Apparently I'm Hip and Cool.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
There was an article in the NYT this weekend about how librarians are hip and cool. The bit that really got me was when the reporter seemed shocked that librarians (and mind you, I think he was interviewing people in the NYPL, which is not quite as much of a public library as my local PL, but is still not a medical library like I'm in) don't spend all day looking at books - shock - but spend a lot of time doing research online. HELLO! Where do you, dear Mr. Reporter, do your research? ONLINE! Ai.

So, in the spirit of full disclosure, here's what A Week in the Life of a Pharmacy Librarian (summer edition) looks like:

- Work on CV for promotion/tenure review (most of the day)
- 1/2 hour phone conference about e-reserves/copyright for distant campus
- Attend candidate interview for special collections librarians (I never knew there was so much art involving condoms - see the UCLA AIDS Posters Collection)
- 1 hour of "on call" desk duty (in which I get to look busy while I sit at my desk waiting for the staff at the actual Desk to need more advanced help than book checkout. Mostly this is when I surf the Blogosphere)
- Discuss restructuring of department with boss.

- 2 hours of "on call" desk duty
- Candidate interview
- 1/2 hour phone conference about e-reserves/copyright for new course on local campus
- 2 hour meeting w/Pharmaceutical Care Lab (1st year) faculty: guest lecturing to faculty about VTC in their courses/office hours, whether students should have to purchase Facts & Comparisons (no), use of 2nd Life for teaching patient interview skills/drug information access at point of care, integrating informatics education into the curriculum, integrating presentation skills into the curriculum (both of these asynchronously using the Captivate program), and the library skills lecture & lab assignment in late August.
- 2 hour meeting w/directors of UNC and Duke medical libraries, plus two other librarians (one at Duke, one at UMarylandBaltimore via VTC) regarding translating our poster from MLA into a paper for JMLA.

- 1 hour meeting with teaching team (3 PCL faculty - one via VTC, 2 biochemistry faculty, me) about instructional innovations for spring course, including introducing case conference reports in the presentation and asynch instruction for information skills to the paper.
- 1 hour meeting w/department head and 3 other librarians (one the UMB librarian from Tuesday - she used to be my grad student and I miss her) about liaison program outcomes, measures, promotion, etc.
- 1 hour online office hours (I'm doing this now!)
- 1 hour All Staff Meeting
- work on "that damn paper" about how scientists view their libraries

- write annual review document for pharmacy
- work on PharmLib Wiki
- 1 hour meeting (other side of campus) about library projects in 2nd Life
- 1 hour department meeting (these are actually fun)
- 1 hour meeting that I know nothing about. I think a colleague is meeting online with someone in another country and wants me there to help troubleshoot. Prolly should check on that.

Friday: All that's on my calendar is 1 hour of actual Desk duty and one hour of "on call" duty. I'm also trying to schedule a consult with a pharmacy fac who is having trouble with her lit research. Wow, a day to actually work! Maybe I'll manage to work on funding for my ASIS&T panel. Maybe I'll start thinking about the pharmacy lab assignments. Most likely I'll play Kingdom of Loathing, surf, and get a few random things done here and there.

Notice some things that are missing here:
Shushing people (actually, I usually get shushed).
This week is unusual - I'm not teaching any classes. Next week I have one on poster design, and the first week in August I'm coordinating two all day seminars on bioinformatics tools. It's summer holidays, so the student instruction part is lower priority.

What always confuses me is this: what do people think librarians do all day? I mean, I'm really just a professor who spends more time on other people's research than my own. Oh well.

I don't feel hip and cool, lemme tell you. I feel like I want to knit!


  • Well.. I think most of us figure librarians are those lucky people who read all day and occasionally have to check out books to folks, make recommendations, or help them find something - but that doesn't sound a bit like what you do! Very fun to learn even about the 'mundane' for you - it's new to all of us!

  • Stash Bustin'

    I can tell you that my daughter thinks all the childrens librarians at our local library are VERY COOL!!!!

    We added you blog to our links on our blog. For Stash Busting Patterns.

  • Copyright Notice

    All content in this blog, including patterns and photos, is the intellectual property of Katherine Vaughan. All rights under US Copyright Law are reserved. Teachers, please direct your students to download/print out their own copies of patterns used in class. You are, of course, welcome to use items knit from any pattern for charity or sale, with the statement "design by Katherine Vaughan" appreciated.