Again!

School starts (again!) on Monday.  This semester, I’m taking two classes; one on Information Secrecy, and one on Financial Management for Libraries.  They both look like they’ll require quite a bit of work with reading and writing, but I’ll manage – I always do, don’t I?

Looking at the Greensheets for the classes shows the following assignments:

Financial Management –

  1. Budget Reduction (reduce a sample budget by 5% and by 10%, with justifications in a memo for the city council) 10% of grade
  2. Budget Presentation (present a budget to lobby for new/additional funding for a new idea) 10% of grade
  3. Cash Handling Policy (write a policy covering all aspects of handling money in all forms) 10% of grade
  4. Grant Evaluation (review and evaluate grants, then make recommendations for funding) 10% of grade
  5. Grant Project (write a proposal in three parts for a competitive grant through IMLS) 30% of grade
  6. Class participation 30% of grade

Information Secrecy –

  1. Association/Organization Review (write a review of an organization that deals with the topic)
  2. Reaction Paper (write your reaction to a blog/listserv posting on information secrecy)
  3. Article Critique #1
  4. Article Critique #2
  5. Final paper
  6. Participation

Yup…  so that’s what I’ll be doing this semester.  Ugh, I need a nap.

Operational Plan – The End!

Yay!  I finally finished the assignment that’s driven me crazy over the past weekend.  It had to be 8 pages minimum, not counting the cover page and references… mine ended up being 10 pages, so not too bad.

Creating this plan was a lot of work, but it was good work.  Too often teachers assign busy work to fulfill a writing requirement or because they don’t know what else to do with us.  I really feel like this particular assignment will be useful in my library career.  It’s given me practice at interpreting a Strategic Plan to see where my department fits in.  I really had to think critically about what I would like to accomplish in a fiscal year as opposed to what is reasonable for a medium-sized library.  My experience working in a library of Kichalda’s size helped me understand what is really do-able. I doubt it would have been as easy if I didn’t have the real-life experience to supplement the theoretical stuff I’m learning in school.

Next assignments:

  • Evaluation of Information Retrieval Interfaces – 6 pages, single spaced
  • Evaluation of the Group for the Strategic Plan – 1-2 pages, double spaced
  • Analytical Research Paper – 15-20 pages, double spaced

Operational Plan – II

I’ve settled down a bit with this particular assignment.  I decided that before this plan was created, the Kichalda Library was beginning to take advantage of their bilingual staff members’ abilities to create signs and explain library policies, but that they simply hadn’t gone far enough with it.  That made it a bit easier to get started.  Now all I have to deal with is creating the individual measures for the plan, assigning responsibility, and figuring out a budget and timeline.  Sounds like “real” work to me.

I wonder how much the decrease in intimidation has to do with the looming deadline for this project.  Isn’t it funny how a sense of calm can come over you at the most stressful moments?  It works that way for me sometimes; and then everything becomes clear.

So I created the measures to go along with the first goal from the Strategic Plan: create/receive supplementary funding.  Each group member must tackle the goals from a unique perspective, and mine happens to be that of a Circulation Supervisor.  The Kichalda Library doesn’t have a particular person designated to manage donations of time, money, or materials, so I really had to think about what a circulation staff person could do with this goal.  The Kichalda Library also doesn’t have a Friends organization to oversee these topics.  I had to make sure that the measures wouldn’t detract from (or even take over) their daily duties, and that the work would also be meaningful.  In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than being assigned “busy work” because the supervisor doesn’t know what else to do.

Several of the ideas I came up with were things that general circulation personnel are not trained to handle, and really go beyond the scope of their current job duties.  I mean, exactly how would circulation staff create partnerships with community leaders, businesses, and secure grants?  It’s just not feasible for most of them.  But circulation staff can handle things that relate to “passive fundraising.”  They can collect small monetary donations, they can sell library-related items, and they can be knowledgeable about the ways a patron can donate to the library.  Even these small measures can help with raising the money necessary to achieve a library’s goals.

Well, I should really get back to work.  I have to tackle the next goal: create a welcoming atmosphere.

Operational Plan

I’m sitting here at my favorite coffee shop, Eon Coffee, and enjoying the beautiful weather, good food and awesome coffee, all while trying to do my homework.  For this particular assignment I must create an operational plan for one department based upon the 41-page strategic plan my group wrote for the fictional Kichalda Library.  It’s a bit more difficult than I thought.

