The Unclassifiable Library Remix

Friday, April 27, 2007

Things I'm Tired of Saying This Week

NO! I will NOT waive your fines!

I'm sorry, but you're going to have to pay your fines.

Yes, you DO have to pay your fines.

I'm sorry for your trouble with (insert excuse here), but that does not relieve you from the responsibility of paying for your fines.

Yes you may speak to my supervisor. But I am positive that she won't waive your fines either.

If you lost them, you have to pay to replace them. That's just how it works.

NO! I will NOT waive your fines!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Committees, Meetings, and Service - Oh My!

This was a short week for me as I spent most of it at the beach on a retreat. While I dug my toes into the sand this afternoon I gave some thought to work (briefly - I was at the beach after all) and the meeting I had Monday of the Faculty Copyright Education and Policy Committee. With the multitude of projects, committees, and other things I am involved in, why I would take on additional responsibilities voluntarily?

The first is obvious - I am a non-teaching tenure-track faculty member, with all the responsibilities for service and publication that teaching faculty have. So, be offering service on a University committee, I am meeting fulfilling the service component of my position. However, deciding to serve on the committee came from much more than a desire to pad my promotion and tenure portfolio. I have served on other University committees for just that reason, but have not felt the same desire to serve nor the same level of interest in the work of the committee.

However, the second reason is the far more important reason. I also volunteered to serve on the committee because, as chair of the library's Copyright Committee and working in a department that deals with many copyright transactions, I feel that my knowledge makes me a valuable asset to the University committee. I felt it was important to share this with the University committee, not just so that the newly formed committee would not repeat work already done by the Library, but to advocate for the Library on a University level. Also, it is an area that I truly have an interest in, which will make my service on the committee both more meaningful and more productive.

I am grateful that my particular institution treats librarians the same as every other faculty member, but I know that this is not the case at every institution. Opportunities like this are a chance to demonstrate that librarians are as deserving of promotion and tenure as teaching faculty. So yes, it's one more thing on my long list of things to do, but it's an important opportunity and opportunities don't always pass by a second time.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Living at the Reference Desk

Though technically an Access Services Librarian, I am also one of the library's reference librarians. While all of the librarians take part in the rotating evening and weekend coverage, four of us are responsible for the main portion of daytime coverage at the Reference Desk. Some weeks I work as few as 8 hours at Reference, but this week I worked 20 hours at Reference. This is a very difficult balance for me, as being the head of Access Services doesn't cease while I am at the Reference Desk, which ends up becoming a satellite branch of the Circulation Desk when I am over there. Add to that the hustle and bustle this week from preparations for the annual Friends of the Library benefit, a Staff Council meeting, and it's surprising that I was able to squeeze in any "real" work.

However, I did manage some squeezing and got quite a bit accomplished this week. I managed to completely catch up on processing our automated inventory reports - over 200 of them! We are making excellent progress in our first automated inventory, but keeping up with the pace of the scanners is not an easy feat. The students doing the scanning have been hard at work, and we should finish the entire collection by the end of the semester.

Additionally, I managed to spend a modicum of time on my ILL projects - consulting with another librarian here about the editing of cascading style sheets in order to change the header/logo at the top of the web pages and beginning to edit the content of the pages per the customizations my staff and I agreed upon. I also performed the first test of my Odyssey set-up - sadly unsuccessful. I am now waiting on hearing from IT about a port issue before contacting technical support for assistance - god I love being hosted.

Not bad for a week spent living at the Reference Desk.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Fine Free!

Today is Good Friday and indeed a four day weekend is good - as I took yesterday off in addition to today's holiday. The week, therefore, has been very short, but not uneventful.

The biggest happening of the week was the consortial meeting I attended on Tuesday. My library is in a three school constortium, which met this week to discuss loan rules, fines/fees, and circulation notices. It was very exciting, especially as one of the biggest topics was going fine free. This has long be a hope of mine since coming to my current institution, as I have felt that these daily penalties are no longer adequately serving their original purpose of getting the items back and deterring patron misuse of materials. Instead, we are discussing converting to a system of billing for overdue items, and when the items are returned the billing fee will remain as the penalty. Fines would remain only on short term items, such as reserve materials.

Of course making this happen is a lot easier said than done. We are going to be meeting next month about some of the logistics - mainly the editing of our system loan rules. This is not something you do on a whim! Editing loan rules truly gives you an understanding of the complexity of an ILS and how all of the different parts of it interact. Even something that seems as simple as adding a patron type or changing the number of days between overdue notices, becomes a lot more complicated when loan rules come into play. A healthy understanding of the system and handy access to your ILS manual are definite prerequisites before playing in this arena. However, once you are finished, it always seems worth it.

I'm very excited about this project, and will post about it more as we progress.