It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day

Don't let the sun go down on your grievances
Image by kevindooley via Flickr

…it’s a new life (or at least a new work life).

Arrived a bit early – unlocked the office.  Even though I didn’t have morning duties I still am the first person here so I unforward the helpdesk phone and swapped out the tapes from the Horizon and Authority Works severs.

Went downstairs to get my huge purple mug full of ice from the staff lounge.

The sun coming over the trees and the apartments next to the library caught my eye out the window of my ex-boss.  So I went into her empty office and snapped a shot.  Wasn’t my best but took it anyway.

Fired up by Ubuntu and Windows machines.  On Ubuntu I opened Tweetdeck, Thunderbird and Firefox.  Checked both work and Gmail – looked at the helpdesk tickets on our Staff Intranet.  Assigned them including two to myself.

Luis our network administrator called to say he was out today.  Had completely forgotten he had volunteered to chaperone his grandson’s field trip to Montpelier Mansion.  Emailed the rest of IT because invariable I was going to be asked at some point during the day, “Where’s Luis?”.  I suppose since I am mainly stationed at my desk I seem to know most people’s coming and goings.  I’ve become the unofficial IT secretary.  I joke about it being a pain and sometimes it is but I also like being reliable and knowing the answers to the whereabouts of my co-workers.

Approved a comment on my blog than updated my T is for Training Meme by including links to others that had answered the same questions I had.

Read email from Read/Write/Web and tweeted a few interesting bits.

Worked on the morning bounceback emails.  I often find these amusing since customers often hit reply instead of forward.  I wind up getting love notes meant for spouses or kids saying “Hey honey, do you still have this the library needs it back”.

Schedule another staff member for the usability testing or our new Intranet.  Think we have everyone set now.

Blogged about Monday’s Library Day in the Life.

Then the IT department met with Director of HR and our Deputy Executive Director.  They assured us that Amy’s departure would not effect our jobs, that they’d be posting her position ASAP as they knew with our new ILS migration coming we’d need someone to lead that and told us who our interim boss would be.  A familiar face – Holly Johnson who had been my boss when I was part of the Automation department.  Then Holly came and let us know she wants to make this as smooth as possible.

I went to her office and spoke with her privately about all the things that had gone on in our dept. over the past year.  It’s been a topsy-turvy one for us.  I told her she is getting a great team but maybe not at the best time.  We will recover, we will come together and get through this it’s just we are still a bit in shock at the moment.  I think she understands.

Worked on tweaking the usability tasks and survey.

Grabbed a quick lunch before the first usability test of the day.  Went quickly and if all our staff was like this person my job would be done.  She found almost everything with no problem.  However, I know that won’t be the case but she gave us good feedback.

Our web programmer and I went to our Savage branch to do the next usability test.  Results were interesting.  He also gave us good feedback.  Danny, our web programmer, and I got to talking about all the results so far (4 by then) and decided we wanted one more person before we made any changes to the site.  This would give us another round after the changes to see if the change helped or not.  So we made an unexpected stop at our East Columbia branch.  We asked the Customer Service supervisor to recommend one of her staff.  This helped to make up our minds about one change we had been waffling on.

We came back to Central Library to make the change and then it was time for me to head home.

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Deserted Island Reads

Most people have a list, or in some cases an actual tape/cd, of their favorite songs they couldn’t do without if they were stranded on a deserted island. ABC.com and Lost have done it one better – Lost Book Club. Inspired by my addiction to Lost, I created a display at the Central library.


Using the letter from Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (posted on the ABC.com web site) as the basis for my sign, I then divided the cube into 3 seasons. Using the top layer for the DVDs of Lost, I then arranged the books below them that corresponded with the appropriate season.

I’m honored that they allowed me to set this up directly in front of our circulation desk. I’ve been told this is the equivalent of the candy/gum rack at the grocery store. Except I’m hoping that kids of all ages will check out items from my display.

Just a few more pics of my handy work. I’m a bit proud as this is my first book display, ever!

Manage This

Howard County Library announced today that their new Central Branch Manager is Nina Krzysko formerly the branch manager at their East Columbia location. First of all congratulations to Nina. Job well deserved.

So why is this big news? Is it because she turned the East Columbia branch around and made it something to be proud of? Is it because she has innovative and creative ideas when it comes to displays, handling communication with staff and dealing with customer service? No, none of that really makes this a hot topic (although they are commendable). What does is the fact that Nina does not have a MLS. *GASP*

I applaud the library and it’s decision to hire a MANAGER not the “top” librarian for this position. Again I’m not trying devalue anyones degree here but just point out that a managerial position is best served by a manager (regardless of the degrees they have) . Nina has plenty of managerial experience from years of retail (Woodward and Lothrop, Bloomingdales), years as manager of our support services and as manager of the East Columbia branch.

Nina sees her role as a manager “to support my staff – they are the experts“. Funny isn’t that exactly what a manager is suppose to do?

Again congratulations to Nina and I look forward to working with you here at Central.