Monday, July 9, 2007

Desperately Seeking Direction

This summer, only my second as an "official" librarian, has been a tough one for me. As an academic librarian, summers are usually our slow season, and last summer afforded me plenty of time to unwind from the regular school year, and to work on my own little "projects" that got me all ramped up for the fall semester. But this year, unfortunately, we've been stuck working on our strategic plan, as necessary for the school's upcoming accreditation review, so I haven't had much time to work on my pet projects (read: new website new website please good god can we get a new website?!)

So with all the strategic planning sucking up the majority of my brain-power (and patience), I've been a little scattered in other areas. Mainly, I've had some trouble figuring out just what exactly I'm supposed to be doing with the rest of my day. Ok, that sounds bad, I know. But my job title is a bit vague, at best: I'm an information services librarian. Seriously, that's about as specific as my undergraduate degree (in mass communications. Heh.)

Now there are two parts of my job that are fairly self-explanatory, the instruction and the reference parts. When I'm performing those duties, I'm either in a training classroom teaching students how to use the library and its resources, or I'm sitting at the reference desk (usually reading my RSS feeds.)

The third part of my job is outreach, and over the summer, that is slow to say the least, seeing as no one is really around to reach out to.

So any free time I have falls into the tenebrous category of "professional development". I try really desperately to keep up with what's going on in the world of technology, and to find ways to apply relevant technologies to the world of library science. But given the broad interpretation of my job description that my library likes to take, it has become increasingly hard to focus. I like to think I'm generally on top of things concept-wise, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding ways to use that knowledge practically.

My library (like many others, I suspect), is sadly behind in terms of using technology to optimize itself, and I desperately long to re-establish our relevance on campus, but I have no idea where to start, and I am fast growing weary of trying to be the agent of change on a staff where half the people are just patiently waiting to retire, and really don't want to be bothered with all my upstart nonsense.

What to do, what to do?! No really, tell me, cuz I really am kinda clueless on this one. Any suggestions?

(Oh and mind you Blogger is not helping by acting so buggy today! Please, I am a girl with four blogs, this is the fastest way to drive me insane!)

3 comments:

Linda said...

Hi Val:
I have not any gems of wisdom for you. I can only give you the comfort of knowing you are not a lone! If any seasoned librarians have any words of wisdom for Val and I, and probably others, please tell us!

The.Effing.Librarian said...

I went to a workshop on screencasting the other day...are you guys posting any database tutorials on your site? maybe you can download a demo of something like Camtasia and learn it, or maybe you can find a use for something as simple as Powerbullet or Wink? My next goal is to learn some XML and try to create a database I can use online for organizing library programs...(not sure when I can get to, though)...

val said...

we've been talking about online tutorials, and i think we will probably going to invest in some software (i've heard of camtasia, captivate and snagit so far...) Currently i think we might settle for video recording one of our information sessions and posting it on youtube, so we can embed the video somewhere on our site.

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