Monthly Archives: August 2012

Does it count as overtime…

…if you have nightmares about work?

This is probably a combination of stress and chemical imbalance, but it is making me crazy (no pun intended). Hopefully, 5 days in Chicago at Worldcon will fix the problem, although missing 2 days of the first week of class is part of why I’m stressed.

I blew off my meeting at the radio station last night so I could come back in and work…I’m still behind, and I have no idea where the summer went…and I realize that I must do a truly crappy job of training because people who have worked here for quite a while are still not up to speed on things they should know, and there have been a lot of changes, with more to come.

Anyhow, I went to bed with a pint of sorbet and a book (the sorbet has no fat, but lots of sugar. I’m taste testing for the spice who can’t have fat. Doesn’t really help, because I’m not supposed to have the sugar, but what the hell.)

I turned off the light by 11 and woke up at 2:30 when spouse came to bed, suffering a major panic attack.The dream went something like this:

I was at work and we were getting ready to close. Our library has nooks and crannies where people can hide, but my dream library was filled with all sorts of places that people could disappear into, sort of a combination of the current library, the old library in Mumford Hall, and the Main Library stacks, with everything feeding through the circulation area. The library was packed with students who started pouring out when I made the closing announcement. I started doing a sweep and everywhere I looked there were more people who just didn’t want to leave. The climax came when I ran into a bunch of girls in the cage      who just didn’t want to leave. They had sleeping bags and snacks and were totally prepared for an all night study session and seemed to think I couldn’t do anything about it.

I yelled at them, and the more frustrated I got the more I yelled. I couldn’t breathe, and I wanted to cry. My mouth was dry and I was shaking and everyone was ignoring me. Just as I felt like I was going to explode and melt down, TC came to bed and woke me up.

Even worse, the whole thing was interspersed with me going to my daughter’s house in my daughter-in-law’s car and we kept missing the street and driving around the block. I needed to see my daughter but I was afraid I was going to be late to work.

He was very nice and brought me water and talked to me and didn’t even yell when I told him that if he hadn’t paid for my membership 2 years ago for a Christmas present I’d skip the whole thing.

I finally got to sleep again somewhere between 3:30 and 4 and the alarm went off at 5:30 because I have to catch a bus at 6:30 to get to a stretching class that I am taking as part of a study for the kinesiology department.

And I just keep on.

crossposted to Joak


What’s new at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Library

From News & Events


east side of library in fall

As the University Library welcomes back students for the fall semester, it also announces several important changes.

  • Over the course of the coming year, the first floor of the Main Library will be remodeled to create a consolidated Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL).  Work is already underway.  See
  • A new Library home page has been unveiled.  See  During the fall term, the new look will be applied across the entire Library website.
  • New software, called PaperCut, is now installed on the Library’s public printers.  This makes it easier than ever for students to print from Library computers and charge to their student accounts or pay in cash at the Undergraduate Library.  The cost is still just 10 cents per page!
  • The Library now offers free scanning equipment at many of its libraries.
  • The Library has raised the overdue fine for course reserve materials from $2.00 to $5.00 per hour.  It took this measure in response to the growing number of students who kept reserve books longer than the 2-hour check-out period, thus preventing other students from using them.  The Library hopes the higher fine will serve as a deterrent and enable more students to complete their assigned readings.
  • The Undergraduate Library has hired staff and is purchasing equipment to create a Media Commons on the upper level, where students can use media creation tools, be trained in multimedia hardware and software, and increase their media literacy. Funded by the student Library-IT Fee, the Media Commons is a collaboration between the Library, CITES, and other campus units.  Watch for an official opening later in the fall semester!
  • Minrva, an Android app from the Undergraduate Library, lets students find books on the shelf, check for available technology to borrow, and more.  See

Do you have a story you’d like added to the Library News & Events? If so, please contact Heather Murphy (

What Am I Doing Here?

It’s 8:30 on Sunday night and classes start tomorrow. I was here all day yesterday and I got here at 7:30 this morning. I’ve been organizing and getting ready and I am still behind. I think this is why librarians get to take research days. I could go home, but it is currently raining pitchforks and puppy dogs out there so I will sit here and blog.

