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Staying focused over the summer

June 28, 2019

I’m not sure how I ended up working in a library as my sister has always told me that I don’t have a voice for libraries. And this summer I realized that I have a really hard time working when it’s quiet around me.

While our college does hold two, four-week class sessions over the summer, our library is only minimally involved in them. Few, if any, incorporate information literacy sessions. No items are placed on reserve. Students typically do not live on campus during these sessions so they aren’t hanging out in the library. I think during Summer Session I, our highest number of students in the building in a day has been about three.

We don’t have evening or weekend hours over the summer so in theory all of the library employees should be in the office together. However, at W&J our vacation is tied to the fiscal year so whatever vacation you haven’t used up by June 30th, you lose. Therefore, June ends up being a really popular time for our staff to burn vacation time. I looked at our master calendar and there was only one day in the entire month of July that no one was on vacation.

I have a list of projects that I want to work on over the summer but I’m finding it very hard to focus without the normal bustle of activity going on around me.

One thing that has helped me is to play webinar recordings, that I’ve been saving up all year, in the background while I work. Here are two free webinars that I have recently watched and thought had good practical tips.
The first one was on the MLA International Bibliography database, I really liked the examples they shared with using the database to do some meta-analysis of how topics have been covered over the years. I also want to recommend to our English Department that they share the online tutorials on how to search the database with their students.
Today I’m watching one about searching PubMed, I’m really interested in trying to implement the example with using dots and circles on paper to represent journals and databases to help students understand the concept of what is and is not being searched. I think I can make it apply to databases other than PubMed.

What are summers like at your library? Do you stay busy in the summer just like during the fall and spring? Or are you quiet like we are? I’m also open to more suggestions for webinars or podcasts that might be entertaining and educational.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2019 5:39 pm

    That’s a great idea to go back and watch webinars! I have so many links to webinars over the school year which I just never got a chance to watch. Now is a perfect time to go back and watch them!

  2. July 5, 2019 5:42 pm

    That’s a great idea to go back and watch webinars. I have links to so many webinars which I just never got a chance to watch during the school year. Now is the perfect time to catch up on them.

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