Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Library Day In the Life: Day 2, Part 1

Hi, I'm Emily, and I'm the Acting Manager, Licensing and Access Services, for Natural Resources Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. Today, I...

8:35 - 10:45: Got in to work a bit late after a slow drive in. Chat with a member of the Access Team* about a bit of an issue that occurred yesterday - a perfect storm of people being off on their flex days and a sick librarian lead to some consternation, and the temporary closure of one of our library locations.** Apparently the Chief Librarian sent an email about it, and I and another manager have been asked to come up with a solution. The main problem is that too many people have their flex day on the same day. Finish settling in and check my voice mail while my computer boots.*** 2 voice mails: One referring to an email that I haven't seen yet, another inviting me to talk about weeding at the Regional Library Managers meeting on Wednesday. Okay - note to self, prep for that meeting.

I check my email and suppress a scream. Apparently, yesterday was a bad day to be out of the office. Start triaging the issues in order of urgency. Check my calendar: Thank goodness, nothing on there until I need to head out to IM Battledecks. I've got some time to put out some fires.

Most urgent are procurement requests, what with fiscal year end coming up. I work on files for subscriptions to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, GeoScienceWorld, RefWorks, ASM (ASM isn't mine - but someone did ask me a question about it, and now he thinks I'm in charge of it. Nope! The person who is in charge is the one who left the first voice mail, so I leave HER a voice mail to try to sort things out, so I know what to tell HIM. Ick, what a mess), Daily Oil Bulletin, Plant Disease, International Journal of Remote Sensing and Remote Sensing Letters. I email Public Works and Government Services Canada to get them involved where that's required.

I also set up a meeting to talk about flex days, and call another member of the Access Services Team about an HR thing.

10:45 - 11:10: Write this! Initially got way more into detail, but it was turning into a (boring) novel, so I edited, too. Now to look at my to-do list and figure out what needs my attention next...

*I currently manage our Access Services Team. I've got 5 awesome library techs who do Inter-Library Loans, Circulation, Shelving, Document Delivery, Serials Control, and other info-access type work.
** Our library system has 13 branches across Canada, and 4 on the NRCan campus on Booth Street in Ottawa. This means staff at 4 libraries - and 4 reference desks to staff. Coupled with some serious staffing challenges, it's been pretty challenging to staff those desks lately.
*** I hate voice mail. Usually, no one calls me unless there is a problem - so my stomach knots as soon as I see that blinking light. Ugh.

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