So my baby is now seven weeks old! I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. I know a lot of parents say the same thing and yes I am enjoying every minute with him. No worries there. Today we faced a new challenge. As you know I am working towards my Vermont library certification. I thought I was only short an hour, to find out one of my classes had expired and I am now six hours short. Ack!!! I started stressing out about this because I had no idea how I was going to get all the hours I needed before May 1st. Still working on a solution. Thankfully I am able to sign up for some webinars and some classes. My boyfriend is extremely supportive and has even offered to take time off of work to help me out because he knows how important this is to me.
Today I faced a new challenge. How was I going to balance being a mom and a student? Well I managed to do it. I logged into my webinar and cuddled with my little one. Somehow it gave me a little glimmer of hope that I can juggle being a mom, librarian, and a student.
I only have a couple more weeks of getting to be a full time stay at home mom, before going back to work. Until next time!
So there are a lot of exciting things happening right now in my life and yet at the same time I feel as if my thoughts are scattered in every direction. One of the new big things in my life is that come the end of January / beginning of February I will be starting a new adventure as a first time mommy. Big right?! Well before I go into full time mommy/librarian mode, I really want to finish up my certification. Luckily I will be able to do this in September when I am taking a class all about technology and libraries in the digital age.
This is something big to look at because the role of libraries and librarians is forever evolving in the digital age. What was important when I was a kid may not be as important today or in five years. These are all things we have to think about in the evolving role of librarians and libraries. It is very easy to argue the need for more space and more computers within the library to accommodate the growing population needs, but you also have to think about what questions may arise with the increasing number of technology advancements being made every day.
Change is never easy and it doesn’t happen over night. Yes there are a few things you can begin to incorporate within your library without breaking the bank. You can advertise to the public of the availability of one-on-one appointments where a staff member works with them individually on questions they have. This is a great way to connect with community members who may be unsure of how to use e-mail, load e-books to their e-reader, learning Facebook to stay in contact with friends and family all over the world, etc. It is possible by starting small it will increase the awareness of what the library has to offer and what it can offer in the future with more funding, increased number of devices available for public use, and encouraging the continuing education of staff members.
Some people think because I am young, that technology comes easily to me. This is not always the case. There have been plenty of times I have sat there and glared at something because I was frustrated and couldn’t easily figure out the solution to my problem. It is only because I play around until I figure out the problem, consult the user manual, and help page on the given items website that I am able to solve the problem in front of me.
As I said my thoughts right now are very scattered and hopefully with the help of making a lot of lists and putting pen to paper theoretically, I can begin to feel organized again.
What are your thoughts of libraries role in the digital era?
I’m about halfway through my cataloging class! After this I need only one more class before I get my certification next year. This for me is very exciting. Next Tuesday I will be attending the Vermont Library Association Conference. This is a great way to meet other librarians around the state and pick their brains for new ideas to apply or adapt at the library. Now you are probably wondering about the broken foot… Two weeks ago I thought I had simply sprained my ankle after missing a step getting out of the two truck after my car broke down. While I did sprain my ankle, I also broke a bone in my foot. It’s what is called a dancer’s fracture… I call it annoying. For the next few weeks my foot and part of my leg is encased in a neon pink cast. I want to make sure people can see me walking, right?
Back to the part about books. The cataloging class is interesting. We are looking at different fields which make up a good record each day and writing by hand in those fields. While this may seem like tedious work to look at the records for the same 51 books for a total of five days. it is the idea of repetition will help it to sink in our minds. I have to admit when I was at work the other day, I did look at the records differently. This is a good thing because it means my mind is changing the way I assess what is a good record and what is a so so record.
So for the next few weeks I get to be a super librarian on crutches with a neon pink cast. Think the kids will find it funny?
I have not forgotten about the blog, but I do apologize for not posting lately. My life has been extremely crazy lately. I am finishing up the last of the credits (hopefully) that I need for my Vermont Library Certification. To me this is a pretty big deal because it is something I have been working towards for the last three years. My last class (fingers crossed) will be on Friday, May 16th! Outside of work and classes I am also busy planning my sister’s bridal shower and doing a lot of running around for that.
So as you can tell I have a lot on my plate right now. The class I am currently taking is all about basic cataloging. As a cataloger it’s great for me to be able to work with others to learn the new rules of RDA cataloging as opposed to AARC-21 cataloging. The class is a lot of hands on work mixed with lecture. This is great because of the repetition and breaking down the fields a little at a time to have it drilled in my mind what fields correspond with what type of information about the item in front of me that I am going to catalog. A lot of the cataloging that I do on a daily basis is called “copy cataloging” but there are the few rare occasions when I have to do original cataloging. In all honesty I try to avoid doing original cataloging like the plague. (Sorry listening to Dan Brown’s Inferno right now).
