What I learned in my first week

I know that my first week isn’t over yet – but I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far.

First, the people and the library are awesome! As you all know (if you’re in the working world) that is the most important thing to look for in a job!

Second, metadata is cool! I can’t wait to actually get my hands dirty (which I’ll get to do this afternoon).

Third, EverNote is essential! I learned about this program from Iris at CIL. It was very handy in keeping my conference notes organized. I never could find a use for it after that – but here it is. If you’re starting a new job and want to keep track of all of those training notes and to do lists – this is the tool to use.

Well, it’s back to some training for me – this morning we’re going to do some copy cataloging.

Changes Abound

You may be wondering why I’ve written about change so much lately – well that’s because I have a big one on the horizon for me. I’ve been holding in this secret for too long now!

After 6 years at Jenkins Law Library, I will be leaving on May 8th and moving on to a new position. I cannot share more details yet (papers to sign), but my notice has been given at work and the house hunt has begun.

The change will be hard for me – Jenkins was my first job right out of college and I’ve learned so much and had so many opportunities while there – but at the same time it’s going to be a very exciting time for me.

Keep an eye out for more information later this month!!

7 Ways to motivate your millennial

On the opposite end of things (I’m referring to my last post from a few minutes ago) – what can managers do to keep new employees motivated? Ryan Healy writes at Brazen Careerist about 7 ways to motivate your millennial employees.

What an amazing list! And a great guide for managers.

One that strikes home for me is #6, Be my friend. I had a manager once (long long ago) who sat me down and told me that we couldn’t be friends – yes, he actually said that – he said it wasn’t appropriate for managers to be friends with their employees and that one day, when I became a manager I’d understand. Well, I can tell you that just ain’t so! I’m friends with the employee I manage and it has worked out just great. Giving a little respect to those who work under you can make all of the difference in the way they complete their work.

Other great tips:

1. Be Spontaneous
You don't have to make any drastic changes. Something as small as going out for a long lunch with a few co workers could be enough to keep me from going insane in my cubicle. If you want to get a little crazy, tell me to go home at 1pm every once in a while – and really mean it. If I think you don't really mean it, I won't use it. Even holding a scheduled meeting in a different location, like a local coffee shop or deli can throw a wrench in the status quo.

5. Keep me in the loop
Not having any idea about major business events on the horizon can be really frustrating. I realize there is often confidential information that needs to stay in the hands of upper management, but I want to understand where I fit in. For example, if I'm on the iMac team then it's fine if you don't tell me about the iPhone. But if you want me to do work on the iPhone, you have to tell explain to me what I'm working on. If you don't trust me to keep confidential information confidential, you should fire me.

Read the entire list and share it with those around you (not just managers).

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Disgruntled with your job (or job hunt)?

Do something about it! That’s Rachel’s message – and a great one at that! We can all complain the day away (and it’s totally necessary to get things off of your chest or you’ll explode) – but in the end it comes down to you.

If we’re going to continue to remain relevant as a profession, we need first to take personal responsibility — for remaining informed, for building something that goes beyond ourselves, for moving forward in our careers. Our institutions are nothing without their people; our profession is built from our multiple and ongoing contributions to the field. It’s difficult to be proactive in moving ourselves or the profession forward if a sense of entitlement and a belief that we are subject to forces beyond our control permeates our careers.

Read the whole post.

Library Journal Job Satisfaction Survey

[Via Bill Drew on the Library 2.0 Interest Group on Facebook]

Dear Librarian,

It's been over a decade since Library Journal conducted a job satisfaction survey. That study, in 1994, brought attention to the graying of librarianship and has been quoted widely in both government and media. It also unleashed passionate discussion of salaries, image, and job challenges and persuaded us to do two other surveys, on non-MLS librarians and on librarians of color.

It's time for another wide-ranging survey of the field"”and, like that earlier study, published November 1, 1994–we want it to be more than a mere statistical report. We hope you'll participate by clicking on the link below (or copy and paste it into your browser). The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

www6.rresults.com/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll?I.Project=S0082461B

Results of the survey will be shared in a cover story in the May 1 Library Journal. As a thank you for participating, your library will be entered into a drawing to win one of two $250 American Express Gift Cards.

We understand that much of this data is sensitive in nature and pledge that all data will be shown in aggregate form only. With your permission, an editor may contact you to discuss your comments further for inclusion in the article. We will respect any requests for anonymity in these conversations.

Thank you in advance for your time. Please share this link with your colleagues. We want to hear from a wide swath of library staff in all kinds of jobs and at all levels.

Sincerely,
Francine Fialkoff
Editor-in-Chief

Comparing AALL & SLA

I’m writing up a report for one of my classes. I have to compare 2 library associations and I chose SLA & AALL since they’re both close to what I do. One way I can gather info is to ask others – so if you’re a member of either or both and want to share a pro, con, or story with me – please feel free. The report is due on Sunday – but I leave for Internet Librarian on Sunday so I’ll probably hand it in early.

Keep track of time

SlimTimer is a nifty little tool that I read about on TechCrunch. It provides you with a web based personal timer. This is great for people who work from home or work for time. You can keep track of your time and then run reports for both yourself and anyone else who has shared their timer with you.

While it does still depend on the honesty of the employee, it’s a pretty neat way to see how much time everyone is spending on certain tasks.

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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!!!

Map out your job

Jessamyn has posted a great image over at librarian.net. The image shows a chart that explains a library director’s job. I think all employees should have to create a chart like this. I think that if we all had one of these we could show them to our board members when we’re up for review. This way they’d see that the web manager doesn’t just make sure that the web page looks pretty – or that the reference librarian doesn’t just sit behind the desk answering simple questions.

Most people (at least at my library) go above and beyond in order to do what’s best for the library – and a one page job description is not going to explain that to a board member when that person is up for review. Just my 2 cents.