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Month: July 2007

New Email/Calendar System: Day One

This morning when I arrived at work, only one email appeared in my inbox. The long-anticipated day had come. All my email had been migrated from our imap server to our bran’-spankin’ new Zimbra system.

Until today, members of our campus have used not one but several email systems. Faculty and academic staff were on one (but could use one of at least three supported access methods, including webmail and two desktop clients). Administrative and other staff were on a completely separate system (GroupWise). I’m not sure what students were on (though I know it wasn’t GroupWise). So as much as we’ve all been dreading the migration headache, clearly we needed a change.

So today I became one of the first groups of people on campus to migrate over to Zimbra, but most of my day was spent in meetings, so I didn’t have a whole lot of time to tinker, play, and futz. So the impressions I have are just that: impressions. And I’m not sure if it’s wishful thinking, the “oooh, shiny” factor, or something more substantial that makes me generally want to like it. But I generally want to like it, and I certainly do anticipate the joys of being able to search for common free time when setting up meetings (this will be the first time our whole campus has had a single calendaring system, too). I also like the tagging and message search functions.

But there are a couple of strangenesses, too. For example, there’s no way to copy a message to a folder; you have to just flat out move it. I can’t customize my view quite the way I’d like. Things seem to take several clicks rather than one or two. I don’t think there are any notifications for new messages, or any indication if you’re in the calendar view that there may be new messages waiting for you if you click over to mail view. But most puzzling (though not Zimbra’s fault), is that I now have three complete calendars, each of which need updating. My palm needs all my information so that it can go with me to meetings. My google calendar needs at least some of my information, but exactly how much will depend on departmental decisions that haven’t yet been made. And I’m strangely fond of my published availability calendar, which wouldn’t be possible if I dropped my google calendar. Then there’s the zimbra calendar, which must be used if people are to be able to easily schedule meetings with me via the new all-campus system. Something’s gotta give, but I have to keep them all up until I figure out what I can drop without hampering my work and that of my colleagues.

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Planning for New Trading Cards

Today was the first of three solid days of meetings for me. We’ve blocked off these three days for my department to work on the collaborative summer projects that have been stacking up and not getting done. And today, we didn’t do so badly. We learned to use the “Create Lists” function in III’s Millennium interface, saw our departmental profile in Blackwell’s online collection development interface, developed our departmental goals for the coming school year, and took care of several other conversations that needed to happen but haven’t really had a proper venue. What’s more, that’s exactly what we said we’d accomplish today, so that felt good.

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about citation management software, make decisions about databases we have and want, and train each other on some of our new databases or on databases that have changed platform (so, for instance, the social sciences librarian will introduce us to a couple of new social sciences databases that might be useful to us and that we might want to know about as we work at the reference desk).

And then on Wednesday we’ll talk about our new trading cards. This meeting always makes me uncomfortable.

The first year I was here it was uncomfortable because I was afraid it’d be hokey. Well… it kind of was, but in the best possible way. I absolutely loved my first trading card. I didn’t know how we could top it. So last year I was worried we’d change to a new design or color scheme or… whatever, that’d ruin it. I’d grown really fond of my card. But last year’s card turned out even better than the year before, so that fear was averted.

This next year, there’s talk of changing our theme. So this year I’ve started mourning my current card again. I really love my current card. I’ve grown used to it. I feel like it fits me well… like a well-worn pair of jeans. Only way cooler. How could a new design possibly be better, I wonder?

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Back Online

This is just a note to say I’m back.

My blogging vacation was great. I sat on the porch, read Harry Potter, read a few New Yorkers (now I’m only behind by 3 weeks!), watched the grass grow, and generally took a true and thorough vacation. I’ve got a hefty to-do list here at work, including slogging through email and attending triply my normal load of meetings, but even so I’m not dreading the day, so I guess the vacation worked it’s magic (though I wouldn’t say no to about 3 or 4 more months of it).

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Blogging Vacation

You may have noticed that blogging around these parts has slowed to trickles and little spurts lately. And strangely enough, this isn’t for lack of topics. Seriously. I’ve never been one for keeping lists of posts I want to write, but lately I’ve developed a ridiculously long list of topics, none of which have made it here.

Well, I’ve been busy with both work and non-work stuff, and a little bit more susceptible to stress than usual, and a little, well, blah. Fine, but blah.

So I’m going to take next week off from blogging, from stress, from stuff. I’m going to get some power-relaxing in, some reading, and some staring into space. Then I’ll be back and thinking about tackling that list of bloggable topics. Or not. Maybe I’ll have a whole new bunch of topics to blog about by then. See you then!

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