When I haven’t been in class, at work, or running around like crazy getting things done for the bridal shower, I have been able to spend a little time with friends. One friend in particular and I have been arguing about the roles of libraries in today’s economy. The reason for our argument is that we stand on different sides about our local library and a bond vote of three million dollars to redesign the current library. Being a librarian I do openly admit to being biased and also I know some of the people who work in the library we are arguing about so that adds additional bias to my side of the argument. I feel that libraries are important institutions in today’s economy because we offer so much more than just books. We provide technology to those who may not have access, programming, databases, technological help, classes, and so much more. We also see people of all ages come through our doors every day. Libraries are changing the way people see us and we are becoming more of a community center and the heart of towns.
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the fact that my friend feels strongly enough to argue with me about this because it’s not often I get to argue about the importance of libraries to someone who does not work in the field. It’s also great that as one of my best friends he can see something that is important to me and makes a conscious effort to argue and agree with me about the importance of libraries and books.
OK that is enough rambling for today. Until next time!
So if you haven’t yet noticed in my other posts my darling little sister is going to get married in a few short months. Not only do I get to continue to do my job as her older sister, I am also her maid of honor. I am excited and also nervous about taking on this new role in our relationship, don’t get me wrong like most siblings with an age difference we have had our share of fights, but at the end of the day she is my little sister. One of the challenges in this endeavor is we both work full time and we live forty-five minutes apart from each other, so getting together when we are both free is a difficult thing for us. One way we have found around this is to use e-mail, text messages, and Facebook to communicate with each other and other members of the bridal party.
Now you are probably wondering why I am going on about my sister’s wedding when the title of this post is “Google docs and you”. Google has a number of great features which is proving to be a very useful resource for me at the moment in both my professional life and my personal life. In my personal life, I am able to type up to do lists of everything I want to remember and create spreadsheets for all of the different guest lists to see who is going to be able to come or not to different events we have planned for the wedding. The benefit of creating these documents using Google is I can share the documents with other members of the wedding party where ever I am, the reason for this is because the documents are saved in the cloud and are not restricted to a single computer.
Google documents are similar in the layout and shortcuts to to the same ones I use in Microsoft works. Its user friendly and I find it is easier to manage than Open Office. It has the added benefit of not having to purchase and update software for your computer. An additional bonus to using Google docs is you can share documents with others to edit and add. This is great to use with co-workers to collaborate on a project or within an organization. You can easily download an app for your smartphone but there are some limitations of what you can do with the app.
Until next time everyone!
Lesson # 12
P.S. Don’t worry not all of my blog posts will talk about my sister’s upcoming nuptials. This is a very big day for us as a family and she is my Smurfs. Not to mention in the upcoming months I have a lot of birthdays to celebrate in the Spring and Summer months.
As you may have noticed I am all about staying organized in my busy crazy life. I will even admit I am lost without my phone some days. The simple reason behind that is my phone is a miniature version of my laptop or work computer. So this leads me to the question of how many apps do I need to store documents and photos to save memory space on my phone and computer. There are lots of “cloud” storage programs out there, its simply a matter of finding the one that works for you and you individual needs. In this lesson I am going to explore Dropbox. It is an online “cloud” storage program you can install onto your computer and smartphone using an app. You can get the basic package for free or you can pay a monthly fee if you are using it for a business or organization. I find it is a simple program to use and transfer files into to be saved as a backup.
The next question to come to mind is how can this help me in my personal or professional work life. It would be interesting to use Dropbox in a professional capacity simply for the reason of being able to edit certain documents while out of the office and share them with the rest of the staff. It raises the question, if this would be a useful function if a staff member is away at a conference and would like to share notes right away with the rest of the staff. It is certainly something that will need to be explored in further detail with my co-workers.
In my personal life I am beginning to wonder if it would be useful in the planning process of my sister’s upcoming wedding. It would allow members of the bridal party to share and edit guests lists for the various functions we have planned. It could also help to keep everyone up-to-date on everything that is going on and where we need to concentrate. It will be interesting to bring this up with both my mom and my sister. It is possible that it would be more convenient than e-mail.
There are many ways to try to stay organized while on the go. I use my phone for everything to stay on top of classes I am signed up for, meetings for work, birthdays, etc. What if there was a way to keep everything organized and send out e-mails to everyone when scheduling an event? Doodle is a great solution to staying organized while on the move. While there is an app for your mobile device, it is not a free download. Doodle will be a great tool for me in not only my professional life but also in my personal life. In the next coming months my personal life is going to crazy with birthdays, wedding events, and work. By using Doodle I can set up an event and suggest a variety of dates and times to schedule events and dinners with friends and family. It is important to remember you can’t work all the time without getting burnt out.
To test out Doodle I scheduled a dinner with my little sister and other members of the bridal party. I suggested three dates on a day we all agreed would work for everyone. I was also able to suggest a time and location for the dinner. It will be useful when I am organizing her bridal shower and bachelorette party. I can also keep track of who has responded. It will be a great backup to using the calendar on my phone. I was able to to link my Doodle account with my Facebook account to keep track of events I am invited too and events I schedule myself.