As I explained in my introductory Library Day in the Life post for round 8 I have been keeping a detailed record of my work activities. My aim was to use this record of an average week to see if some estimates I had made previously (for how I spend my time over a term) were anywhere near accurate.
The charts below show the percentage of time I spent on various activities that were identified as the main tasks of an Academic Support Librarian. The first chart shows the time I spent on each activity during the past week. The second chart shows the estimates I made for how much time I spend on each activity during the Spring term (January – April).
Comparing to the two has left me fairly happy with the estimates I made about how I spend my time. The activities missing from my work this week, that came quite high in my estimate, were teaching and project work. I’ve done no teaching this week, but have already done some, and will be doing more this term. As for project work, a lot of the work I did this week that I classed as production of teaching materials was also project work for an information skills tutorial I am creating.
Given the job I do I think it is unsurprising that liaison and enquiries came out as top activities on both charts. Within liaison in this week’s tracking I included all work I did on email (6 hours and 22 minutes in total) as well as meetings with staff in the business school and the one Student Staff Liaison Committee meeting that I attended.
One thing I was particularly interested in, having been asked a few times lately, was how much time I spend on Twitter. My total for the week was 1 hour and 33 minutes, an average of a little under 20 minutes per day.
Professional activities scored quite highly this week as I’ve been doing quite a bit of work on developing a new website for the Business Librarians Association. I also used the “Other” category this week which I had used for the estimate. Within this category I included the time I spend doing general admin and planning my week.
Every time I have participated in Library Day in the Life I have taken a different approach to it:
After the videos of round 6 I clearly felt I’d reached my peak and didn’t participate last time around. For round 8 I’m getting back into the game and have yet another new approach. This time I won’t be posting daily, instead I have chosen to keep a detailed log of how I am spending my time during the day and will post an overall summary at the end of the week. I am doing this for one specific reason – to see exactly how much time I spend on different tasks in an average week. I was asked to do this recently for a review of a subject librarian’s activities, but without the time to log exactly what I do the form I submitted contained estimates. I’ve got no idea whether I was even close with my guesses so I’ll be interested to compare that to the resutls from this week’s log.
The following post is written as part of round 5 of the Library Day in the Life project.
Morning soundtrack: This American Life
First thing this morning I had a meeting with the student from earlier in the week who is researching the relationship between optometrists and the NHS. We looked at search strategies, identified useful journals and databases and talked about applying for funding.
After this I spent a little time tidying the papers strewn across my desk. I always like to leave at the end of the week with a tidy desk, I find it makes Monday morning much more bearable.
Something I’ve been sitting on for a few weeks is writing a set of reading list guidelines for our procurement team. Previously the subject team had processed all reading lists and put in all book orders to procurement individually. This year this has been centralised through a newly created reading lists team. The idea is that they will process all the lists and follow guidelines set by the subject librarians for purchasing copies of core and additional readings. I submitted my guidelines today.
Straight after lunch I headed down to the basement with the library’s iPad to work through the last two shelves of business donations. It feels good to have finally cleared the backlog.
Over coffee I settled down to read CILIP’s Defining Our Professional Future Report.
I finished the day, and the week, with an interesting enquiry about oil companies and crisis management.
Evening soundtrack:Test Match Special, England vs Pakistan