Thinkings, doings, projects underway ...

Remoting it … 2 #eqnz

Each Monday we have a meeting in the morning. Friday’s there are drinks. We’re all to aim to at least make the Monday meeting.

I’m feeling that it’s really important to be there, to connect with my colleagues, remind them I’m working, that there is work I can do without a physical collection. As a sole charge librarian in a professional services company, the culture can be quite different to that of an academic, or I presume, a public library, where your colleagues share your profession.

A couple of special librarians responded to my email to the NZLIBs list. One is a law librarian who has also been displaced, and has potentially lost her collection too. We’ve had email contact and are setting up coffee meetings on Mondays, post my work meetings. It’s really good to have some contact. We all have similar questions and are grappling with similar situations.

I had some mail to check at work. A few issues of Your Environment, and an update for Brookers Resource Management. What do you do with looseleaf updates when there’s no longer a binder …

My new library is now in a draw of the kitchen.

My new library

I did contact Brookers and they are providing us with free online access until the end of the month. The situation will be reviewed after that.

My week remoting so far (2 hrs a day) has comprised a bit of cataloguing of electronic domuents, arranging travel to visit the Tauranga office and work in their library for a week, send instructions on how to access NZS4404 from our online library, finding all the Orders in Council related to recently inforced Canterbury Earthquake legislation, finding a copy of the Ngai Tahu Freshwater Policy, 1999 … and there are still loads of other jobs on my list.

Remoting it index

Remoting it … 5 #eqnz

So now the one tool I rely on to do my job, DB Textworks, has packed up and I’m at home. Today sucks. I’m sad about losing my library. It’s cold and wet. My house stinks of silt and I want to cry when I look out the window at my lawn. And the little black stray cat I’m trying to make friends with keeps running away from me. Enough moaning.

So I’ve been updating the Intranet about CERA and new filing protocols. And I’ve working on a valuation of one of my colleague’s private collections of books that had been catalogued and were in the office. 

OK, that was my post from a couple of days ago.

I’m trying to remain positive but it’s not always possible, and I do think it’s important that I’m honest about how I’m living with this monumental upheaval. To pretend it’s all ok is a disservice to everyone who is working so hard to try and get our lives back on track. I can only speak about my experience. Living in the present is manageable but it doesn’t feel sustainable, I can do this in survival mode, but it’s no way to live. I guess I’m just going to have to adapt the way I think about things.

Good news - today was much better.

DB Textwork is working after some maintenance from the IT Department. I discovered that my colleagues who went on a reconnaissance to our building retrieved Brookers Resource Management, so I filed two sets of updates; ordered some new soil maps from Manaaki Whenua and had a coffee meeting with a group of law librarians. It was terrific to hang out with a group of librarians 

Remoting it index 

Remoting it … 7 #eqnz

I started the week in CHCH at Boffa Miskell’s office in Sir Gil Simmons, and am now working at The Distiller, an awesome space at the Centre for Innovation in Dunedin, on the University of Otago campus.

This morning involved a bit of book buying and Intranet updating.

I’m  now going to crank through some work in preparation for a week sorting the library in our Tauranga office; the librarian without a library meets the library without a librarian!

Remoting it index

Remoting it … 8 #eqnz

I had a really busy few days last week. A flurry of activity and discussion is leading me to investiate a subscription to Elsevier’s Landscape and Urban Planning. There have been a couple of books to order, namely AUPs Wild Plants in Auckland and Botany of the Waikato.

An EXCITING development today. My library expanded by about 1000% - 4 of my colleagues went back into the breach that is Brannigans, and retrieved most of the staff’s personal items. Including their books. Now, my colleagues being the squirrels that they are, had library books included in the piles (that had been) on their desks. I’m glad that I didn’t do that desk audit I had been considering …

I’ve also started reordering a few items that we’ve lost:

Christchurch City Soil and Land Resources Maps - Soil, 1:50 000  and the 5 Inventory and maps of important geological sites and landforms relating to regions of the Sth Island

I’ve yet to read, Tips for working from home by Liz Broomfield of LIBRO, which is timely, and no doubt will be valuable, as Liz is one on to it woman. 

