My most recent project

I just realized how long it has been since I’ve written anything. I’m trying to get things organized around the house before I start classes. I’m currently reading The Accidental Systems Librarian. In addition, at work I’m working on a huge project to replace the software we’re using for ILL. So as you can see I’ve been a little busy.

This project I’m working on is so much bigger than I thought it would be when I started – I’m loving it, but it takes up a lot of my time. I find myself solving problems in my dreams :) – you know it’s big when that starts happening. Last summer I developed an application for our Document Delivery department. They weren’t using any particular software to handle their orders or statistics so it was a fresh start for me – hard, but still easier than replacing something that has been in place for several years. When I completed that the Research and ILL departments wanted something to replace what they use to bill time and keep track of ILL requests. So this summer that’s my project. I have decided to replace 2 applications with one. Right now the ILL department uses one application to bill time and create invoices and another to send out ILL requests to other libraries. This means that there is a ton of duplication going on. Plus, neither application is specifically designed for our type of library.

After at least 6 hours of meetings and 2 months of programming – we thought we were ready to pass the new product on to the ILL and Research departments for testing, so my assistant and I sat down yesterday and went over the entire process and how it will be entered into our database. We left the meeting with a weeks worth of fixes before we can let it go into the testing phase.

As hard as it is to keep track of all of the information we need to keep (both for statistical purposes and to produce an accurate invoice) I’m really learning a lot about the way things are done on the other side of the library. I have no idea how they kept track of everything so accurately without an all in one solution (like I’m building), but they did!

Anyway, I’m still here, reading what everyone else is talking about – but I have one thought on my mind – finish this project!!!

Joys of Owning a House

At least that’s what Tom (from Tombrarian) said to me today.

This is completely not library related – but I need to vent – feel free to read on – or not.

Yesterday I went into my basement to do a wash and found that my basement was flooded – not with water from the rain – but with sewage from the power room we have down there. Turns out my 50 year old house has never had the sewage pipes cleaned out – and now my basement is a disaster area. I’ve had 4 different sets of workmen in my house today – the township (here to tell me it’s my responsibility and not theirs), the sewer people (to clean the clog), the cleaning crew (to rip apart my entire basement – walls and everything to sanitize), and a plumber (to rip out the bathroom fixtures so that the cleaning crew can come back and finish their work).

The smell in my house was horrible as you can imagine – and my semi-finished basement has been restored and it’s unfinished original self. This fiasco is going to cost me more than I want to think about to clean and rebuild.

This is how I spent my first day after vacation – not at work – at home with men coming in and out of my house. Oh! And I forgot when I was with workmen #3 my puppy decided to jump up on the couch and climb onto the TV tray I had out and ate my lunch! Can you believe it??!!

Well that was my day – hope you all had better ones.

Where have I been?

Last week was my birthday so I had some time off of work and then some time catching up at work.

I’m also on the board of directors for our township’s adult education program and we’re desperately trying to build onto our class offerings, but unlike the other area night schools, ours is not supported by the school district. So I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to come up with class ideas and finding local businesses we can contact.

Lastly, I was working on moving the LITA National Forum Wiki over to Wetpaint. I’ll be honest, for a few days I was worried I had made the wrong decision. My first shock was that Wetpaint didn’t allow me to see the code for my page. I emailed my contact and he said they wanted to make the site accessible to everyone – which I’m totally for – but I responded by reminding him that almost every WYSIWYG editor I’ve ever used allows you to see the code so that you can troubleshoot. The next shock was that there wasn’t any functionality to add a table – and without the ability to see the code you’re stuck with what you’ve got. So I emailed again and learned that tables will be available within the next couple of weeks.

Despite these two problems, Wetpaint has some interesting functionality. First (although I haven’t tested this out) it has structure. What do I mean? Well, I mention in my article about our Intranet that I wrote our wiki software myself because I wanted to be able to have an organizational structure – this page goes under this page – an understandable site map. Well Wetpaint has that. It also has a menu to all of the pages so that you don’t have to rely on links from one page to another.

So, my first thoughts were “Oh no! What have I done?!” but now I’m going to stick with it. And next time I’ll make sure to play with the product beofre I accept a tempting offer to move everything. There is a ton of potential there – and remember it’s much newer than the other sites out there so it’s still growing.

Please update your links/bookmarks and if you’re attending the conference I hope you participate in this wiki, it will really help a lot of new people who will be attending the conference.

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I’m Back

I had a nice day on the beach yesterday (even if I am a bit burnt). My in-laws were reading “beach books” but I was happily reading The Accidental Library Manager. I’m such a geek – I was so happy when the book arrived in time for my vacation that I did a little happy hop :)

I am about 1/3 of the way through the book – I will write more about it as I finish the book. What I can say now is that this is the second book by Rachel Singer Gordon that I’ve read and I really like her writing style – she always makes me want to go out and do something!

How do I choose?

I sent about an hour yesterday reading through the class descriptions – and I want to take so many of the classes – I have no idea how to choose! I want to learn more about cataloging, so that I can make educated arguments regarding the choices that are out there. I’m also interested in taking some of the admin classes. Then there are the obvious choices like Database Management – but I’m worried it will end up being a review for me. I can’t wait to set up a meeting with an advisor so that I can start to make some decisions.

My plan is to take 3 classes a term – that will get me my degree in 1 year! It will be a crazy year. Some people have contacted me to let me know that they hope I don’t stop writing when I start school – I don’t plan on stopping – but I’m sure it will slow down!!

Thanks for all of your kind words! I’ll keep you all posted.