Tag Archives: library day in the life

Library Day in the Life Project

Hey – I’m Christine, I’m the Coordinator of Customer Experience for Evanced Solutions.

Yup, I’m a librarian. Yup, I actually help libraries for a living.

What’s my typical day in the life like? Well…

This morning I have a marketing team meeting. We’re getting ready for Annual
Conference (Vendors have to begin getting ready more than six months ahead. In the case of PLA – we start almost a year out…)

I then have to do a training webinar.  (You think webinars are rough – try being  on my side!  It’s hard to fit in all the best information plus attempt to be interesting.  You can only make CSS and Advanced Settings so interesting.  Considering incorporating pyrotechnics somehow…)

I am frantically preparing for summer reading.  Our company makes a Summer Reader software that helps public libraries manage summer reading logs, prizes and so on.  However, that means I start working like I’m on fire in late December.  I need to have just about everything in place by early February so libraries can move forward with their programs.  That means organizing training, preparing graphics, sending out notices about upgrades, etc.

I have to edit the website and add some new slideshows of how libraries use our products.

I’m going to be in an ALA webinar later about e-books.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For the most part, I like working for a vendor.  It’s not a bad gig.  I do miss working at the reference desk and having the satisfaction of looking at my question count every day and seeing how many questions I’ve answered.  I miss the thrill of the hunt on tough reference questions, or finding just the right book for that picky reader who wants a read-a-like for a book they just finished featuring a fictional Amish mouse who comes of age in rural Pennsylvania while falling in love with a squirrel.  (Okay, I made that up, but sometimes reader advisory feels that difficult!!!!)  I also really miss collection development – I always felt like it was putting together a puzzle – where the pieces kept changing every ten years or less based on content.

I talk to hundreds of libraries each year for my job and that’s awesome.  It’s so interesting to see and hear what libraries are up to.  I love to see the creativity in libraries and how smart my fellow professionals are. 

I’m deeply disturbed by the negativity in our profession and the fear of failure.  In causes us to not try things or hesitate on embracing things that could help us find our niche in an increasingly changing information economy.  Yeah, we don’t want to put a ton of money into something and then have it fail.  I understand that.  But we miss out on trying a lot of no-cost or low-cost changes in our libraries because we’re worried what our patrons will think or that the staff will freak out.  Heck, we have to try! 

I don’t like it when I introduce myself to other librarians, tell them what I do, and immediately get treated like I’ve said I kick puppies for a living.  Most people just look at me and then don’t talk to me anymore or ask “why are vendor prices so high?”  (I’ll address vendors, pricing, and why we’re not all the same in another post this week).  Just like librarians don’t like to be categorized as “oh, you must love to read and be a quiet person”, vendors don’t like to be categorized either. 

So, in conclusion:  I’m a librarian.  I’m a vendor.  I love what I do.  I’m freaking out about summer reading.  The views here are mine and are not a reflection of my employer. 

And go to http://librarydayinthelife.pbworks.com and sign up you cute people you!

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Librarian Day In The Life: Vendor Edition

I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life project.  You can learn more about it at librarydayinthelife.pbwiki.com.  Most folks are participating by tweeting their daily activities using the #libday5 hashtag or blogging about them.

I’m a librarian that works for a vendor.  I’d like to clear up two of the most common questions: Yes, I have an MLIS.  No, I’m not a sales person. 

I work for Evanced Solutions in Indianapolis.  The short description is that we make library management software and also have a new product that is an automated materials vending machine.

My title is “Coordinator of Customer Experience”.  Or as my boss says – “Make sure our customers are happy and be the voice of our customers here at the office…”

While there are days I really miss being on desk, I really love what I do at Evanced.  I have an amazing 20,000 foot view of what’s happening in the profession.  I interact with libraries across the US and around the world on a daily basis and get to see how they are similar and different and often watch innovation unfold.  Instead of helping patrons directly, I now get to help librarians help patrons, and I think I like that even more.

Here’s some of the things I’ve done over the last few days (creeping into late last week…)
– met with an elementary school media center specialist to discuss a school wide reading program
– coordinated software training for libraries in Australia
– wrote blog post about summer reading programs in Texas
– spoke to several customers in Chicago, mostly at public libraries
– began the research for a customer experience survey
– helped a library enable a software feature to better manage their room reservations system
– began LITA presentation preparation (October is the conference!)
– pondered my presentation topic for a digital libraries conference in Germany in September 2011 (I just pondered, didn’t get too far…)

Addition: July 30 – I also became majorly bummed out when I spoke to a customer at a library cooperative that was shutting down.  That’s just brutal.  Talk about a pang of fear and sadness.