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Library Day in the Life – Days 4 & 5.

And days 6 & 7 too.

Polly, Sara, Jen

Polly, Sara, Jen

And so Library Day in the Life Round #6 comes to an end.

Day 4: I got organized, packed and drove to Plattsburgh, NY to teach a class on Friday. Not a very productive day otherwise. I usually don’t count on getting much else done on a travel day. And this was no different than expected. Ate a lousy dinner of takeout food because I was craving Indian food. Should have listened to my host’s recommendations and gone to the nice restaurant down the road. Occasional lousy takeout is part of the deal with traveling so much though! Great meals with friends are the flip side of that, thank goodness. And making new friends when I travel is undeniably the best part of all the business travel.

Day 5: Taught a full day session on Digital Storytelling & Presentation Tools at the CVES BOCES.  Jen Henry organized the training, which was attended by about a dozen school librarians.  Everyone had such great ideas, I went out of there with my head swimming. And what fun to have a surprise attendee, good friend Sara Kelly Johns. 🙂  (more…)

Library Day in the Life – Day 2 & 3


Day 2?

Well really, just day 3. Forgot to write yesterday and even though I did have a few notes from the day, they’ve disappeared along with any memory of what I was doing. I know that I sat at my desk all day long, with just one quick excursion to the bank and post office. Mostly I was working on a digital storytelling class for this Friday.

So Day 3 instead

Even after all these years of being a consultant, I’m still amazed  that I can spend a whole day, just emailing, organizing, checking calendars and answering questions – and not really having any billable hours. If you decide you want to be a freelance consultant, remember that you’ll probably put in 5 hours of work for every hour you bill for. Set your fees accordingly! You’re your own secretary, assistant, accountant and custodian. And you end up talking to yourself, a lot!

So what did I do today? Here are the scribbles I kept as the day progressed. (more…)

Library Day in the Life – Day 1

having fun in class

The 6th round of “Library Day in the Life” began today, with over 200 participants this time! Wow. Visit the wiki page to find out more and register your participation. It’s not too late to participate!

Learn more about what librarians do all day by following along at:

My Monday:

For those who might not know what I do, I’m an independent consultant. I run a business providing services to libraries, library systems and schools. I focus mostly on technology training, project management and web site development.

  • Cold start to the day:  -12. First thing I did was check email & weather on my  phone before I got out of bed, just in case my day might be rearranged due to the weather and I could loll about a bit longer. Really, I try NOT to sleep with my phone under my pillow normally, but if technology can make my day a bit easier, I use it.
  • No change of plans, so dashed out to the car in my jammies to make sure the car was going to start and get me to where I needed to go. Glamorous, eh.
  • Coffee, checked email, sat in the sunshine in the living room. Now that I have an iPad, it’s great to sit in the morning sun, rip through email, do some reading and get started on projects for the day. Less time spent at my desk.
  • Drove about 35 miles to Saratoga teach a 3 hour class on screencasting for school library staff. We had a lot of fun covering free, web-based screencasting options. School library budgets being what they are, they really don’t have money to buy Camtasia or Captivate.
  • Sat in car eating a 4PM late lunch, reading email on my iPad. Only thing cool about the was the iPad and the weather.  Retreated to Panera for a cup of coffee and some reading.
  • Followed up on questions from the class and updated handout with notes and ideas for the next time I teach that class.
  • Tested out some odds and ends of new tools and such that came my way from twitter during the day.
  • Sorted out some possible web hosting and content mgmt system issues for a client meeting tomorrow.
  • Went through the mail – a bonanza day – a contract and a forgotten check! Woo hoo.
  • Accounting. Blech.
  • Updating my calendar and sorting out possible teaching dates for the contract that came in the mail.
  • Figuring out what I didn’t get done and how I’ll catch up tomorrow.

What’s the Alternative? Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros

What’s the Alternative: Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros is a brand new title by Rachel Singer Gordon. And what a valuable addition to the library literature.

Rachel covers a wide range of alternative settings where your library and information skills could be put to work. Some of the settings covered include: professional associations, starting your own business, working for vendors, publishing, writing, teaching, knowledge management, technology, and many many more. She covers the pros and cons of various career choices, ideas for how to make a change and lots of incredibly practical advice on creating career options for yourself.

And to get the ‘up close and personal’ view, there are many sidebars and quotes from people who are working in alternative careers. (full disclosure: I’m a ‘sidebar’!)

So if you’ve ever wondered what else you could do with your skills, check out this title.

(2008. Information Today, Inc.)

My career is both Hot and Overrated!

Being a librarian is one of the best careers, according to US News & World Report. I agree. At the same time being a small business owner is one of the most overrated careers. I think they’re on target with that too.

But combine the two and it’s all good! There are lots of opportunities for librarians to provide consulting and training services to other librarians, schools, non-profits and the business world. If there’s something you particularly love to do (and you’re good at it!) (more…)