. This batch included quite a few local travel guides, which are definitely in demand.

We had our monthly Collection Confabulation meeting, which is a brown bag lunch discussion we hold here. Every month is a different topic, and we invite branch staff down to talk about collection stuff. Today’s discussion was on floating, so we had many more attending than usual. It was a good discussion, and I think we got some good ideas out of it on how we can continue to tweak things and make the system work for everyone.

Speaking of floating, in the afternoon, I cleared out two more carts of float books to be distributed, armed with my new knowledge of what people want/don’t want. I actually feel a bit better about weeding some of the areas I don’t select, like YA fiction, so that part was easier too.

I also started getting a 700s cart ready to go and will finish that up tomorrow.

Like I said, not a whole lot of new or different today. I left work and went to my much-needed yoga class, which didn’t seem to aggravate my elbow that has been bothering me (not too much, at least), so that was also a good thing. Getting old sucks. And we did some awesome assisted wheel poses, so I was happy. That’s my favorite pose (yes, I know. I’m weird).

Then I came home, had dinner, and wrote this post. The End.


Library Day in the Life 4 – Tuesday

Fun morning!

First thing was a trip to the dentist – just for a cleaning, luckily. I bet you are jealous though, right?

Then, since I was in the neighborhood for the dentist appointment, I stopped in to order a new pair of glasses, since it’s a new year and they are covered by insurance. I, uh, may have a problem when it comes to glasses. This is what I chose:

Menizzi 1081 glasses

Eventually, I found myself at work. Checked email and the usual web locales. Dealt with a few more staff/patron suggestions and set aside a printout of a couple catalog records that appear to be the same book to give to the head of Tech Svcs.  The physical inbox is EMPTY (well, it isn’t anymore, but for a couple hours, it was!).

Got a response back from a patron on one of the ILL requests I was working on. Realized the simple article request was really a full-blown reference question that needed some research. Tweeted something to that effect, which went to Facebook, and got a response from one of the Information Services staff to send it to them – which is exactly what I was planning to do!  We connected later and the request is now in their virtual hands.

I need to figure out the best way to keep up with the review journals. Now that I have such a significant portion of the adult nonfiction, it’s a bit harder to keep up. Right now, I am still looking at the paper copies as they come through. It’s sort of working, but really easy for me to get behind if I get too busy with other stuff. I can get them through TitleSource, but I am finding that more cumbersome to deal with right now than the dead tree versions. Pondering, pondering, pondering…

Finished off the rest of the Nancy Drew queue in ILLiad.

Sorted out the last of yesterday’s Float cart and grabbed another. a big chunk of this one is actually one of my areas – the 200’s (religion). a fair amount of things to weed this time.

and that was all she wrote for Tuesday. I am pretty sure there was some other stuff in there today, but… oh well.  Time to relax for the evening.


Library Day in the Life 4 – Monday

It’s another edition of Library Day in the Life, where you can follow along as I talk about the exciting (hey, I think it’s exciting!) goings-on in the world of this collection development librarian. 🙂

My Monday started with the daily visit to Starbucks for a nonfat Awake Tea Latte. the day cannot begin without some caffeine.

The first order of business, as always, is catching up on the email, and a perusal of the social networks (twitter and Friendfeed, in my case).

I have a few FirstLook carts to review, so I prepped them for review. These are carts sent monthly from Baker & Taylor highlighting forthcoming titles. I got through the general nonfiction one, but I still have two Science/Technical/Medical carts to review.

My email included a few purchase suggestions from patrons/branches, so I reviewed those and added them to my carts for future purchase. I also had a couple of books that had been donated laying around, so I got those ready to be given to the Acquisitions dept. to be added to the cataloged. Decided we need a couple more copies of one of them, so I added those to a cart too.

I am working on revising our genealogy booklist, so I emailed the librarian I am going to work with on this to arrange a time to get together. If we are lucky, I’ll also be able to talk with her about the areas she’s in charge of at the main library. We’re trying to increase our communication with the librarians at the main library in regards to their collection, so this would be a good opportunity.

aaaaaand, it’s lunchtime!

I believe that during the last round, we had just started floating our collections (materials stay wherever they get checked in).  We are still figuring this out, but overall it’s going pretty well. Those of us here in collection development are involved in an additional way now. As you can imagine, sometimes branches get overwhelmed with materials for certain areas. We have an email group for them to ask for/offer up books and some other set routines (Branch xx sends their overflow to Branch yy).  Anything that isn’t claimed comes to us here in Collection Development, and we decide what to do: basically, re-allocate or weed. The carts we get are almost always a mish-mash of a variety of areas and are sometimes a challenge, since you can get stuff you aren’t familiar with at all, like when I get a whole bunch of YA graphic novels. 😉  And they can take a loooong time to get through, since you pretty much have to touch each book.

Here’s today’s cart:

Float cart

Sometimes these are duplicates (branch had more copies than they want on the shelf), sometimes they are ones that have been sitting around for a while, sometimes they’re just random ones that didn’t fit on the shelf that particular day. Lots of random on this cart for sure.

That took up a big hunk of time. I finished out the day with some work in ILLiad. moving some requests to different queues, canceling some requests we aren’t buying, and doing some sleuthing on the “what the heck are these” requests. They’re my favorites!