Tuesday, 31 January 2012

[Library Day in the Life Round 8] Day 1

I decided to have a go at posting for Library Day in the Life Round 8 since I have been aware of a couple of the previous rounds and have enjoyed reading people's posts - it is probably the nosy person in me.

So, a wee bit of an introduction.  I am a graduate MLIS student at Syracuse University and work as the Graduate Archives Assistant for the University.  What did I get up to today?

Campus in nicer climes


As usual I started my day by checking e-mails and my Google reader.  I went through some job adverts and decided that none of today's were suitable for me.  I had received an e-mail back from a librarian concerning a post I am applying for and so I got on with tailoring my CV and writing a cover letter for that position.  I also had a thorough check of Blackboard (our online class tool thing) and got myself up to date with discussions and assignments - I always approach this with dread, Blackboard is one form of communication that I always hope will have an empty inbox.  One of this week's online classes had the first part of the lecture up so I had a listen to it while making notes and flipping through my notes from the readings.

I put the e-mail wheels in motion for snagging myself an interview candidate for the interview assignment of my digitisation project and worked on preparing questions for him with fingers crossed that he would agree.

Blackboard by coo, on Flickr
If only Blackboard looked as pretty as this

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  coo 


I went into work and was immediately sent off on a delivery for the archives to University College with a student's records that they had asked for.  I got the loan form signed and returned it to where it belongs in the archives after squeezing past the three Otto costumes that are now out of their box and sitting rather deflated on the tables.  I hope no-one has noticed that I stroke them each time I pass.

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my current project, which is to research and create a spreadsheet featuring enrolment numbers for freshmen, undergrads and grads, cost of room and board and number of graduates at commencement every year from 1871 to the present day.  This is a massive project and the data is by no means simple.  The figures, when we can find them in the several collections that we think may hold clues, have been compiled by various departments for various reasons and have included or excluded certain groups of students for all kinds of reasons - it is a minefield.  I never thought I would be sitting in the archives with calculator and a spreadsheet ticking off numbers!

If only it were this calculator!

I had my preservation of rare books class with Prof. Lavender.  He talked us through our new toolkits which we had to buy for class and included items such as paint brushes, scalpels, sand paper, needles etc.  We got to make an origami box using mylar (which is far less easy to work with than paper!).  We then used various kinds of rubber to remove various types of stains from various types of paper - it was great to get some hands on experience and have a legitimate reason to be playing with silly putty!

Map by hannah.rosen, on Flickr
America made out of silly putty

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  hannah.rosen 

After a game of squash I am back home and listening to the second part of my lecture accompanied by chocolate and peanut butter ice-cream.  I have fired off some e-mails regarding a job application in Australia and the interview for digitisation (the librarian agreed to be interviewed -  collective yay! please).

And that is pretty much my Monday.  Busy but not exactly productive on the school work front!

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