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It’s Been Quite A Week

Last Tuesday we hosted one of the periodic meetings of the reference and instruction librarians that work at the five Oberlin Group libraries in Minnesota. At least once a year we have a “Round Robin” session where we basically sit down, eat lunch, and then talk all afternoon about what each of our libraries are doing. We’ll set a theme for the day, but the themes are broad and nobody really cares if the conversation runs off on tangents. I love these days. This time the theme was about “Looking Forward” and included discussions of everything from mobile technologies to budgets. We also learned that we had about a week to decide if we wanted to purchase LibGuides.

That same day, the steering committee for that group of librarians met to begin planning what I’m now thinking of as the Coolest Project Ever: a day-long mini-Immersion just for us. We’ll meet, we’ll learn, we’ll teach each other pieces of the best instruction we know how to do, and we’ll remember again how much we can learn from each other. I can’t wait.

Wednesday was full, and neatly bookended by dentist and doctor appointments.

Thursday was a more-than-12-hour day that started with an un-fun budget meeting and finished with evening reference.

Friday I taught two classes and had two meetings before lunch, picked up Laura Crossett at the airport, made her hang out for a while so I could get a complicated research guide published, and then began the Weekend Of Fun. I have a very small handful of “best friends,” and two of them spent the weekend visiting me. Martha Hardy came down from the cities and joined me and Laura in what she called The Library Camp of Iris’ Living Room. Wonderful.

Monday morning, it was back to the airport and a fond farewell to Laura, followed by probably the hardest class I’ve ever had to teach, followed by a reference shift.

Which brings us to today. Today we got word that we have rooms and everything for MnObe Immersion, and I filled out paperwork that makes our imminent acquisition of LibGuides official! (I think that makes this the fastest library-related non-book acquisition I’ve ever been a part of, by the way.) I also started seeing some of the 60 students I’ve taught in the last 2 work-days, plus some of the students in another class that, yet again, cannot seem to make American Memory work for them. The professor and I have tried so many different ways over the last couple of years to make this particular class understand this particular resource, but for some reason it never seems to work out. I’m flummoxed.

In amongst all of this, in the last few days my cousin gave birth to a baby with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a friend of a friend’s husband killed himself, another friend’s father tried in earnest to kill that friend’s brother, and my cousin spent all day today waiting for her baby girl to make it through the surgery that will begin the long process of constructing a functioning heart. I was feeling a little sorry for myself last week because of over-long work days full of too many things to do. Perspective gained. I have it pretty good.

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