Librarian Skills: Hard Lesson Learned

Today’s Librarian Skill (possibly even transcending to a Life Skill):

Back Up Your Data.

I really don’t think I have to tell you why I’m sharing this little tidbit of advice.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be attempting to recreate 3 years worth of files.  And eating my weight in chocolate.

Advertisements

Librarian Skills: Vacation Preparation

Vacation is upon us!  Well, at least it is for me.  I had scheduled some time off in December early on in the year.  A few weeks ago, after consulting with our library’s scheduling goddess (really, I have no idea how she does it), we realized I had a few more vacation days that needed to be used.  Thus, I will be off work from December 13-December 26 (other than a training I’m going to).  Wow.

But before vacation starts, I need to take care of a few things here at work.  I’m lucky to have an awesome staff who keep the Youth Services department running smoothly at all times, so that’s never a worry (no pressure girls!).  I do try to leave them a list of special projects to work on, as well as a list of projects for our volunteers.  We’re heading into our “slow season,” so it’s a good time to clean house and get some things back in order.  The only thing out of the ordinary is that my staff needs to view a webinar about some changes coming to our circulation program.  My director is going to make sure all of them see the webinar before the changes take place.

Because my vacation falls in the middle of the month, however, there are some business things that need to be taken care of.  What needs to be done before I can have some fun?

-Schedule for January

-Monthly Board Report (early meeting due to the holidays)

-Final book orders for the year

-Final craft supply order for the year

-Winter Reading Program- Our WRP begins in January but we’re sending everything out to our branches next week.  Many of our staff members have vacation time coming up and we want everyone to have a chance to look over the program information before it starts.

I also need to do little things, like set up my auto-respond email message and voice mail (if I can figure out my phone), and maybe clear off my desk a bit.  I doubt the last one will happen.

What do you do to prepare for vacation?

 

Librarian Skills: Schedule Organization

My name is Alyssa and I am an Organized Mess.

Desk

This is my desk.

Right Desk

This is my bookshelf.

Left Desk

This is to the left of my desk (hi Princess Labelmaker!).

Behind Desk

This is behind my desk.

 

Yes, this looks like a pigsty (my home is far worse) and I should probably be ashamed to share it with the world.

But you’d better believe I know where EVERYTHING is in my office.  Could I send someone to find something in my office?  Absolutely not, but I could find anything in less than 60 seconds.

Except for the stapler remover.  I can never find my stapler remover.

I may not be good at organizing a space, but I would like to say that I’m pretty good when it comes to organizing a schedule.  Since I’m the head of a department, I have to be able to sort out a monthly schedule for my self and my staff.  How do I do it?

 

Organizational Tool #1: The Yearly Calendar

Every year, I create a calendar in Microsoft Publisher for programming.  This includes weekly programs, special program, and class visits.  I go through and try to fill in all of the weekly programs for the year; I add the other programs as the year goes on.  There are some programs, I know immediately who is doing what and fill in their name (i.e. weekly storytime).  For other programs, I fill in who is doing what on a monthly basis (i.e. class visits).

On the whole, this is a calendar for my eyes and my purposes only.  Every month, I will print out the monthly calendar for each staff member and one copy for our Circulation Manager, who creates the master work schedule.

 

Organizational Tool #2: The Weekly Planner

We keep a weekly planner  like this one on our circulation desk at all times.  It lists every program we have during the week, as well as who is doing the program.  Again, I fill out a big chuck of it at the beginning of the year and then add to it as the year goes on.  It has also been helpful to write down our local school schedule in this planner, so we know when the kids are on  break.

I’ll also make a note of when I have a meeting.  We don’t write down any vacations or personal appointments on this calendar because it is in public view.

 

Organizational Tools #3, #4, and #5- Personal Planner, Desk Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook Calendar

Ok, so this all boils down to how I keep myself organized.  And yes, it requires three calendars.  All three calendars contain the following information:

-My programs and meetings

-Personal appointments

-Appointments for my son

Personal PlannerThis planner is always in my work bag (which is worthy of it’s own separate post).  It’s what I have on my person 95% of the time, making it easy to add info to.  It’s also where I keep track of birthdays and when payday is. 🙂 (Sidenote: I’ve tried 503 different smartphone planner/organizing apps and have HATED all of them.  Paper planners 4 life!)

Desk Calendar- In addition to making a large and fancy coaster, this calendar gives me a quick glance of what’s going on during the month.  Very helpful during phone calls when I’m trying to schedule quick meetings or class visits.

Microsoft Outlook Calendar– This calendar is attached to my work email.   I keep a lot of future dates scheduled here before placing them on any other calendar.  It also sends me reminder messages of when things are coming up.

Why three calendars with essentially the same information in each one?  My brain requires repetition in order to remember something, particularly dates.  By having to record the same information in several different places, it becomes easier for me to remember the date without having to look at the calendar.

 

Maybe one day I’ll apply the same effort to cleaning my office that I do to organizing my schedule….

 

How do you organize your schedule?