When people learn that I’m a librarian, they often ask, “What exactly does a librarian do?” I usually begin my explanation with a disclaimer such as, “Well, I’m not a typical librarian in that I don’t work behind a Reference Desk and help people find information” which is what they already knew librarians do from personal observation. Of course, they want to know what we do when we’re sitting in our offices. Some people do think we read books all day. I go on to explain that I’m an Electronic Services Librarian—which hardly helps clarify my explanation—who handles most of the IT functions of the library. I tell them I administer the library’s website, staff intranet, online library catalog, third-party library services, and access to all of our research databases. If they still seem interested, I’ll explain the functions of some other types of (non-reference) librarians such as acquisition, cataloging, scholarly communications, and special librarians. Even though I work next door to these types of librarians, I still can’t tell you everything they do on a daily basis. Continue reading What Exactly Does a Librarian Do?
Ellie’s Accident and Her “Broken Jaw”
April 9, 2016, started out like any typical Saturday; I slept in, made a cup of coffee, and worked on some of my websites. The weather was perfect, so I opened a window in my livingroom where I had previous removed the screen. My cat Ellie likes to sit by this window and occasionally ventures out onto the roof of the one-storey part of the building outside. It’s almost like a terrace except we’re not meant to walk around out there.
After working for an hour or so, I realized I hadn’t seen Ellie in some time. I walked through my loft calling to Ellie, then climbed onto the adjacent roof and looked around the corner, still calling her name. No reply. Now worried, I went downstairs and walked around the building to see if she was on a ledge accessible from that roof. I didn’t see her so I expanded my search around the block. I went up to the fourth floor rooftop patio to get another view. Finally, I climbed onto the adjacent roof and looked over the edge between the buildings and spotted her on the ground. Relieved, I went downstairs to coax her out. Continue reading Ellie’s Accident and Her “Broken Jaw”
Classic Minis in Classic Literature
My favorite type of writing is the spoof or satire using humor, probably acquired through my reading of Mark Twain, P. G. Wodehouse, and Douglas Adams. Plus, I’m a natural-born smart-ass. Thus, much of my creative writing is reactionary or a reworking of something existing.
For one of the MINI Cooper websites I contribute to, I started a series called “Classic Minis in Classic Literature” where I rewrite (re-summarize) classic novels to incorporate a classic Mini (the 1959-2000 version) into the plot. The idea was inspired by the 2009 bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, only replacing zombies with Minis.
In addition to the fun writing, I also reworked an iconic book cover for the revised story. For some books, this was the bigger challenge with my self-taught graphic editing skills, but also enjoyable to create.
I might write more but here are the first nine. Continue reading Classic Minis in Classic Literature
Work Projects Completed 2015-2016
Staff at Embry-Riddle just completed annual performance reviews. For the year from March 2015 through March 2016 I had three major projects, all completed before their respective deadlines.
Hunt Library Website Redesign and Launch
Last year I completed the planning, analysis, and requirements for the new Hunt Library website. This year I began the development of the site organization and building of the site pages and content. I worked with the university’s Web Team to develop features of the content management system for library hours and news. Once the design was completed, I worked with the library’s Assessment Team to assess the usability of the website which resulted in some small but important improvements. The Hunt Library website launched on time with little disruption to our online services.
See the current Hunt Library website at https://huntlibrary.erau.edu. Continue reading Work Projects Completed 2015-2016
Code For Every Librarian
On June 12, 2015 I gave a short presentation titled Code Every Librarian Should Know at the NEFLIN Library Technology Conference 2015. For the Florida Library Association Conference 2016 I decided to submit a proposal for a longer version of that talk and possibly another on library intranet best practices. Then last Fall I was contacted by Cheryl Wolfe, Web Services Administrator, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library about collaborating with her on a presentation. I told her about my two ideas and she liked the one teaching code. She renamed the presentation to a friendlier-sounding Code For Every Librarian and our proposal was accepted!
Jeeves and Wooster Collection
I have long been a fan of P. G. Wodehouse and his Jeeves and Wooster series. In the US it was always difficult to buy these books—even though most of the stories were published here, sometimes before the UK release. I already owned Life with Jeeves, a compilation of three books: The Inimitable Jeeves; Very Good, Jeeves!; and Right Ho, Jeeves. But the only other Jeeves book I found in stores was The Jeeves Omnibus, a compilation of Carry On, Jeeves; The Inimitable Jeeves; and Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves which I didn’t buy because I already had one of the three titles.
Late last year (2015) I decided to spring for the entire set from the UK. I already had compiled a list of titles and so I signed on to Amazon UK one evening. Ordering was easy and the books were due to be “dispatched” in short order for a January 2016 delivery. I chose to have the books shipped together to save money. The entire order cost £173.53 (£121.70 plus £51.83 shipping) or $271.29 for 16 books. Worth every pound and pence. Continue reading Jeeves and Wooster Collection
Library Technology Launchpad Relaunched
Today I relaunched my Library Technology Launchpad website. I moved it from WordPress.com to my own host and gave the site a redesign. The previous version ran from 2011 to 2013 with social media updates continuing through 2014.
View the website at libtechlaunchpad.com. Continue reading Library Technology Launchpad Relaunched
The Library as Publishing House Chapter Published
Last year I submitted a proposal for a chapter to a book on the 21st-century academic library. My subject was institutional repositories and how libraries were now functioning as publishing houses by providing a platform for digital journal publishing.
“The academic library takes on the new role as institutional publishing house using institutional repository services to manage journal publishing and conference planning. Librarians must know the journal publishing workflow including online article submission, peer-review, editing, publishing, dissemination, and marketing. To manage conference planning functions, librarians need to understand event functions such as presentation submission, program scheduling, registration and third-party payment systems, proceedings publishing, and marketing.
Librarians at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University launched an institutional repository not only to showcase intellectual output, but to digitally publish new and existing journals and centrally manage professional conferences for university faculty and students.” Continue reading The Library as Publishing House Chapter Published
Customizing LibAnswers to Create a Recommended Websites Service
When we learned that the university’s ColdFusion server was getting old and the IT department wanted to decommission it, I began “Project Abandon ColdFusion” to migrate all of our home-grown ColdFusion applications to other services. The last of these services was our “Recommended Websites” service.
I searched many options. The service needed to be free, easy to use and maintain, and preferably something the library was already using. This led me to LibAnswers and its FAQ groups. With a bit of customization, it could be made to function as a Recommended Websites service. So with some advice and help from Kelly Robinson, the site structure and layout was built. Research librarians on the Recommended Websites Committee entered in website names and descriptions and assigned topics and keywords.
The new Recommended Websites service launched on August 20, 2015. Continue reading Customizing LibAnswers to Create a Recommended Websites Service