On Projects & Learning

One of the things I really enjoyed about working at Binghamton was the fact that I got to work on a wide variety of projects and activities – library newsletters, website development, metasearching, collections budget planning, collection development – all in addition to bread and butter e-resource management.

One of the things I really enjoyed about working at Ex Libris was the fact that I got to help customers with all aspects of their ERM implementation: training onsite, training on the web, project management, technical configuration, sales demos, troubleshooting.

Since we got our new ERM up and running at Harvard, I’ve been able to work more variety into my schedule, so that I’m currently juggling a virtual reference implementation*, training development for the ERM, some Aleph support,  a small project related to Harvard’s Google Books participation, and custom reporting for our ERM data, among other things. This is just the way I like it.

What’s next? I continue to feel that my technical skills are not up to snuff compared with real systems librarians (as opposed to the impostor I’ll be outed as any day now!) even though I myself have been a bona fide Systems Librarian III for well over 18 months now. So, in the spirit of not doing anything half-*ssed, I’ve decided to sign up for Intensive Introduction to Computer Science Using C, PHP, and JavaScript via Harvard’s Extension School.** My hopes are that I have just enough scripting/programming experience to meet the recommended prerequisite and not feel in totally over my head, that the class will prepare me for some projects I wouldn’t otherwise be up to, and – maybe most importantly – that it will help me communicate better with my more experienced librarian and developer colleagues.

Wish me luck!

* The virtual ref implementation is LibAnswers from Springshare, so I cannot honestly claim the implementation itself is taking any of my time. They make everything so darn easy!

** $40 courses at the Extension School is one of my favorite Harvard benefits. So far I’ve taken course in Museum Studies, Anthropology, and Religion.

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