Today I went to three meetings and did the following things:
1) Trained a student to harmonize ILLiad records with Sierra, so eventually we can authenticate patron records. Our site is a shared server ILLiad site, hosted by OCLC which makes all of our issues easier to address and more complex at the same time. The task I gave my student involves data entry in 600 or so records. I am loathe to give my students this kind of work but it has to happen if my long-term plans for this operation are going to succeed.
2) Continued research on Arvid Lindau for a neurologist. She’s had a paper accepted with revisions and some questions. As I’m the person who found many of her original citations (because this would ultimately make borrowing them easier) I get these emails. I don’t mind this work. Very few people have time and it allows me to do something other than fight with ILLiad.
3) Tracked down a citation for a medical student who often asks me for difficult to find items. Today I lucked out because we had a copy in our rare books collection. I used our aging book scanner to digitize what he needed, but this reminded me that once again, I need to come up with a plan and solicit options to upgrade our equipment.
4) Figured out why a student workstation would not deliver items in ILLiad.
5) Taught a student how to locate unique identifiers to prepare borrowing requests. This is harder than it sounds because a) location and discovery are like Escher drawings without the whimsy b) it’s a new student c) I have to show them OCLC, PubMed, Locator Plus, and the ‘borrowing’ side of ILLiad and d) searching for and repairing citations can be difficult, frustrating work. It’s easy for people to feel discouraged and think they’re doing everything wrong. My students are smart and don’t want to disappointment me so I have to preface borrowing training with a disclaimer: it’s okay to fail.
6) Helped a coworker re-write directions for students.
7) Meeting 1: More discussion of how to align the health sciences library with digital initiatives on campus. Relieved to learn that I am not the only person who moved from the west coast and was surprised by fireflies.
8) Meeting 2: Departmental. Similar discussions, including ILL and licensing issues.
9) Meeting 3: Like the first meeting, except with more people and a number of questions, the answers of which will directly impact interlibrary services.
10) Finished up borrowing, checked in with my student, and left for home.