Library Day in the Life: Round 8, Day 3

Today was another busy and library-heavy day, seemingly tailor-made for Library Day in the Life.

First on the agenda today was tallying the score sheets for this month’s round of grant proposals. Basically, I gather up all of the score sheets that have been returned and input the scores into the Excel file I use for program tracking. Simple Excel formulas tally up the totals and let me know which proposals meet our cutoff score. I sent a link to this document to my boss, so we can review it during our scheduled afternoon meeting. It’s good to have one more set of eyes on it before sending notifications to the applicants.

Before exiting the spreadsheet, I also needed to pull a list of everyone who received a grant in 2011. Our fundraising department is developing county fact sheets (we’re a statewide organization), and will incorporate this data into the overall picture of how our services impact each county. I cleaned up the list a little bit, removing irrelevant information and scrubbing the names and organizations of people who’d opted out from list dissemination. This opt-out business is fairly new for us, as we only started giving people an option in July. We don’t sell information or anything, but weren’t exactly feeling right about indiscriminately sharing our customers’ information with our funders. Our intentions are good, as we basically only use it to show what types of organizations and professionals we assist, as well as how far our services reach within the state, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make people aware of this. Oh, and before you get too concerned, the library data is and always has been a separate animal. We’re OK with releasing aggregate data about which counties patrons are from, but we never attach personally identifying information. This often results in jokes about the top-secret library data, but we just smile and stand our ground.

Leaning tower of hold requests

After this, I moved on to responding to e-mails from library patrons. At about 10:15, a coworker came into my office to let me know there was a man in the lobby who wanted to use the library. Since our library director, whose office is actually IN the library, was out today, I said I’d take him down in a minute. I quickly wrapped up the e-mail I was writing, gathered some stuff I needed to work on downstairs, and headed out to the lobby. There was nobody there. Weird. I decided to just go downstairs to the library anyway, just in case the person had decided to wait down there. There was nobody waiting in the hallway. Weirder. I called back upstairs to my coworker to let her know that I hadn’t found the guy, and if he showed back up, to let him know to meet me in the library. A couple minutes later, she let me know he was headed down. These very odd circumstances gave me a good hunch about who this person might be, and it proved accurate. We hardly EVER have walk-ins, but this one guy comes in from time to browse. He’s not much for small talk and never wants help finding anything. He just looks around for a little bit and then comes over to check out a handful of pretty obscure and fairly old stuff. He always returns the materials on time in the postage-paid envelope we provide, so all in all is a good customer.

After that bit of excitement, I settled in to check some things off my to-do list. I created an account for a new coworker and set her up on the routing lists for some of our journals. That reminded me that I haven’t checked in an issue of a certain title for almost four months, which is weird, so I shot an e-mail to the library director to reminder her to investigate the status of this subscription. I wonder if maybe they’ve moved all online now, but dealing with the vendors is her job. I also sent an e-mail with the finalized college/career bibliography to our webmaster, so that she could use it to replace the older version. I checked out all of the items that I had flipped to “held” yesterday, and got them ready to carry upstairs for mailing. Before heading up, I also coordinated a Girl Scout cookie handoff for a coworker who’d come to pick up her order from our library director.

All packed up and ready to go!

After a quick lunch and perusal of the interwebs, I packaged up all of the books needing to go out in today’s mail. I’ve gotten pretty good at fitting things into the smallest/cheapest options for postage, and we’ve been saving quite a bit of money using the new regional flat rate boxes. While I was in the workroom, I chimed in on a conversation between some coworkers trying to print envelopes. Since the copier was acting up today, I recommended they use one of the other printers, which works better for envelopes  anyway, in my opinion. That resulted in an impromptu lesson on how to use said printer to do envelopes. I also had a quick hallway conversation regarding registration needs for upcoming trainings.

These detours had me arriving back at my desk just in time to log into the project management webinar that I’d signed up for awhile back. We have a lot of project management type activities going on in my organization, so I figured some extra tips and tricks could be useful. Personally, I thought January’s session was more helpful. Today’s list of case studies just seemed to me like a really sad display of professionals lacking common sense!

Immediately after the webinar, I grabbed my stack of grants and scoresheets and headed to my boss’s office for our meeting. I clarified a few comments I had made on proposals that we’re declining to fund. We chatted briefly about how we’re doing budget-wise, whether or not to lower our cutoff score by a point to help a few more people get training and be sure to spend our available funds. We decided to go ahead with a slightly lower score, as we should be able to cover it even if we go a little over budget in June. Since this meeting also doubles as my monthly touch-base, we also talked a little bit about how things are going in the library, and about a few new registration-related things. Nothing too serious, since we’d just gone through much deeper discussions about operations and program strategy last week.

After the meeting, I mail-merged out the e-mails to notify this month’s grant applicants to let them know whether or not they’d won. We used to do this all by snail mail when I first started, but making the switch to e-mail has saved a fair amount of time, paper and postage. There wasn’t much time left in the day at this point, so I mostly just cleaned up my Inbox before heading home.

Three days down, two more to go. Time for #libchat!

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