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Even though the Day in the life of a librarian project by by Bobbi Newman has ended, I have decided to continue this tradition to post about my day to day work every January.
I've was told that my blog posts are useful as a snapshot of the type of work academic librarians do in Singapore. While you can find information on what academic librarians do on the web, people interested in academic librarianship in Singapore, might be wondering if it applies here as well and the answer is as far as I can tell comparing notes with international colleagues, yes, our job scopes and tasks are mostly similar (barring differences as we are not faculty like some but then again not all of the US academic librarians are that either).
Here are past editions.
Jan 20, Monday
My standard routine every morning hasn't changed much. Below is from the 2013 edition.
"As per my normal practice, I spend the first 10-20 minutes each day looking at search queries made in our FAQ system (on LibAnswers platform) , looking at Google Analytics to see which pages are most popular in various systems like our guides, faq, portal etc (particularly important this period so we can react quickly to developing situations) or to see the response to our marketing via email of certain pages .
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. "
By now though, we have more than a year of official use of our discovery system Summon, so I pretty much have a system in place for noticing out of the ordinary searches that indicate a user is having problems with a query and this time I noticed abnormally high number of queries (or rather refinements) for searches related to Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) and Early English books online (EEBO) databases.
And when I checked I realized the problem wasn't that users couldn't find the entry in Summon (occasionally results might be buried and I need to create best bet or recommendation), but that rather the link displayed was broken.
So I email our eresources management team to updated the broken links in 360core (The default URL needed to be changed slightly).
I also spent some time via email arranging & confirming schedules for
- A meetup with a new research staff - he wanted a quick session on EndNote
- Confirming a meeting at the NUS Bukit Timah Campus to meet up with 2 new tutors and to give a lecture/briefing on Summon 2.0 which we just soft launched.
- asking for keywords
- selecting a suitable database , tossing in different keywords & all the fancy search syntax
- sending the resulting query to the user
In short, you need to be able to learn new things quickly, and expect lots of changes. This isn't the job for people who want to do the same things day in day out!