Friday, September 28, 2007

So, I am doing outreach now

I have worked my first week at UT-Tyler (ok, I made it to Friday. The week is not quite over until I leave today, but you get the idea). I wrote a bit about making the transition here. There is still a lot to learn, but I am settling in well. My official title is Reference/Outreach Librarian. I work here. Here is a little of what I have been doing and learning this week:

  • Outreach. When it comes to promoting the library, I am the person.
    • This includes creating and implementing special programs. For example, we are doing a "read out" even next week of banned and challenged works. Yes, I know Banned Books Week was this week, but we are tying it to Homecoming, plus they wanted to wait a bit until the new guy got here so he could "emcee it." So, I will be doing that. Then there are a lot of other events, some already in place, others that I will be coming up with.
    • Editing the library's newsletter. In addition, I am going to work on implementing a library blog at some point. I have been reading some items on the Blog Herald about converting a newsletter to a blog. While I don't envision such a conversion, that material has given me some things to think about.
    • Display cases. Yep, I am in charge of those as well. For the most part, I will be putting stuff in them. I just finished putting one up for Hispanic Heritage Month as the case just opened up after taking down the display for Constitution Day.
    • I will be attending campus events. Overall, I get to be a very visible face on campus.
  • Reference. I will working the reference desk. I will also be the head of reference. This includes updating some of the policies and procedures, which I hope to do with the help of my colleagues. Hey, we are a team of five librarians and three library assistants for reference. I may get final say (ok, semifinal since I serve at the director's pleasure), but this is more like a co-op. I am learning the various local procedures now, including use of the PHAROS printing system.
  • Liaison work. I will have a liaison area, and duties for that will include teaching higher level classes for them as well as other ways to provide services for the area. My area is likely to be education, but it is still in flux since we are reworking the liaison areas a bit. We'll see. This will be one of the ways in which I will still work in instruction.
  • Web work. I will gradually move into the webmaster role, but not quite yet. Fortunately, I will have people to help me out with it.
And then, there are the little details. For example, I was used to Outlook for my work e-mail. They use IBM LotusNotes here. Some things there are pretty obvious; others I am still figuring out. I am resetting my alerts for journals, and so on. It's the little things.

Overall, this is a new experience for me. While I did some outreach work at UHD, I did not get to do as much. Here that is my primary role. I will still do instruction, which is something I would not give up; had I been told I would never teach a class, I would have chosen to work someplace else. Teaching is a big part of what I do. I will still be a reference librarian as well. Right now, I am at that stage where I am still exploring my boundaries as I learn my duties and see where the opportunities are at.

Finally, I am getting back to blogging. I am hoping to get back to my regular habits in that regard now. As for the student resource blog I made when I was back at UHD, I am trying to decide what to do with it. For now, I will leave it up for at least the semester. After that, I will either take it in a slightly different direction or take it down.

Well, that is it for now. Everyone out there have a nice weekend.

Best, and keep on blogging.

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