I’ve been mainly doing my day-in-the-life updates through twitter, but decided you deserved a proper blog post today 🙂 Apologies if you know all this already!
I got into work slightly earlier than usual (9:45 instead of 10! I’m not a morning person, and prefer to work later if possible), as a colleague was borrowing my phone to record an interview with a Copac user, and needed to be shown how to use it as a voice recorder. We’re interviewing users of Copac, the Archives Hub and Zetoc at the moment, to gather evidence about how our services are being used by researchers and educators. I always enjoy talking to our users – it’s great to hear how much they value the services, and how they are using them. It’s also interesting to hear about people’s research areas! Among the topics so far we’ve had mosquito mating; the history of Scottish shawls; 12th century views on magic; and African border disputes (my sincere apologies to anyone whose research area I’ve just totally misrepresented! This is all filtered through my limited understanding.)
I spoke to an Archives Hub user at 10:30, which meant I missed out on a Mimas institution – coffee morning. This is a legacy from when Mimas staff were spread over a number of locations, and didn’t have much contact with each other. We’re rather more collegial now (down to only 2 locations!), but it’s still nice to meet up on Weds morning, for coffee and a chat.
After the interview, I posted a blog post I’d written earlier. I’d asked an SLA E colleague to read it, to make sure that I wasn’t dragging the good name of SLA Europe into disrepute, and posted it once she’d given me the thumbs-up (yes, I can be quite paranoid!). Then to transcribing the interview, which – as always – took far longer than I expected!
Just before lunch, time to arrange a visit to Chetham’s – always a treat! they’re a Copac contributor, and are interested in contributing their archive records to the Archives Hub. I’m going down to talk them through exporting their records from CALM and uploading them to the Hub EAD editor. In their supreme loveliness they’ve offered to buy me lunch if I go in the morning 😀
Then to trying to work out why the file from the first interview this morning would play on my computer and not Lisa’s. I’m fairly sure it was a codec problem, but I didn’t really have time to identify exactly what the issue was, so I just downloaded a freeware converter, and converted it to .avi. Thankfully, that worked.
Lunch, and drafting this post to cover my morning. After lunch I set up a trial access to the RLUK database for a potential new customer, which involved everyone in the office trying to remember where we’d put the documentation, and which login to use (we don’t do this very often!). That task successfully conquered, I emailed a contributor whose descriptions are being added to Copac very shortly, to ask for some information and a photo so that I can make them a Copac library page.
Then back into the murky world of IT-ish things, as the xslt I needed arrived from Adlib. I soon realised that I didn’t actually know what to do with the xslt – I knew I needed to apply it to the xml file somehow, but how? After being very scared by the results of a Google search (‘simply build this in basic!’ ‘applying xslt transformations in asp.net!’), of one my colleagues pointed out that my xml reader should have the necessary software built in. It did, and I managed to find the right menu options all by myself! For me, this counts as a victory over technology 🙂
Before heading home, I decided to finish off the blog post I started yesterday, to be a follow-up to this post on the Copac Developments blog. This post deals with the format of the Copac records, and how we de-duplicate, so I’ve sent it off to be checked by people in the know, to make sure I’ve got my facts straight.
Other things I’ve done today? the usual email checking (including a wry smile of amusement at the discussion on the lis-web2 list about whether discussions should take place on the list); catching up on a few lib/info related RSS feeds; and admiring the new artwork around our offices.
This is the result of a Mimas photography competition, and I’m really pleased that my favourite picture (by Copac’s very own Ashley) is right outside our office.