Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘librarydayinthelife

A day in the life: Monday

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I’m participating in round six of the Library Day in the Life project! Here is what I did today:

7 – Woke up and got ready. Breakfast. Went to the post office to mail a Postcrossing postcard to Brazil, a package to my best friend in Ohio, and a package to the Deans in Arkansas.

9-10 – Got to the library, grabbed a vanilla latte from Starbucks, caught up on some email from last week/the weekend. Started this post.

10-10:45 – Meeting with Vice President of Information Resources, Systems Librarian & student worker to discuss our website redesign project. We’re moving to Drupal (hopefully sometime this semester) but have run into a few roadblocks across the way. Goal is to get the new site up before we move out of the current building this summer.

10:45-11 – Talked with a co-worker who stopped by my office about the upcoming ACRL conference (she’s presenting two posters and I am doing a virtual presentation).

11-11:30 – Meeting with Learning Technologies Librarian to discuss our new Library Student Advisory Board. We’re approaching some of the campus organizations for representation (including Graduate Studies Association, Pre-Scholars Institute, All Greek Council,  Asian & Friends, Black Student Union, Society on Latino Affairs and Commuting Students Association) and holding an election with Student Senate to populate the group. The first meeting is in February and I’m stoked!

11:30-12:10 – Email. Talked on the phone with a previous library intern & friend (same person) about the job interview she just got out of. Fingers crossed!

12:15 -1:20 – Lunch meeting with a Communications professor to talk about integrating her public relations students with the library renovation project. We also talked about some upcoming library instruction sessions for her COMM 100 classes.

1:20-2:15 – Email. Sent out invitations to student organizations for the Library Student Advisory Board. This seems like an awful long time but I honestly can’t remember what I was working on…

2:15 – Meeting with editor of  The Snapper (MU student newspaper) to discuss a series of advertisements for this semester relating to the upcoming library renovation. Found out their ad deadline for this week is tomorrow, eek!

2:15-4 – Pardon my language, but sh!t really hit the fan this afternoon. It was just one thing after another – phone calls, people coming into my office, emails. In my hazy stupor I seem to remember designing the first library renovation advertisement and submitting it to the paper. Made some phone calls and scheduled some meetings relating to V-Day 2011 (I’m working on Millersville’s production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” again this year, and we have had quite the headache trying to find a performance space on campus with all of the construction projects currently underway). I sent an email to the off-campus participants for tomorrow’s “Joy of Text” webinar (sponsored by the PaLA College & Research Division) including directions and parking information.

4:15 – Cleaned this post up & hightailed it home.

Does this make you want to be a librarian? Haha. If you’re interested in comparing, my previous Library Day in the Life posts can be found here:

Written by Erin Dorney

January 24, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Library Day in the Life: Tuesday

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Round five of the Library Day in the Life Project with a little different format. Here’s a list of some projects I worked on today:

  • Finalized a press release about the $34,000 LSTA grant that Millersville University/Dickinson College have received to work on the Slavery & Abolition in the US digital collection.
  • Revised the FAQ copy I was working on yesterday for the library renovation website and sent it on for more proofreading by colleagues.
  • Put together the first draft of our poster for Library Fest (based on the tutorial I found yesterday and inspired by the music of The Zolas, a new band I am SO loving!). The poster is below but it’s likely to go through at least one more iteration before I’m satisfied. Also, I purposely didn’t use color (too expensive to print in house) because I’m planning to print it out on colored paper.
  • Met with a colleague to plan how we will use the grant money we received from the MU Theme Committee ($2,000). We’ll be purchasing electronic materials in support of the main university lectures and will be putting together subject guides for the website to pulling new and existing information together for students/faculty/community members who want to do research in those topic areas. I’m excited!
  • Completed a new wellness profile for the next phase of our health care plan thingy. I need to work on stress, nutrition, and physical activity (no surprises there!).
  • Browsed the SAGE website because I had a contributing author credit for an article I wrote for the Green Consumerism collection. I cashed in for Tessa Muncey’s Creating Autoethnographies and Peter Corrigan’s The Dressed Society: Clothing, the Body and Some Meanings of the World.
  • Spent an hour and a half at the reference desk. It was very slow (2 questions) so I also read and took notes on Terry Eagleton’s concluding chapter in Literary Theory: An Introduction for class tomorrow.
  • Spent two hours weeding the 791’s (film, theater, a massive number of creepy puppetry books).

Written by Erin Dorney

July 27, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Library Day in the Life Round 5: Monday

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Well, I spent the weekend recovering from a summer cold/allergies, being giddy about a close friend getting engaged (congrats Pam & Mike!), watching X-files, and finishing up homework for the last two classes of my literary theory course. But what does this librarian do during the week? Here goes round five of the Library Day in the Life Project (from Erin Dorney, Outreach Librarian @ Millersville University Library in Pennsylvania):

Monday, July 26th, 2010

8 AM – Woke up, showered, took 45 minutes figuring out what to wear only to end up in a tee shirt, jeans and sneakers (good thing it only takes me 10 minutes to get to work!).

