The Unclassifiable Library Remix

Thursday, August 02, 2012


So many of my days are random, and I really need to do a better job documenting that randomness as it is the only way to explain really all that is encompassed in an Access Services job.  That part of my job description that says other duties as necessary is a much bigger part than it would seem based on it's priority and length in the list of duties.

Today I got to wear my reserves hat, which often I don't since I have an amazing staff person that really handles the majority of reserves processing and issues.  We were updating our software today.  We use Atlas Systems Ares reserves software for both processing and providing access to reserve materials for our faculty and staff.  We maintain a hosted server (so worth the cost) so updates are done by technical support on the server end and then we log into the client, which automatically updates itself.  A fairly painless process, but there are a number of staff machines to update, as the document delivery staff serve as back up to reserves (since they have scanners) and so that my staff person that processes reserves has access to the system at the circulation desk (where he works two nights a week and alternating weekends.)

Being Thursday, I also spent my usual couple of hours at the reference desk.

Aside from that, the day was mostly taken up with student assistant planning for the fall semester.  Every semester I must work with our budgeting people in the library to determine how many positions will be available based on our budget.  Work study students cost the library nothing, but there just aren't many to be had.  A few years ago there were approximately 400 work study students on campus, and last year only about 100 received a work study award.  So the pool is much smaller, and we don't have nearly the number of students we used to have.  Therefore, those few students I can hire via temporary service contracts under the library budget make a huge difference in being able to accomplish what my department needs - especially with regards to stacks maintenance.  Even with the contract students though, I dropped from 30 student assistants in 2010-2011 to 5 students in 2011-2012 - a burdensome loss.  Once I determine the number of students I can hire, I post the jobs to the career center's campus jobs database and wait mere minutes for the applications to come pouring in (since students are as desperately in need of jobs as so many of us are.)  Then I began updating the spreadsheet I keep on contract spending to submit to the administration once all contracts are complete.    A few contracts have already been completed and sent to HR, but the hurdles I have to jump through to complete that task is a story for another day.

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