What I learned from the move.

September 30, 2008

I was asked if there were an insights I could share after the chaos of moving this summer.  My situation may be different that others in that I had little input, beyond approval, of what the new area would be.  But the architect and planners did a great job.

My insights:

  • Keep your sense of humor and remember everyone else is in the same boat.  (I, myself, lost it completely on two occasions.)
  • Be proactive. Don’t wait for them to ask the question.  Think through what needs to be moved where and in what order way ahead of time. (I did a lot of that in the middle of the night when i couldn’t sleep, not recommended.) You have more control that way.
  • If you have different collections in the same kind of boxes, color coding works well.  We have MSS, Program, Alumni, and Faculty collection all in grey document boxes one right after the other.  Now MSS has green dots, Program yellow, etc.
  • Number the boxes.  We just had first and last call no. on each box before the move, and it is a very screwy system, so numbering the boxes made it really easy to get them back in the correct order.
  • If there is ANYTHING that should be, or has been waiting to be deaccessioned, do it BEFORE the move.
  • Treat everyone who is working on the project like family.  Tell them when you are impressed with their work (all of the time).  Be enthusiastic about how things are going.  You will get back what you give.
  • As you are putting things back in place it’s a great time to question how and why you do things the way you do.  There could be a better way.

I’ll get back to you if anything else comes to me.


I’m still here.

September 25, 2008

It’s been a busy fall so far.

  • My second library instruction class was a success and I only have one more to do.
  • We have just about everything in place.  Just working with all the miscellaneous piles that got dumped on empty shelves at the last minute.
  • At the direction of our new director (Vince Boisselle-he’s great, BTW) Brian set up online forms for us to keep reference statistics.

    Archives Statistics Form

  • Optional text to record with transaction (name of person/department referred to, etc.)
    Type of transaction E-mail
    User: Alumni
    College Administrator
    Outside Researcher
    Did we have the requested information? Yes
    Referral? Yes
    choose one… Alumni House Circulation Communications CTL Geneva Historical Society Help Desk Reference TRC Other librarian Other library Other

I’m quite pleased with this.  Before we just had a log for people to sign in and I keep records of questions, but didn’t really count.  In the five years I’ve been here no one has been interested until now.

You might have seen in the comments that I’ve been asked to give advise for others that have to do a move similar to what we just went through.  I’m still contemplating.

Getting settled

September 16, 2008

Things are starting to get back to normal. My student workers are still mostly moving stuff around. I’m still deciding where things go. But I am answering questions as they come and campus researchers are visiting. It’s going to be so great when all is settled!

Here is a picture of Trevor putting up more shelves.

Yesterday was my 1st library instruction session of the year. Aghhhhhhhhhhh! Of course the whole building is still getting moved in, but what a day.

–The “Learn Lab” has so computers yet, so I tried to squat in another smart classroom only to be bumped

–Superman Brian McDonald quickly set up laptops in the learn lab and brought my laptop up from archives

–Old laptops running on wireless…slow!

–My laptop had a lot of apps running and browser tabs open. Meebo kept flashing at me…very distracting

–I presented while sitting, a first. When I jumped up to help someone I came back and tried to proceed while standing, couldn’t read the laptop with my bifocals. Also the chair leaned way back, so I felt a little too “laid back”. I’d never actually been in the room except to walk through before the furniture was in.

–Interruption when someone came in to get my keys so a workman could get his tools out of archives.

–With all the tension and distractions I was unable to keep my focus

–Run over time and didn’t cover half of what I was going to.

Now that I got all that out of my system, perhaps I’ll be able to get it out of my head and quit reliving it.

As Elwood P. Dowd says, “Everyday is a beautiful day.”

Check out ArchivesNext for a discussion of SAA voting policy.  You have to attend the conference to vote.  I can’t afford to go to every conference, can you?

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