“Day in the Life”

This week there’s a yearly meme (can that possibly be the correct phrase?) about what librarians do all day. The idea is to show the many types of libraries and librarians out there, and presumably to educate and entertain. I’m not participating formally, as I usually tweet about projects I’m working on during the day as a quick way of networking with colleagues. I’m not great about exhaustively cataloging what I do in a day, as my never yet started “energy maps” and other day mapping activities indicate. I prefer to keep comprehensive to-do lists and calendars to make sure I’m doing what I intended to do. For the rest, I assume a little spontaneity is what keeps life fresh and interesting.

On the other hand, when it comes time to producing annual reports and so forth, quantifying the body of work not captured in calendars and project plans can be challenging. One of my current projects is to quantify effort in electronic resource management–this is what I will be addressing at two conferences this spring. For this I created a very simple trouble ticket system (you can download it here if you want) that we use to get problem reports from patrons so I can actually follow up with people. Before this, things would occasionally gather dust in inboxes until someone got around to clearing them out. Lots of libraries have ticketing systems, but this attempts to track how difficult a request was in addition to who answered and what the resolution was. The other point of such systems is to automatically populate a knowledgebase with answers to questions–this is definitely not that sophisticated a system, but the types of problems inform documentation and staff training. One thing that I hope to discern over the coming months is how difficultly levels are handled at different types of institutions to eventually develop a *spoiler alert* theoretical model for handing electronic resource issues. Basically it would fill out “routine product maintenance” in the Digital Library Federation’s Electronic Resource Management Workflow Diagram (find here in PDF).

Oh wait, but I was writing about the day in my library life. But right now I have to prep for instruction session, so that will have to wait.