So, what have you been up to?


I've now been back in the public library for just shy of 9 months. I've been very engaged in my job and I realize that some people may be wondering what I'm up to nowadays.

Completed projects:

  • Updated the 3D print policies to prohibit the use of 3D printer to print parts for firearms and other general weapons
  • Created a tiered 3D Print service to free our patrons to design and print their own creations, not just what is in our pre-approved catalog
  • Re-make and re-market an old program series to make it new, fresh, and more flexible. This has met with excellent success, increasing attendance by 70%, and maintaining my goals of collaborating with one community partner, one city department, and highlighting one piece of circulating Makerspace equipment.
  • Took a MOOC! Formal education can be costly and time-consuming and I've discovered the joys of MOOCs. Granted, you have to be careful about who is curating it and who is teaching it, but that's pretty straightforward. I took a MOOC from professors from the University of Southampton called "Jane Austen: Myth, Reality and Global Celebrity." I learned fascinating things and it was actually fairly challenging. (I won't lie that the lack of Oxford comma in the title bothered me!)

Current Projects:

  • 3D Print Accessibility Catalog - technology is meant to help us, even though it often hinders us. I am working on a accessibility tool catalog in an effort to take a tool we have and make it more meaningful to our community. This catalog will include items like light switch extenders, bottle open assisters, and even wheelchair parts.
  • Altering, updating, and marketing circulating Makerspace equipment. We currently have microscopes, GoPros, a camera, and a few other pieces of equipment. I am in process of expanding this category to include a Cricut Cutter, a sewing machine, a light emission monitor, and a few other pieces of requested equipment. This will, most likely, result in a Library of Things eventually rather than being limited to Makerspace equipment.
  • Increasing Makerspace program attendance and demand. Our Makerspace is underutilized and too small for usage beyond crafts. If we want a larger space, we must prove that the desire is there. First, I chose a theme for the year, which is fiber arts and power tools. Second, I re-vamped the current program series (which became it's own project). Third, I have required registration due to the nature of the programs. I will then use this information, as well as survey information, to present to administration and seek a larger space. My Director is supportive of this project.
  • Research - I have a literature research paper in the works. The abstract has been accepted and it is roughly 70% finished. All of the (planned) research has been complete and the paper is fully outlined with a hefty portion of it fleshed out. I need to move through the paper and add more examples and finish the conclusion and it will be ready for submission.
  • Refining the ordering process for Adult Fiction. This is a large, almost overwhelming collection for a single person with many other job duties, so it was absolutely necessary for me to find a way to do this efficiently. So far, my plan is working and I'm spending less time on ordering and evaluation each week all while circulation has remained steady and the New Fiction book circulation has increased.
  • Girls Who Code Revamp - This program is part of a nationwide organization whose goal is to increase the percentage of women in IT and Computer Science. I knew nothing about this program when it fell on my lap last summer and I am in process of re-designing the program from it's current state, which is limping along.

Future Projects:

  • Build-a-Better-Book. I attended a workshop for the Build a Better Book program. This organization teaches skills and processes to bring the written page to life for those who have visual impairments. I know when this program will begin and end, but will soon be working on the structure for a client, applications, age suggestions, and actual program structure. This will be a multi-week project with the same participants to build tactile and audio-featured books for the blind or visually impaired.
  • Grant and budget proposals for Makerspace expansion and equipment.

Beyond my specific projects, I've also learned a lot about the various equipment and software that we currently own, I've also had to brush up hard-core on my cataloging as I'm now responsible for cataloging most of our fiction collection. This will eventually be shifting to a part time person to help focus my job, but for now, I'm assisting the Cataloging Librarian. I've also been learning a lot about IT functions here and there (the IT Department has been happy to teach me little things that don't encroach too much into the "she's-doing-it-so-she-should-be-paid-more" territory!

Things were very stressful in the beginning of this position, but as time has gone one, we've figured out how to create a more narrowed job list from the mile-wide-inch-deep job description that I came into.

I've submitted to present at the state conference and am part of the Session Selection Committee for CALCON 2019. It's a lot of irons in the fire, but delegation has become a pretty vital part of life. We are now fully staffed for the first time in quite a while and our Adult Library Associate often helps me with a lot of week-to-week Makerspace things (like the kid's make-and-take craft, which I'm horrible at!). She also helps me pull equipment and prep for programs, so that's been very helpful.

That's current work life!