I’m having some problems because the library is fictional.  It sounds silly to say this, but with a “real” library I would be able to tell what measures are already in place, and I could see how they might be changed to achieve the critical success factors.  With a fictional library… well, I can make up anything I want and it’ll be right.  It’s a bit daunting.

So, I need to look at how the Kichalda Library’s circulation services department can help with:

  • finding/receiving supplementary funding
  • creating a welcoming atmosphere
  • mentoring and empowering youth through technology
  • expanding volunteerism/awareness
  • increase communication between patrons and staff
  • improve customer service and staff morale

Sounds like a lot of work to me, but I know it’ll definitely be useful for my library career.  One thing’s for sure, very little of this program so far is theoretical, and I appreciate it.

School: midsemester

Well, it’s been a week since Spring Break and school is still going full-swing.  So far it’s a lot like my undergrad work, except completely online and with a lot more papers to write.  Have you ever done group work online?  It’s an experience to say the least… Continue reading

Tired

Well, I finished the 8 page (minimum) paper for my Library Management class.  It’s not as good as the previous paper, but I think it’ll be OK.  Part of the problem is that it’s very difficult to figure out what the professor wants with these papers.  The Greensheet/syllabus says one thing, the assignment says something else, and the grading rubric says yet another thing.  It’s like the professor started out with one idea and then it morphed into something else, but he never changed the previous paperwork to show it.  That would have to be my biggest complaint so far.  Oh well, what can you do at this stage in the game, right?

So, after I finished that monster paper… which ended up being 13 pages long, but it had a lot of graphs and diagrams… I couldn’t force myself to focus on anything else school-wise.  So, I did some housework.  I got the laundry done, cooked dinner for mom and then came home.  I felt bad ignoring school completely after that, so I listened to an information retrieval lecture and ironed.  Then I did more housework.

So, if you ever wonder what I do on my days off… that’s it.  School and housework.  Exciting, huh?

Either way, I uploaded some more pictures to my flickr account so check them out if you’re so inclined – there’s a link in my side bar.  You can see Stephen Colbert there… he used to live in my bathroom, but now he lives in Hawaii.

Thing #17: Zoho

 The document I created with Zoho and published to this blog is below.  It’s basically an outline of what I have to write for a paper that’s due on Monday.  I’ll have to scramble to finish it, because my day has been taken up with waiting for the window guy to show up at my apartment.  So far, it’s close to 3PM, and he’s nowhere to be seen.  Either way, I have to pick a public library at which I won’t be recognized, so I can’t pick a library that I work at.  *sigh*  Lots to do.

Zoho seemed pretty simple and straightforward.  It would really work well for those that don’t own regular document creation software.  It would also make online group work very easy for the same reasons a wiki is helpful.  I haven’t played with any of the other options though.  I’ll have to do that later.

——————————————————————— 

Due 3/3/08

Evaluation of Library Management

Length: at least 8 pages

Format: double spaced, APA style

This assignment is designed develop your skills of observation and to practice doing an environmental scan.  The ability to objectively observe, analyze, and report the current environmental findings about a specific site is essential to creating a strategic plan.

Public Library name:

Address:
Community Demographics:

 

Website/discussion:

 

External environmental variables that affect management (ID 5-10):

  • Explain how each affects management of collections and services
  • Compare/contrast community demographics with collections and services
  • Include visuals (graphs, tables, charts, pictures)
  • What are the implications of these variables when compared with strategic plan?
  • Neighborhood
  • Location

Internal environmental variables:

  • People (customers) reaction and feelings as they enter
  • Signage clear and consistent?  Easy to find?
  • Navigation within the building
  • Cluttered or clean/sparse?
  • Staff easy to find and ID?
  • How does the library change on different days/times?
  • How does the internal environment fit in/reflect the external?
  • How doesn’t the internal environment fit in/reflect the external?
  • What is the organizational structure?
  • What were the expectations based on external?
  • What surprises you when you compare the internal and external?
  • What are the implications when you compare them to the strategic plan?

Note any indications of organizational culture of the library

 

Constituents:

  • Observations
  • How is the library answering demographic trends you IDed in your research?
  • What does the library do to address those constituents?
  • Which constituents are underserved?
  • What are the implications for a strategic plan?

