How is it July already?

This means I only have two weeks to finish a ton of work before my summer holiday starts. Eeeek! I got a lot done from home today, then went in to work for two hours at the end of the afternoon because I needed to speak with someone who just started with us this week. Mini me came with me because the library that I needed to be at this afternoon will be the same library she will be using when she starts unversity in september. Afterwards she walked through the city a bit while I finished work and she took this picture…

Quite stunning, right? She says that if university doesn’t work out, she can always try photography.

Anyway, glad the weekend is here because it’s been so super busy. Time for a catch up on chores (blech!) and doing fun stuff, like going to see our national Dutch women’s football team play Finland in a practice match tomorrow (yay!). Here’s to switching off for a bit…

Working outside

It’s going to be a hot day today, as per the weather forecast. When I briefly stepped outside just before 9 am this morning, it was so pleasant out, that I decided to work from my front garden today. I’m sitting in the shade, with my Weetabix breakfast that I have now just finished, typing this after reading and answering my first e-mails.

Our huge fir tree has lost a lot of needles, which is why the ground is so brown. We think the tree may be dying but then again, it has also started sprouting some new green needles again so maybe we’re lucky? I always say that if that tree ever needs to come down, I am moving house. I love it so much, I couldn’t bear to see it go and I’d rather leave first…

Anyway, back to work now on this lovely Friday morning outside. The weekend is just around the corner.

Discreet fangirling

I’ve been working at the university now for three years and apparently that means it’s time for my work laptop to be replaced. My old laptop was a tablet of sorts with detachable keyboard which I hated because if you actually want to use it briefly on your lap, the keyboard detaches too easily and you can’t always prop up the screen properly on uneven surfaces (like on our outside front garden table). As the old laptop still works fine I never had the heart to ask for a different one even though I had been wanting a new one for a while now. Now, without needing to ask, I was offered a new choice. Three years ago they were only starting out with giving out laptops and that tablet-laptop was the only option at the time. This time around I was given a choice between the tablet kind and an actual laptop and I was very happy to be able to pick the actual laptop now.

The new laptop came in on Saturday, I set it up for personal work use today and then studied it for a bit. How, I wondered, was I going to tell my black work laptop apart from other colleagues’ black work laptops if I happen to leave it lying around in an office and then come to pick it up again? I then remembered little Richard Armitage shrine stickers that Guylty had sent along with auction winnings last year. They are cute but I had no real use for them… until now! And so the bottom right part of my laptop now sports a little RA in profile sticker…

I then installed my new cordless mouse and that really needs its own distinguishing feature even more, as such a mouse is much more likely than my laptop to wander or be forgotten. My laptop mouse now looks like this, featuring some very nice North and South shrine-art…

With discreet fangirling in place to distinguish my laptop and mouse from others, I’m ready for work now in the morning.

Library Friday

Can you tell what I’m doing today?

Library front office duty as I fill in for someone who is ill. Scanning books and shelving! Haven’t done that in years and it’s fun to do again for a change. It’s Friday and pretty quiet, so I’m popping on here for a quick post. It’s been a really busy week for me, so when my replacement comes at 2 pm, I’ll sit with him for a little bit and then clock out early.

The busy week was due to a frontdesk scheduling problem which came to a head in recent weeks. Last week I urged my manager to do something about it and lay down the law because endless discussions were getting us nowhere and she needed to get everyone out of an impasse. Preparing that, in addition to following a course, I have been working overtime this week. As the newbie I’ve been a bit nervous about this whole scheduling thing. I don’t like harsh conflict and I was expecting a civil war but my manager did an awesome job at laying down the law in a fair and friendly manner. I presented a new basic schedule (which needs to be finalized after feedback next week) and so far so good; the grumbles are really not that loud. I think everyone is happy that there is clarity now, whether they agree or not. There is still a whole new challenge for all of us to think about how we see library service in the future, especially in this new post-lockdowns hybrid world, but for now at least the library locations will be staffed. This really feels like my first new job victory.

Thinking about these issues, I do have a question to all school /college /university librarians out there who read here: how is your physical library location staffed? Here we now opt for receptionist/admin people at the frontdesk during opening hours (9 am to 7 pm) and librarians with deeper knowledge of collections, databases and search strategies will be around in the library (but not necessarily at the frontdesk) from 10 am to 3 pm when the libraries are at their busiest. Outside those hours they are available by appointment and all questions can always also be asked via a chat service.

Hmmm, I think I should apply for work visits to libraries abroad where my readers work to see how they do things there. Good idea, right? 😉 Anyway, back to work now for an hour or so before my weekend starts.

Happy Feet

It’s been a long working day. Worked a nine hour+ day today (six and a half hours at two libraries and close to three hours more at home) and now it’s finally what the Germans so wonderfully call “Feierabend”. I blogged about that term before, so won’t go into it here. Suffice it to say, it feels good to have reached my free evening! Despite lots of extra work this week I am still so very much happier with work than I have been these past two years. Changing jobs was a good move.

Feierabend also means putting my feet up. I came home and immediately changed into my Birkenstocks as the weather is just about warm enough to start wearing them again. I love having my toes wiggle free once it starts warming up outside, beyond the restraints of closed shoes. And now, with my tattoo, I can even admire a little artwork when those Birkenstocks go on my feet (ignore the scratch on my right foot that was given to me by our black cat who was showing her enthusiasm for lying on top of my legs last week).

I worked indoors once I got home again but I also sat outdoors for a little bit as my evening started until my toes (and the rest of me) started to get chilly. I’m typing this before dinner (the chicken still needs about half an hour) and I’m quite exhausted, but even so, life feels pretty good. New great job, warmer weather and freedom for my toes are doing the trick. Happy feet and happy me.