9 AM – At work, started a pot of coffee in my office and settled down to catch up on email, FB, tweets from #libday5 and #immvt. Did some work on the ACRL 2011 Virtual Conference (proposals accepted now through November 1!) and discussed some fall library instruction sessions with an English professor. Printed out two papers that are due in my literary theory class tonight.

10 AM – Worked on a project for PaLA College & Research Division – I’m drafting board member job descriptions (none currently exist) with a few colleagues. Ate graham crackers with my coffee. Designed, printed and cut a new sign for the library newspaper section (below).

11 AM – Worked on a poster for the National Book Festival (our Friends group sponsors a bus trip there every year). Checked out my RSS feeds and found an Illustrator tutorial to use for our annual Library Fest event. Worked on the tutorial.

12 PM – Met with a colleague to discuss the FAQ copy for our upcoming library renovation website. Ended up working on the list of potential naming opportunities for donors as well. Ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

1:30 PM – Left for West Chester (Literary Theory class tonight from 4-8 PM).

4-8 PM – Literary Theory class. I’m working on my MA in English with a concentration in creative writing. This is the first summer course (5 weeks meeting twice a week) at West Chester and the workload has been pretty brutal! Overall interesting though.

9:45 PM – Arrived back at home, ate dinner, and posted this.

Related posts:

Written by Erin Dorney

July 26, 2010 at 11:03 PM

A Tuesday & Wednesday in my library life.

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(Tuesday & Wednesday have been more “big chunk” kind of days where I don’t work on lots of little projects, but a few large-scale things)


9:00 – Woke up & got ready.

10:30 – Arrived at work, caught up on email.

11:00 to 12:00 – Met with the action team for our Spring Scoop event. Basically, we’re planning an event for late April open to all faculty to bring them up to speed on how the upcoming library renovation will impact students. This is in terms of what parts of the physical collection will be available during construction,  what physical items will be in storage, reminders about our many electronic resources, and discussion about ebooks and “Internet sources” as they pertain to student assignments.

1:15 – Left Millersville, drove to West Chester University.

2:30 – Arrived at West Chester and headed to the library to hang around until my class started at 4:15. I wound up on the 5th floor at a study carrel where I used my laptop to answer work emails regarding a number of things (ask a librarian icons set to go on every campus desktop image, finalized a catering order for an internal library event on Friday, chat reference publicity and discussion about the CAE events taking place later this week).

4:15 to 7:00 – Methods of Publishing class. Wow, so this class is amazing. We’re actually composing type (those little metal letter things) and using a printing press! We learned some key terms and then composed our first piece – name and address for a letterhead we will be printing at class next week. It’s completely new to me… but very fun so far. I learned about leads, slugs, points, picas, the case, the composing stick, coppers, ems and ens, etc. I have a lot to catch up on because I missed the first class for ALA Midwinter, but I plan on dedicating a lot of time to our reading this weekend.

7:15 to 10:00 – Masculinity class. This class is also a lot of fun. We’re looking at representations of masculinity in popular culture, gender stereotypes and characteristics, etc. I have to look over my syllabus this weekend and figure out what else we’ll be working on. Very interesting stuff and a very engaged and talkative class (awesome because the time passes quicker)!

11:20 (ish) – Arrived home, ate Cheerio’s, talked to my boyfriend about class and went to bed.


9:00 – Woke up & got ready.

10:30 – Arrived at work, caught up on email including some planning for the 2011 ACRL Virtual Conference Committee.

11:30 to 1:24 – Library Campaign Priority Committee Luncheon Meeting. I’m not sure how much I am supposed to talk about this since the campaign is still in its silent phase. However, suffice to say I am learning a lot about fundraising and politics! We had a great meeting today, we have some new leadership that sparked discussion and even better, action! I would love to learn more about fundraising/development/advancement in the academic realm – does anyone know of conferences/events/books or other resources that would be beneficial? I think it would really make me an even more well-rounded and valuable outreach librarian.

1:30 to 3:00 – Women’s Commission Meeting. This is the Commission I work on V-Day for. We have four meetings per semester where everyone gives updates on the different projects they are working on, so I gave a V-Day update and contributed to a few other discussions.

3:00 to 4:00 – Answered email (so much email!!!), started this blog post.

4:00 to 4:30 – Production Team Meeting for V-Day 2010. As you can see, V-Day is taking up a lot of my time lately. That’s because our performances are in early February and we’re ramping up publicity and final plans. I think this is a really important part of my job – connecting with student organizations (and students) outside of the library realm. It continually informs me about student habits and interests, provides ideas and leads on how the library can be more in-tune with student needs and wants and gives me an outlet to share what the library can do (cast members of The Vagina Monologues have turned to me for assignment advice now that they know a librarian personally). Plus, ending violence against women and girls is a cause we should all be contributing to in some way.

4:30 – Home for dinner, a workout later, and then going through my course syllabi tonight.

Written by Erin Dorney

January 27, 2010 at 7:17 PM

A Monday in my library life.

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(title setup borrowed from previous posts on Lauren’s Library Blog)

I’m an Outreach Librarian at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. This is a Monday in my library life:

7:45 – Woke up and got ready for the day. Arrived at work around 8:45 to publish blog post, check RSS feeds, Twitter, work and personal email.

