Library Day in the Life: Round 8, Day 4

Today was just a weird hodgepodge of a day in which I’m not completely sure where all the time went.

This morning, I tackled the various tasks involved with closing out the month’s grant cycle. I created the check requests, updated the numbers in my boss’s tracking spreadsheet, tallied the stats for the marketing tracking report, and sent the results to my volunteers. I also pulled the list of people who had attended their funded activity in January, so we could send our monthly follow up survey. Finishing all of these steps means it’s probably safe to file away this month’s paperwork and make room for the next round. That is, until the calls and e-mails start rolling in. In my message to the folks whose applications we decline, I welcome them to contact me for feedback and advice on how to improve their proposal. This morning, I had two people take me up on that offer. Sometimes it’s easy to give specific pointers, and other times people were so close to the cutoff that it’s hard to articulate just what they should do better. I always try my best to help, though, and have definitely seen people improve on their second attempt.

Later on in the morning, I worked on the “clearinghouse” for our training/webinar registration system. This is where people’s registrations go if the system doesn’t find a match in our database. From there, staff can determine whether the person may have simply changed organizations or whether a whole new entry should be created. This can be tedious work, that often involves some internet sleuthing to figure out if the Mary Smith who’s registered with XYZ Agency is the same Mary Smith who used to be at ABC Agency…or if XYZ Agency has a new address or a second location…or if ABC Agency used to be called 123, Inc…etc. The result is a fairly clean database with a clearer picture of the ways we’ve served people and organizations over the years. Unfortunately, it takes an average of 3-4 minutes to research each record that appears in the clearinghouse and make any necessary updates. In the hour I spent on this today, I sorted out 14. :(

After lunch, I spent some time down in the library. I checked in some books and gathered some requests that need to go out the door tomorrow. I got an e-mail from a patron saying she didn’t have a certain book that’s three months overdue, but she did have two other ones that she had previously claimed were mailed in early 2011. It’s lovely that she found them nearly a year later, after we’ve spent money to replace them!  I asked her if she could attempt to track down the other book at her former workplace because we sent it there roughly six weeks prior to receiving her address change request, and I’m not totally sure how I could call and ask about it without revealing her name. We’ll see about that. The item isn’t that expensive, but I’m fighting for the principle. I chatted with my coworker about this bit of frustration, as well as the progress our intern is making with inventory/weeding. I also helped her brainstorm about logistics for partaking in Super Bowl festivities tomorrow, since the parking lot at our building is being leased out starting at 6pm tomorrow. I spent the last hour or so browsing the web for materials we may want to purchase to support our upcoming spring trainings, considering they start a month from now. I usually put some stuff in an Amazon Wish List, and our director takes it from there.

In between all of this, I’m sure I answered plenty of e-mails, took a couple phone calls, and browsed my Twitter/RSS feeds. I don’t have anything really cool to show for the work I did today, but I got quite a few little things crossed off my list!

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