Director Day in the Life, 1/27/2011

Last night, my day today looked like this:

6:00-8:30: Up, to the gym for an hour and a half, then home to get ready for work.
9:30-10:30: Meeting with AVP for Computing. We co-chair the Teaching and Learning with Technology committee, and also collaborate on many projects, so have a biweekly standing meeting.
10:30-12: GSD
12-1: Lunch!
1-1:30: GSD
1:30-2: Rescheduled half-hour meeting about offices and how to make them appear out of thin air.
2-3: GSD
3-5: Reference shift
5-6:30ish: GSD
6:30ish: Go home.

What really happened:
I stayed up until well after 1 reading my book.  Which I finished.  Because, c’mon, it was clear that we were headed for the Last Big Act, and how am I supposed to put it down? So as the clock ticked toward 2, I reset my alarm for 7:30, and came in at 9.

At 10:30 when Andy left my office, I had two more meetings that Angie had put on my calendar, so I met with my student hiring supervisor and we talked about performance plans for his full-time staff, the challenges we’re facing with finding Work Study eligible student workers, and about the balancing act of “Do I fire the really not very good student staffer, knowing how hard it will be to find a replacement?”. Then I met with a librarian who wanted to give me a heads-up about two decisions that might upset the faculty members involved, but which are clearly our best decision if we place service as our priority.

And then I read email.  For a while. Take a day off, will you? HA.  So after that was done, I went to lunch a bit early, and started reading the second book in the trilogy while I ate pizza and tomato-mozzarella salad at the cafe, then back to my office for more email — writing, this time.  I have become the voice for a campus project which only involves the libraries because it involves me as an administrator, but I’m hopeful that my lack of a horse in the race will mean that my messages can be read with fewer assumed political entanglements.  We’ll see.

My 1:30 half-hour meeting turned into a 50 minute meeting followed by a 20 minute discussion.  So much for GSD, but the conversations in the meeting were important, and the conversation after was equally so.  At 2:40 I went back to my office, answered a few emails that had come in, and then took my laptop and an abridged to-do list, cunningly written on a ribbon of mini post-it-notes (doesn’t she have an iPad?) out to the reference desk for my weekly shift.  I begged a few minutes from Nancy to go get a latte (I opted for the “Bon Hiver Skinny Love Latte”, a skim latte with a sugar-free vanilla shot, and now I want to listen to Skinny Love), and as I started to walk back to the ref desk got intercepted by Keith and Andy, our campus construction liaison.  Keith covered the desk for me for a few minutes so I could talk to Andy, because one never turns down a chance to get straight facts from the physical plant staff.  Andy’s a great advocate for us, and he had good news for me.  Hooray!

As per the usual, I did not make it through all my to-dos at the Ref Desk, between helping users and talking to staff as they walked by. On the student side, it was mostly tech support (“How do I map the printer to my laptop?”) or call number assistance.  On the staff side, Dan and I mentally redesigned the lobby (to Holly’s dismay), Nancy and I talked about the circ policy, Keith and Dan and I watched our digital signs roll by (like watching paint dry) to check the timing of some new slides.  Stuff.  I did get the agenda sent for our admin meeting on Tuesday, and sent a message requesting help from the librarians in rewriting our reserves policy, and confirmed that yet again none of the dates I chose for a conference call with the other SUNY library directors are going to work.  That was approximately 25% of my list.  But that’s okay; when you’re at the desk, the job is the desk, not the other tasks.

And now, back to my office.  It’s 5:09 pm, and I will sit here for another hour or so, trying to knock off a few more to-do items, then I will go home, change into gym clothes, and go spend an hour on the elliptical, do 20 minutes of weights.  Then home, eat something, read, and sleep.  And do it again tomorrow.

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