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I don't have many traditions for this blog which is now 4 years old, but one of them seems that every Jan, I will post a rough sketch of my work day for a week as part of the Library day in a life meme. Here are past editions.
Also for the past 6 months, I added an additional routine of trying out sample queries done by our users on our new discovery system to ensure nothing strange is happening.
- quirks about the system's relevancy ranking (I could write tons on this now)
- user behavior in terms of search queries entered, refinements used
The other major thing I was working on this week besides launch of our discovery system was the rollout of our openurl resolver to work with PubMed. Was co-ordinating it with staff from medical library, fixing typos in FAQs, changing URLs for PubMed from our guides, catalogue, portal, so that all was in readiness for the mass email to be sent out to the medical faculty.
Coincidentally, we also put in a couple of changes to simplify our openurl/360 link search page to make it cleaner and more user friendly (thanks to an idea I brought home from a discussion at Internet Librarian International last year) over the weekend and it came into effect today!
Users normally wouldn't see it much because we have "one-click" turned on which bypasses the page, but with many free medical resources, PubMed users will probably see the page more. I suggested yet another minor spacing change to make the sentence lineup (librarians are detailed oriented!)
Sent an email about a matter related to mobile services.
Spent most of the day monitoring chats to see if users were having difficulties with the new discovery system or other library services.
Recommended to my resource team leader to turn on a couple of essential economics resources that we have subscriptions to and are indexed in Summon, but were not yet turned on.
Our first presentation on the discovery service! I admit to be nervous. The main problem with such sessions is that they are designed for people who have experience with our past systems and want to know what the difference is with our new discovery service.
- They will have little context to compare
- Most will expect a basic library orientation type session (which we do hold but on different dates) and feel unsatisfied with a sessions that obviously isn't meant for that
- Mixed audiences where power-users attend and people with no experience whatsoever
Many less experienced users also seemed to like the way I worked through a problem, showing cases where Summon shows less than ideal ranking results and showing why it was important to use various search techniques from the humble "quotes" for phrase searching to subject term filtering.
I also took the time to point out the weakness with Summon , though one wonders how much that sunk in with the less experienced users who have never used a traditional database, but I digress again.
After the session, I had to deal with some other library issues brought up by new students and staff at the session not relating to Summon. While looking at feedback from that session, also received an email nominating me to present Summon at a important meeting.
At the end of the day received a pleasant surprise where I got an email and was asked back to give another training sessions for one of the departments I am a liaison of. I just gave them a session last week and in 3 years of doing this they never once asked me for a second session. Of course this was the first time, I did a session with Summon, not sure if that had an effect.
Also received an email from a colleague asking advice about some social media tool.
16 Jan 2013
Handled a email from a user who wanted to attend our online web-ex session on Summon next week but had a technical issue while doing pre-testing to test her PC for compatibility.
Monitored a possible issue with DRM ebooks.
Received notice that it was all systems go for our Pubmed link changes! Medical library staff informed the Medical faculty to send a mass email about the PubMed + OpenURL integration.
Finally! I am feeling pleased because this is something we worked very long and hard to get working. Next to implementing Summon itself, this was one of the most technically challenging things I have done and probably of some impact, given that medical users are very heavy users of Eresources.
Spotted a new issue of "Springy News" - SpringShare's newsletter, the main thing that caught my eye was the instructions on how to create a rotating box of boxes. Seems perfect for us, as we are currently potentially marketing 3 big piece of news
- Summon launch
- Google Scholar + openurl launch
- PubMed + openurl launch
Since 2010, we have among other things, revamped our Website together with implementation of LibGuides, LibAnswers, Libraryh3lp (chat), launched social media, started conducting classes using webex (web-conferencing), launched our link resolver to work with Google, PubMed and of course the new discovery service Summon.
The question of course is, did this really make a difference? Or did it as I suspect make them happy for a while, before they settled back to their user level of happiness, the so called set point theory of happiness?
Not to mention, by now only the most senior students will remember how things were in 2010!