And then there was preparing for a trip to Tauranga office to work on their library.

Remoting it index

Remoting it … 9 #eqnz

I arrived in Tauranga on Sunday night (1/5) to drizzle, over the next 24 hours it escalated to lashing rain and gusts of wind which destroyed my brolly. Note to self. Add a raincoat to travelling librarian kit.

I’m here at the Tauranga office of Boffa Miskell until Friday lunchtime - here’s what I’ve been up to so far …

Day one: Reassessing what needs to be done:

  • finish cataloguing the collection of guidelines
  • weeding and arranging the hard landscaping resources (paving stones, tactile pavers, weed mat etc!!!)
  • assigning jobs to P and L - district plans and landscape resources collections, and of course, more labeling!

Day two:

  • weeded landscape resources shelves (product information) - half is in the recycling
  • moving landscape resources to sit with the hard resources
  • weeding the district plans 
  • more cataloguing, think my fingers are going to fall off
  • meeting with the ecologists to discuss their office library, made a plan together that incorporates cataloguing their own books as well
  • negotiating a visit to the Auckland office to do similar work for them in their library!

Remoting It index

Remoting it … 10 #eqnz

Boy am I one tired librarina today! I spent last week based in our Tauranga office, reorganising their library. I’d had one trip previously with my 4 year old daughter and prior to that, had done some preliminary cataloguing and labeling.

By the end of the week, I’d created over 200 new records, amended 400 other records and created nearly 1300 book labels, weeded over wheely bin of superseded / out of date items and shifted approximately 10m of material, including pieces of metal, wool and synthetic weed matting samples, as well as samples of tactile pavers.

Before I left we had a bit of staff training (with coffee and cake) which involved running some catalogue searches and showing the staff our small collection of online resources. None of them had ever used the library catalogue before and they were surprised to see the wealth of information we have - like over 270 landscape assessments. Handy to know.

And I may need to go back to finish a little more onsite cataloguing and tidying up before I go to Auckland office for a few days to weed their collection of duplicates and superseded items. I must say it’s a useful process if you are wanting to repopulate a library that has faced disaster. Our Christchurch office is certainly benefiting from the trip. I have a couple of boxes of duplicates from Tauranga to add to our library. It’s good to share.

It’s no surprise therefore that I am feeling shattered today!

Remoting It index

Remoting it … 13 #eqnz

In Remoting it #3 you saw my library after the quake of 4th September 2010 (7.1M). In Remoting it #4 you saw my library after the quake of 22 February  2011 (6.3M). In Remoting it #2 you saw my library fill a kitchen draw; now see what my library looks like … drum roll …

I must add that the kitchen door still constitutent part of the library space (journals collection), and there is also a cardboard box which is my ‘in box’. Work is busy and I’m flat-out reallocating locations to our rescued books and ordering replacement materials for staff. There are also upcoming sojourns to the Tauranga and Auckland offices over the next two months.

Other news - we have secured a second office space at which the library will be located. More to come on this. What this means for the collection I’m not sure. Will it be split like our team … will I need to redo all that relocation work … will I get input into buying the new shelving system?

And while my actual library remains dramatically inaccesible on the 7th floor of the Brannigans Building, and I continue to have a myriade of questions and few answers, I’ll continuing buying stuff for a new library, and Remoting It.

Remoting it index 

Remoting it … 14 #eqnz

My library has again increased by a thrid! I now have 2 plastic bins, a kitchen draw and a cardboard box of books.

Boffa Miskell CHCH #2 office will be opening later this week, so we’re on the look out for shelves we can transfer the books into.

When I was cleaning out my garage and going through boxes of letters and cards that has been damaged by flooding, I found a article I’d ripped out of The Guardian Weekend supplement when I was living in London from Nov 13 2003. It features a really innovative portable library shelf system, designed by Rose Cobb, called Books to Go.

This is exactly what I could do with right now. Times 20.

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