A Week in the Life: Tuesday

Tonight, your friendly research informationist almost didn’t get around to posting a blog because I just now finished getting caught up on some work (but to be fair, there were a lot of interruptions from the resident pup, who never gets tired of playing Squirrelly or chasing the ball, even when mom is working).  However, I promised a full week of updates, and I’m not about to stop after only one day.  So, for those inquiring minds who want to know, here’s what I got up to today.

  1. Attended the weekly meeting for my department, which is called Research, Instruction, and Collection Services.  Basically we catch each other up on the various goings-on in our department.  Though there are only 6 of us, we are all crazy busy fiends, so it’s nice to have an hour a week in which we find out what everyone is up to.
  2. Gave an orientation and overview of library services to first year students in the psychology graduate program.  It was a small group, but they were very interested in what I had to say, which is always nice, and had lots of questions.
  3. Went to a meeting about the UCLA Library’s Affordable Courseware Initiative, which is a program in which we’re offering grants to professors who update their course syllabi to offer free/open access/low cost alternative to textbooks and other paid course materials.  Rather shockingly and disconcertingly, the price of college textbooks has risen 812% since 1978.  By comparison, the consumer price index has risen around 250%.  With tuition also increasing significantly in the last few years, particularly in California, students are being hit pretty hard financially.  This initiative is designed to help mitigate some of those costs.  A similar program at UMass Amherst resulted in $750,000 savings for students from a $20,000 initial investment, which is a pretty good ROI if you ask me.  So it will be interesting to see how this all goes at UCLA.
  4. I’m the chair of the committee for speakers for the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona/Northern California and Nevada Medical Library Group Joint Meeting that is coming up in July, so today I worked on getting together some information and sending some emails for that.
  5. Continued more work on NIH Public Access Policy as described yesterday.  Every time I send an email to the NIH Manuscript Submission System help desk, I feel like starting it “hello, it’s ME AGAIN!!!”  But the nice thing about doing this work is that people are genuinely happy to have the help and the results are pretty immediate.
  6. Continued the work on the NCBI course as described yesterday.
  7. Answered a gazillion more emails.
  8. Finished some ordering for my public health funds (yay!), but I still have a lot to do on my other stuff.
  9. The whole department cornered one of our coworkers who was celebrating a birthday today and sang Happy Birthday to him.  🙂
  10. Filled out paperwork for upcoming travel, of which there is quite a bit.  I never knew librarians traveled so much, but I have been on the road pretty often this year.  I think between September 2012 and August 2013, I will have taken about 12 business trips.  And there is a LOT of paperwork that goes along with all of it.  But I’m super lucky to be able to go to some very interesting meetings and take some very cool courses.

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