Beware! Labels Stick

Lunch time means a chance for me to catch up on Facebook friends and play a mindless game of Bejeweled 2 or Globs (which is especially relaxing these days since my focus in on Polaris and coordinating the training involved).  Today I happened upon a post by the Central Library Manager, Nina Krzysko that included a link to a YouTube video.  What an enlightening video.  It really struck a chord in me and I just had to share it.

But before you watch this – what would be your first reaction if you saw a man in his early forties, biking around your neighborhood or area where you work every day.  He sometimes wears funny hats or saying on his shirt and he sometimes stops, gets off his bike and waves to the cars that go by.  Bum!  Lunatic.  Or just a harmless guy with nothing but time on his hands?  I’ve heard all of these and more to describe the man in the video.  Now watch the video and tell me what label you would use.  But be careful because those labels stick and are hard to remove.

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White Houses of Wilde Lake

Day 3 of Library Day in the Life

I got to work plenty early so I decided to swing by Wilde Lake to see if I could snap a few shots.  The white houses along the lake front caught my eye and I liked their reflection.  I try to participate in Momentile each day so this was my ‘Tile of the day yesterday.  After about 15 mins. I was sufficiently frozen so I hopped back in my car and drive down the street to the library.

Realized when I pulled into the parking lot that Wilde Lake was a venue in Foursquare so I cheated a little and checked in (well I had been there – have the photographic proof).  I waited until I got in the building to check in as the Mayor of Howard County Central Library.

Unlocked the elevator and office door.  Unforwarded the helpdesk phone and swapped out the tapes on both the Horizon and Authority Work servers.

Gave into the Diet Coke addiction once again but alas the staff lounge soda machine was out.  So I had to run back upstairs and get my keys so I could unlock the front grate and get some from the vending machine in the lobby.

Back to my desk – booted up both my Ubuntu and Windows machines.  Per usual opened Tweetdeck, Thunderbird and Firefox on the Ubuntu machine.  Checked our helpdesk tickets on the Staff Intranet and assigned it to one of my co-workers.

Had realized on the drive in this morning that our interim boss wasn’t part of the IT alias so I made sure to add her to it so she could be on top of things.

Checked my Gmail and approved a comment for my blog so while I was in there I blogged about Tuesday.

Noticed that my Windows machine needed a java update so I let that run.

Registered for a Zemanta account and updated my preferences on my blog.  I really have to thank John LeMasney for introducing me to Zemanta.  I love how it finds Creative Commons only images so I can put them in my blog.  I go back and comment on that person’s Flickr account thanking them for using creative commons license and letting them know I used their image for a blog post.

Got a call on the helpdesk line that one of the new info desk computers wasn’t working.  It was flashing red instead of having a solid green light.  Wasn’t booting up to the desktop.  Don’t know why it was doing this because when I went out there I turned it off – counted to 10 turned it back on and it booted up fine.  Guess we’ll have to keep an eye on it.

Edited and uploaded the above picture to Momentile.

Had a short but interesting conversation via Twitter with @librarianbyday and @GMLGeek about using Foursquare in libraries.  I had sent info about Foursquare to our PR dept as well as the Teen Programmer (thought it could be a fun tool to use with Summer Reader at some point).

Checked in my overdue (*bad library worker*) items via Horizon.  Checked out reserve that had come in for me via Marina (our statewide ILL system).

Ran an errand (the bank) across the street and of course checked in via Foursquare.

Updated the usability testing sheets to reflect the changes I had made at the end of the previous day to our new Staff Intranet.

Worked with @Julian2 capturing photos of the scan feature on our new copiers.  We are putting together instructions for staff/customers.

Started editing the photos I took of the copier.

Observed the first usability test of the day.  As always such an interesting process – everyone is so different.  However, we are getting a sense that 90% of the site is spot-on just need to tweak the remaining 10%.

Got an IM from staff member in Admin asking if our network admin was in the UK (he does have family there).  No, he was standing right behind me.  Got 2 phone calls from other staff asking about our network admin.  Turned out his old Facebook account had someone gotten reactivated (not by him) and someone was scamming people with this old scam.   Posted information including the video to front page of our Staff Intranet, as well as, my Facebook page and on Twitter just to let people know that this wasn’t our co-worker scamming folks.

Gobbled down a quick lunch before our first IT meeting with our new interim boss.

IT meeting – went over a few loose ends from our old boss, she had plenty of questions regarding projects we were working on and we each brought her up to date on the projects.

Got a call from HR to update Intranet and web site to reflect old boss’s position being vacant.

Off to our Glenwood branch to do the second usability test of the day.  Our web programmer and I sat down afterwards and discussed what changes we thought might need to be made, how we should move forward considering his work schedule.

Went home but stopped by Food Lion (again checked in with Foursquare) to pick up some nuts for my husband (one of his favorite snacks).  Picked up an extra jar as a small thank you to our web programmer for all his help on the Intranet (and for putting up with me in general).

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Have Passport, Will Travel

passportAnd now from the “If only this had happened just a bit sooner” file….

