Friday, February 23, 2007

Reaching out to my fellow library workers

Being the Access Services Librarian gives me job duties that I have no experience with in the library. They include such things as: ILL, document delivery, copyright & royalty fees [as they pertain to document delivery], circulation, staff management, access services in general.

Does anyone have any suggestions of some good sources for information on any of these topics? I am getting a lot of great information from my co-workers and staff, but I like to see what other people use/know.

We use OCLC for ILL and Docline for document delivery. We run on a Horizon system. We are an academic institution, but we are also a chiropractic college, so our collection is fairly specialized.

I've subscribed to a number of list servs, and I'm looking into journal articles as well. Anyone have something that would help focus my energy?

Where have you've gone, Johnny Klima?

I've been in IA for a few weeks now. I keep forgetting to bring in a camera to take pictures of my new library digs, but I'll have some soon. Our college runs in trimesters and today's graduation. That means that next week is an interim week with no students and I'll have some freedom to come in and snap away.

There have been two questions I've been getting from everyone: what do you think of IA? and How's the new job? These are both fair questions. Honestly, what else are people going to ask me about? My feelings are those of general happiness and contentment. It's very interesting to go from a large public library, to a small college. I know that I've come in right at finals so I'm not seeing how the students use the library normally, AND I haven't worked on the second floor where the students can check out bones (yes, containers of skulls and spines in pieces that students have to assemble) which is busier than the third floor where my office [wait until you see pictures] is. The new trimester starts in two weeks and I'm excited to see how things work.

However, it's only been a few weeks and I don't know that I can give a fair assessment of what I think. There is a lot of unknown in my life right now (i.e., this is the first time I've worked in circulation and then I'm the manager on top of that, this is the first time I've worked in an academic environment [my time at Rutgers digital libraries does not count as we had no patrons], and this is my first experience with chiropractic medicine). This unknown makes things difficult since I'm spending most of my time reading and learning. I feel little behind the eight ball to get caught up, but that's all self-imposed behind the eight-ballness.

On top of that, at this job I have faculty status, which means I am required to do professional development and service to the college/chiropractic community. Well, I'm required only in the way since it's tied directly to promotion and advancement. So I'll have to do scholarship. Which is fine; I kind of like the idea of writing papers, or editing a journal, or overseeing a committee, or who knows what I'll get into. At my last job, while outside work like that was not discouraged, it wasn't actively encouraged. And it did little to help me as far as performance reviews came. No one would be upset if I published something in School Library Journal, but no one would necessarily laud it either. [that's probably unfair and it sounds a little bitter towards my last job; I guess I'm just trying to say that the public library had no requirements like this, and therefore doing stuff like this was more for personal edification than anything else]

Then there's the whole IA thing. I'd never been to IA before I came out here in Feb 2006 to interview for this job the first time. There's a lot to learn. We're trying to find: grocery stores, fish markets, meat markets, restaurants, doctors, dentists, bookstores, libraries, craft places, printers, etc. that we like. We've moved far enough that most of the stores (particularly when it comes to food shopping; and this is important because we REALLY like to cook) are not the same as the East Coast.

My point is, we're happy, but we're not settled yet. There's a lot to learn.