Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Time and space - LMP, enquiries, documentation, PDRs and other projects

We're already into the 3rd week of semester (4th week back in the new year) which means that tasks and activities are already being packed into the available time and space.
We're now into the second phase of our Library Management Platform project which is implementation.  The procurement framework was created successfully and we now have a supplier. The kick-off meeting for the project board was Thursday and we are now looking at the project timeline to identify key dates and training opportunities.  It is the typical mixture of thinking that this is really exciting / interesting and on the other hand wondering how we are ever going to get everything done before August.
Students have been getting settled in again and usage of the library is steadily increasing.  This time of year is quite good for Universities like ours that have exams at end of December as you have a relatively calm period in January.  The footfall into the library has been steady and increasing and there is a different feel to the beginning of semester than in September.  Less frenetic and more focused.  A little busier than last year on individual days with highs of 1850+ daily footfall but less busy for the month as a whole.  24/7 opening is now run of the mill for semester time and has gone without any hitches so far.
Enquiries have been within the usual categories with the most usual being password changes, WiFi/eduroam, catalogue searches, room bookings, inter-library loans, software, printers and email.
We've been working on our help guides and documentation to simplify the formats of any printed materials and to make sure the content matches the information in online guides and the website.
This is to make it easier for students to get help from anyone at the Service Desk and improve consistency.
Performance Reviews have started and are being greeted with a mixture of enthusiasm and inevitability but are important and are an opportunity to put forward views and ideas.  They usually go quite well actually and I've started planning visits and training based on suggestions.
Other projects that are starting up include the stock reconfiguration project and the customer services team are involved in the weeding and sorting of items.  We're reviewing the changes we made to the 3hr loan collection during the summer when we rationalised the collection and made it accessible by self-service.  We need to look at how effective this has been and whether it has improved the service which I think it has.
We have had a chance to look at some of the study spaces and tables and even got an extra study booth which is popular.  There is more demand for group space at the moment which is a change from December when it is individual, quiet space that is at a premium.
Nearly the end of January and after some very rainy weather I'm hoping for an improved outlook.  It brightened up for about 15 minutes today which is just enough time for a quick walk round the library and garden.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

New Year - back to work

First day back at work in the new year 2016 - not quite first day of semester as that doesn't officially start until next Monday.  A new year resolution to write a blog post here everyday even if it is very brief otherwise it is difficult and time consuming to remember what has been happening.
It's good to have a few days before the students come back in order to regroup and try and plan for the next few weeks.  The library is open 9-5 this week and then next week 24/7 all the way through until the end of May.
Today, in no particular order, I sorted out the staffing for the IT Helpdesk as we had one person off sick and checked on the working hours of the Information Assistants for this week.  They work evenings and weekends sometimes but have to fit in with when the library is open this week.  One of our IT specialists is going to be helping out with User Services/Desktop Support for a few weeks so we need some temporary cover and have some people coming in tomorrow for an informal interview.  I put together some questions to ask them and a skills/scenario test. Then checked the rota for other Service Desk staff in the library and delegated some tasks that needed doing which were mainly collating some stats from last semester and summarising usage of the space during exam time.
We are getting a new study booth tomorrow so, with a couple of others, I moved some study tables around to make space and we moved some of the catalogue/OPAC PCs to a more accessible spot.
More staffing issues which I emailed HR about and confirmed arrangements for next week when evening and weekend staff start back again.
Then the usual emails and some planning of workflows and events for the next few weeks - hopefully will be able to get more people interested in doing things and going places.  Caught up with team members about what they've been doing and progress on tasks including the monitoring of the short loan collection over the last semester since we changed it in September to make it open access and self service.
All in all a relatively straightforward day and good to finish on time at 5pm.  Tomorrow's another day.