A little after 9:00 – A COMM faculty member (& friend) stopped by my office to pick up some things and see if I wanted the article “It Cuts Both Ways: Fight Club, Masculinity, and Abject Hegemony” by Claire Sisco King from Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies. I’m taking two grad classes at West Chester University this semester and one of them is a special topics course  on Masculinity. Our only required book is Fight Club! I said yes (I’ll save it for my paper) and he said he would scan it and bring it to me later. Good stuff.

9:00 to 9:50 – Worked on the event program for Millersville University V-Day 2010 events (two performances of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” in mid-February). I volunteered to run publicity and marketing for V-Day 2009 and this year they created a new position for me on the MU Commission on the Status of Women. I’ve been working with a wonderful group of ladies on posters, tee shirts, programs, soliciting sponsors, and collaborating with our beneficiary, the Lancaster YWCA. It’s going to be a great production!

9:50 to 10:00 – Ate an apple, followed lots of new Twitter followers, checked my West Chester email to see if there were any messages about class tomorrow (none!).

10:00 to 10:30 – Worked on PR for some upcoming faculty information sessions co-sponsored by the Center for Academic Excellence, including bookmarks, handouts, and Facebook events for the library Facebook page.

10:30 – Our Interim Library Director stopped by to talk about some possible chat reference promotion. We’re now offering chat reference at our library and are looking at ways to roll out this new service to our users. Sent an email to the rest of the department about some possible steps to get more ideas/feedback.

11:00 to 12:15 – Attended a departmental meeting with the Provost and President about the future of libraries in the next 10-15 years. Exciting!

12:15 to 12:47 – Accidentally worked through lunch to make a chat reference sign and a graphic for the website. Graphic still needs work, but it’s getting there!

1:00 to 2:00 – First part of my reference desk shift, fairly uneventful. Just a few questions (mostly about textbooks – no, we don’t have them). COMM faculty member dropped off the article.

2:00 to 3:00 – Left the reference desk to be on a conference call for the College & Research Division of the Pennsylvania Library Association. I’m the new Treasurer! We started planning for our spring workshop/event. We are seeking recommendations for speakers about “the Learning Commons” (colleges & universities that created Learning Commons 4-5 years ago – what worked, what didn’t, how are people using the space differently, as well as people who might be planning for an academic Learning Commons now). If you have any names, let me know!

3:00 to 4:00 – Back to the reference desk for the second part of my shift. Again, fairly uneventful except there were a few slight issues with the new HP thin clients (running virtual desktops), but I think I figured it all out.

4:00 to 4:30 – Printed out subject librarian bookmarks for our new science librarian to use in instruction sessions, caught up on email, and made some table tent notifications to put up before an internal library event this Friday (kindly asking students to relocate to another study space for a few hours).

4:45 – Headed home!

Written by Erin Dorney

January 25, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Library Day in the Life.

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Taken March 2008, the day before my interview at Millersville University. The building I now work in every day is behind me to the left.

Library Day in the Life is a project where library workers from all types of libraries document a day or week of their work life. It was started by Bobbi Newman, and you can check out her original blog post on the event and the official wiki for more information. The fourth round is being held this week (January 25-29).

Some people choose to blog, some use Twitter, some record video or take pictures. This will be my first year participating and it just happens to fall on the first full week of classes at Millersville University where I work as an academic librarian. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to post about, and have not yet decided exactly how many days I might end up discussing. Guess we’ll see!

I think this is a great project because it provides a brief glimpse into the depth and breadth of what librarians do. Just last week at a friend’s birthday party, I swear I must have been asked at least 5-6 times, “So, what does a librarian do?” This is one of many opportunities we can take to share our stories. I can see implications for:

  • Library school students who want to share their experiences. I could easily imagine a spin-off of a Library Student Day in the Life. It would be very interesting (particularly to learn about the experiences of online and in-person LIS students) for people who have been out of school for a while to see how things work these days, what students are learning, the generational impact of technology on life and education, etc. If anyone knows of a group who has done this, leave a comment! Hmm… perhaps this is something for the Young Librarian Series
  • Administrators, students, patrons, friends, family, the media and board members who wonder what librarians do in the age of Google. This is an opportunity to share both the exciting and mundane parts of your work life. Many members of the public have no clue what librarians do (probably because many of us still haven’t nailed down elevator speeches for ourselves and our institutions). This is bad for funding, bad for our professional image, and bad for the progress and reform librarianship needs to undergo. How can we expect support without basic understanding? Informing is a key first step, and sharing your impact as a librarian could go a long way.

Some suggestions:

  • Add your name to the wiki
  • Include your job title & type of library in your blog post or video to help readers
  • Use the hashtags #libday4 (Twitter) and librarydayinthelife (blogs)
  • If you don’t have a blog/Twitter/etc, you can just create a new page in the wiki and post your day there
  • After your first post, edit your wiki entry to change your blog link to a link to your tagged posts (link directly to your day in the life post(s), not to your blog in general)
  • Add your Flickr photos or videos to the Group on Flickr

Written by Erin Dorney

January 25, 2010 at 9:50 AM