MPOW will officially become a Passport Office on Monday August 10th.  Ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate will take place at our East Columbia Branch at 11:00 am that Monday.

Oh, how I wish either my trip to Spain had been a bit later this year or that the Passport Office had been ready a bit earlier.  Having to take the MARC train and Metro to the Regional Passport Office in Washington D.C. was not fun.  I had to go there once myself and my husband went the next day for me to actually pickup the passport (name change and it had expired).

The residents of Columbia, Howard County and Central Maryland don’t know how lucky they are.  They won’t have to fight commuter traffic to go to D.C. or stand in line at the post office bored out of their mind.  Instead if they do have to wait they have the whole library at their disposal to keep them occupied – books galore, plenty of computers with access to the Internet, periodicals, newspapers, books on CD, Playaways and lots more.

This is just another in a great line of services that we offer our community.  Makes me proud.

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National Library Week

Many libraries across our country are celebrating National Library Week.   Some are asking the public to let them know what the library means to them others are acknowledging the hard working staff that serve the customers day in and day out.  I tried to think of a way to celebrate my library this week.  So I decided to try and capture moments each day of the library I work in.

Tuesday of this week was also National Library Workers Day.   I was pleased to see so many of my co-workers get nominated as Stars.  Congratulations to all our stars at Howard County Library and libraries everywhere.  We are truly important members of each community.

Teresa from a public library in Columbia, MD, is a Star because Teresa answers each customer question thoroughly, professionally and kindly. Her dedication and energy are legendary. To me, she is the stellar member of the staff. Thanks to Mary for this nomination.

Anne from Howard County Library library in Columbia, MD, is a Star because she is always “doing.” Whether it’s helping a child find the right Princess book, or creating a craft for a special event…whether it’s leading a kindergarten class on a tour of the library, or teaching kids about butterflies in the library’s garden … whether it’s helping out a co-worker by taking an extra shift or learning Spanish on her own time…. Anne is active, interested and always has the community’s best interests at heart. Her co-workers are happy to work with such a STAR! Thanks to Anonymous for this nomination.

April from Howard County Library library in Ellicott City, MD, is a Star because so often it’s the squeaky wheel who gets the attention, while the very competent, but quiet staff person goes unnoticed. April falls into the 2nd category. She’s a creative, hard-working, team player with an enviable work ethic who adds a great deal to our overall excellence – and she does her job with never a complaint! I just want to use this forum to THANK April for all that she does! Thanks to Fritzi for this nomination.

Amy from a public library in Columbia, MD, is a Star because She is a visionary in leading us into the next generation of technology by using Open Source Software on public as well as staff computers. Thanks to Donna for this nomination.

John from a public library in Columbia, MD, is a Star because he works extremely hard to efficiently and quickly help keep the circulation department running smoothly in our library system’s largest branch. He never shies away from doing hard work and often goes beyond the call of duty to help patrons find exactly what they want. Every branch could benefit from having one of him around! Thanks to Jessica for this nomination.

Harryet from a public library in Columbia, MD, is a Star because She makes every single one of her coworkers feel appreciated, wanted, and cared about, including hourly student workers! She goes FAR beyond the call of duty to include everybody, make everybody (workers and patrons, alike) feel at home, and improve the work environment during tough times. She is truly a star! Thanks to Anonymous for this nomination.

Cynthia from a public library in Ellicott City, MD is a Star because Cynthia is my colleague. She is the nicest person in our branch library. She provides wonderful customer service to customers as well as creates helpful and friendly environments for colleagues. Very responsible and Calm in dealing with difficult situations. Especially her work ethic and noble personality is something every librarian wants to learn from. Thanks to Young-Ju for this nomination.

Maryann from a public library in Columbia, MD is a Star because Maryann gives her all as a Customer Service Specialist and is a supportive and energetic co-worker. Thanks to Loretta for this nomination.

Suki from a public library in Columbia, MD is a Star because Suki takes great pride in her library branch and treats all customers and staff as old friends. She has a particular challenge with unruly children in her branch after school hours, but handles the pressure with imagination, grace and patience. Thanks to Jacquelynn for this nomination.

Suki from a public library in Columbia, MD is a Star because Suki was a ‘newbie’ and non-librarian who truly stepped up to her managerial plate. Every day she has proven that she has, not only incredible ‘game’, but a love of books that makes her a star. Thanks to Anonymous for this nomination.

Amy from a public library in Columbia, MD, is a Star because Amy’s unwavering passion when it comes to libraries, technology and especially open source is something to behold. Her focus is how to make the experience for our customers better, easier, more enjoyable. She manages a team of 8 by allowing them to shine in their specific areas. Amy not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. Amy received a staff achievement award for all that she has done with open source (and how it has provided better service for our customers while saving the library lots of money). Thanks to Beth for this nomination.

A Few More Than 6 Degrees

Turns out that the infamous “Last Lecture” professor is the son of one of the English teachers, Virginia Pausch at my old high school, Howard High in Columbia, MD.  Like many people, his book is on my reading list (bit of a wait 91 in line).