Library Day in the Life: Tuesday

I’m really much too tired to be writing this now but I know if I don’t do it tonight, I’ll never catch up. Since I’m in no fit state for proper composition, I’m going to do today in bullet points.

  • The Pile of Doom was diminished this morning – in the way of cataloguing magic, a couple of the multivolume sets were less complicated once I’d shown them to a colleague, the looseleaf integrating resource turned out not to be a problem at all and I checked off the DVD-video training pack, doing an authority proposal for it
  • More classifying, here and there throughout the day to keep moving through the stuff awaiting classification
  • On a visit to the Legal Deposit department (to return a book which turned out to be a duplicate), I see the enormous number of boxes of books they are currently unpacking. They tell me that’s only half of what arrived. You can hardly see round the room for the stacks of boxes and all the shelves are full. Hurry back to my desk and take some more classifying to make more shelf space for what is coming our way…
  • Mid-morning meeting, regular weekly catch-up with the staff who deal with looseleaf material and continuations (which currently fall outside the normal workflows of the department for one reason or another). I apologise for being focused on RDA in the last few weeks and promise full attention next month. We set out some medium term goals and talk about where we’d like to be by the time I go on maternity leave.
  • Am asked a question about cataloguing remote databases, so refresh my memory of some work I did on this (turns out it was in 2007). Cataloguing for these databases is currently the responsibility of Electronic Systems & Services division though I think there’s a case for us having someone more involved – I can’t volunteer though as I’m not going to be around much this year
  • Lunchtime – bump into a couple of the TeachMeet organising team who are coming into the library for lunch so sit and have a lovely chat with them about the bookings yesterday, what next and the need for cake next time we all meet.
  • Weekly meeting with member of staff I am training. She shows me the questions/queries/comments she has from what she’s been working on. We talk about 246 use for portion of title, exhibition catalogues, multiple statements of responsibility and language codes in 041/008. It’s a short meeting as she’s doing well. I still need to give her records a final proofread back at my desk then classify and send for binding as needed. There are a few which need authority work so I leave those for tomorrow.
  • Afternoon meeting with the language specialist staff of the European Cataloguing department to talk through the workflow changes we have made in English Cataloguing. This is seriously one of my favourite topics. It’s really good to talk through what we did, how we went about it and why, what it achieved, the issues it raised. Their own workflows, types of material and priorities differ from ours (they don’t have legal deposit material which is an enormous difference) but I hope there will be something in what I’m describing that’s useful to them. There will be issues specific to each language that will be different to what we faced with English-language material. It’s a really positive meeting – they listen very politely to me talking about workflow, ask some questions, nobody falls asleep. I hope they got some ideas – we talk about the need to look at quick wins, the importance of good news stories in cataloguing (where so much can be about what we haven’t managed to do, the backlogs, the increased rate of material coming in). I think it’s important that we’re all actively looking at our cataloguing workflows with a critical eye. I follow up the meeting by emailing some further information I didn’t have to hand and clarifying how to limit a search in OCLC to just PCC records (one of the things I talked about). I’m tired, and I still managed to write quite a lot about workflow – thank goodness for everyone’s sake I don’t have the energy to write more.
  • Oh and I also had cake as it was someone’s birthday in the department today. A good day.

2 comments so far

  1. Girl in the Moon on

    Ooh, what sort of cake?

  2. Céline on

    Was chocolate and beautifully iced (made by another member of staff). Yum. Plus muffins. It was a very good day.

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