We had circulation desk student orientation and I got at least some of what I wanted to accomplish done. I have a Beta version of the student schedule (it’s Beta because the first two weeks of school are not regular weeks. Regular hours are 8:30am – 3am most days, but we are closing at midnight until after Labor Day, and of course we are closed Labor Day, but I have got as close to a permanent schedule as I am going to get (with 3 students who still haven’t reported in). I actually used Outlook Calendar this year for the first time and it was pretty awesome compared to putting a grid on paper and penciling in names.

There have been a lot of changes in the past few months and I have made it my goal in life to document them and make sure everyone working here knows what is going on. This is not as easy as it sounds because, even though I have been working on a Training Manual for 25 years off and on, I just can’t get any cooperation. We are a huge library, with an enormous central collection and multiple departmental libraries, and for some reason that I can’t fathom I keep running into the idea that we can’t standardize training, because each library is different.

That may be so, but there are things that should be standardized and some people that should realize that there is no need to reinvent the wheel ten different ways all at the same time when all we need is communication and cooperation. Isn’t that what libraries should be striving for.

Part of the problem is that lack of communication is endemic in the entire university and in the state as a whole, but that is another rant for another time.




Story of my life via Failblog (Thanks Cheron)

Insight into the taxonomy of social media by Chris Horton

Put here so I can think about it. from the B2C (business to community) blog

Aided in part by greater access to the Internet and mobile devices, social media usage continues to grow in breadth and sophistication. An interesting by-product of this growth, a social media classification system is emerging based largely on functionality rather than user demographics.





Techcrunch on Mendeley

I come into work to get a quick start on my morning (classes start on Monday and I need to be ready) but I have again gotten sidetracked by RSS.
This is an interesting article for those who are involved in the world of academic journals. Read the whole thing here.

Science and academia have to date been a little slower to react to the vast changes going on in the business world as we move to the cloud, big data and third-party app ecosystems. Most academic online networks remain locked up by academic publishers with expensive licensing agreements for universities. But that’s starting to change. The science publishing division of corporate giantElsevier has created its own (closed) platform for apps to be built upon looking at the meta data around scientific journals. That data can range from how many times an academic paper is read, who reads it, and even to how influential each paper is considered to be in scientific circles.

On the other side is the three-year old upstart Mendeley . And the difference between the way it and Elsevier approaches the academic world is thrown into sharp relief today with the news that Mendeley’s third-party app eco-system is fast approaching three times the size of Elseviers’. This amounts to the difference between an open and closed approach to apps.

Taking an internet vacation

Jamie Todd Rubin, Evernote ambassador and science fiction author, took an internet vacation and found out some interesting things. To see what he found out, check out this post on his blog.

About the vacation, Jamie said:

In case you haven’t been following along, I took last week off the Internet. My goal was to try to get some data on just how much time I waste on the Internet when I could be doing other things. The first thing I should admit is that I did peek once or twice at how much email had come in, but I didn’t actually look at any email. I also made use of the Internet for looking things up, but I made sure I only looked up the information I needed and then shut down. My goal was not to avoid the Internet for everything, just those places that I feel absorb a lot of my time: email, social networking sites, this blog, my RSS feeds, etc. Overall, I was very pleased with how much I was able to stay away and not be concerned about what I might be missing. In any case, here are some things I learned on my Internet Vacation:

The thing that hit me over the head like a sledge hammer was the following:

5. I did miss my RSS feeds. I try to keep these lean, but I still had more than 740 posts to catch up on. That’s more than 100/day. I managed to skim through most of them yesterday and sent the most interesting ones to Instapaper. That said, I do look forward to reading blog posts and this was something that I missed, much more than Facebook and Twitter.

If I stopped to count my interruptions and distractions  (for example, reading something in my RSS feed that triggers a thought that triggers a blog post) I’d really never get anything done.  There is a law somewhere about productivity that describes this. I don’t remember what it is, but I could always interrupt myself and look it up.

So here is my resolution for Fall Semester 2012 (the new year starts when school starts in the fall for those of us who work university library circulation):

“I resolve to cut my RSS reading and random net browsing by 20% this fall.”

I’m not sure exactly how I will measure that, but ….


crossposted to Joak