When I arrive to work at 7 a.m. things are pretty quiet. After settling in (that includes coffee), I think about what I hope to accomplish in the next 8 hours. Often, there are patron requests waiting. Sometimes it’s a light request, “What is the oldest building on campus”, “Do you have any information about the old swimming pool that was eventually covered over?”. Other times, the requests are medium weight. Those are the requests that require some time to fulfill, yet are easy to compile information for. An example is the former student that needed course descriptions from the catalog 15 years ago. Another easy but time-consuming request was from the class president of 1965 needing photos of his class members for a homecoming reunion. Then, there are the heavy-weight requests. A patron needed to cite a quote from a paper written quite a few years ago. She was sure the quote was in the first 3 paragraphs of the paper. A couple of hours later, with help, it was found in the epilogue!
After requests are filled (or at least addressed), I can turn my mind to projects. Currently, we are creating a new website. This is a first for me and there is so much to consider. The Informatics Department is building the site and getting my input as to what content I want and how it should appear. It seems that every time I ask to omit something that they’ve included, or ask for something to appear a certain way, it can’t or shouldn’t be done. However, they are the experts and understand protocol which I do not. I’m grateful that they are taking the time to walk me through the process. There are plenty of other projects going on too. Homecoming preparation has already begun as well. Archives will be hosting an open house so there is much to prepare concerning that. Advertisement, refreshments, gifts… all in all, a multi-faceted project. We are also in the process of adding our holdings to a digital repository. Is anyone familiar, or currently using Archon? If so, I’d be interested to talk with you. As for the rest of the Archives projects, I think I’d better share those another day. I began writing this entry shortly after arriving this morning and it is now approaching 1 o’clock.
Some days, I feel as though I’ve made my way through a labyrinth. That’s not a bad thing though. Every turn I make towards the end of my day is not a “dead end” but rather a “what’s new”. I’m learning something new every day. And, sharing something new everyday. (Sort of like a prayer labyrinth–eye opening and inspiring.) Glancing to the lower corner of my computer I see that it is now 1:15 p.m. and time for another meeting. Until next week then….