Summary:

  • Summarize your main points
  • Briefly restate your findings and the best supporting evidence
  • Review the implications of your research on a strategic plan
  • Add any personal or editorial comments

Use the required readings and any additional sources to support your position. 

Use APA style format for your citations.  List your references at the end of your essay, again using APA style format. 

Post your Essay to the assignment manager in Blackboard.

This assignment is worth 10% of your total grade.  In points it is 40 of a total of 400 points

Content is worth 90% of the grade.

The Norm…

Since I started school I’ve noticed my house has become a bit dirtier than normal.  The dishes are piling up in the sink (no dishwasher so I have to do them by hand), the vacuuming isn’t being done (by the time I think of it it’s late and the neighbors will be upset if I make too much noise), and the tables are becoming “hotspots” of clutter again.  All this in just two weeks of school.  *sigh*  So, starting tomorrow I’ll use my timer again, and work on the house for 15 minutes at a time, just like FlyLady says.  I’ll use my timer for reading assignments too, so that I don’t read until I’m cross-eyed.  If I don’t, my house will make me cranky – and that’s not good for anyone around me.

On another note, I finally got the last book I needed for school.  I started reading it, and so far it seems as though the teacher is just lecturing from the book.  I’ll read the next chapter or two, and if I feel like the teacher is just saying the same stuff that I’d find in the book, I’ll just stop reading it.  I need to budget my time too wisely to sit there and read what someone just got done telling me.

I haven’t been keeping up with the Learning 2.0 stuff.  Too busy these last couple of weeks.  So I’ll work on that 15 minutes at a time too.

Well, that’s all that’s going on in my life right now.  Nothing super exciting, just the norm…

Keeping up

Good Lord the discussion boards for SLIS are insane!  I thought I might have trouble keeping up with the reading, but right now it’s the boards that are giving me problems.  There are so many postings to read, and and most of the people give links to articles, blogs, YouTube videos, etc that it’s overwhelming!  And you can tell that each person is thinking and reasoning before they post, running it through a grammar filter…  sheesh.  It’s all so serious too! 

I’ll just do what I have to do to learn the subjects and get a decent grade.  I can only read these postings if I have time, otherwise I’ll go crazy.

SecondLife

I decided that I should play with SecondLife since I’ll probably have to use it sometime in my college career.  I downloaded the program, made my avatar, and decided to make her look like me.  My hunny looked at the avatar and said “Huh… you lost weight in SecondLife.”  Should I have made myself into a furry animal instead?

The controls are a little strange, but I’m not sure how much of that is because I’m doing all this on my laptop, and how much of it is because of the way the program’s designed.  For instance, sometimes I want to see something other than my avatar’s backside… but I can’t figure out how to toggle the camera view yet.  I did figure out how to add myself to the SJSU SLIS group though.  Now it says “Spartan” above my name.

Either way, I’ll explore a bit more and play with it a bit more before I make any major decisions about it.  I did learn that I can’t have any other windows open or my lap top will crash.  I think it has something to do with the graphics memory or something. 

In other news… I have a partner for my Information Retrieval class.  We paired up based on a mutual love of zombie movies, books by Laurell K. Hamilton, and quilting.  My partner lives in Sacramento, though, so it might be a little difficult for us to get together in person if we ever needed to.

I know I should be counting my blessings about this, but school isn’t going as fast as I need it to go.  It’s the first week, and I know things will pick up considerably.  My only problem with this week’s pace is a matter of scheduling.  I’d like to get a better feel for how fast I need to go in these classes, and how much work I’ll need to do so that I can figure out how to budget my time.  Also, each teacher has modified BlackBoard to suit their needs, so the buttons are all in different places, and sometimes have different names.  It’s not a big deal, but it can be confusing.  I also wonder if any of the teachers will be posting lectures for us to listen to, if so how often and how long will they be?  Or will they just post their thoughts about the topics covered in the chapters?  Will they get involved in the Bulletin Board discussions, or just monitor them?  It’s definitely difficult to get a feel for the class and the teacher if it’s all online.  I thought I’d be very well prepared because the PACE program had some online classes, but to have ALL of them be in the distance ed format is very different.  *sigh*  I know I’ll get the hang of it, and I know this is just me worrying for nothing… but still, I worry.

Alright it’s way past my bedtime, so I should head to bed.  I have to be up sometime tomorrow to take care of the laundry and head to Chabot for a ballroom dancing class my hunny wants to take with me. 

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