Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Library Day in the Life: Round 7

It's one of my favorite times of the year:  Library Day in the Life.  The brainchild of Bobbi L. Newman, Library Day in the Life challenges librarians two times a year to document a day or week on the job, both for the edification of non-librarians and as inspiration and validation for one another.  Participants sign up on the wiki, then either blog away, Tweet (under the hashtag #libday7), or add pictures and/or video at Flickr and YouTube.  Library Day in the Life is now in its seventh round, and with each iteration it attracts more participants-- librarians, library support staff, and LIS students-- from all over the planet.

This will be the third time I'm joining in the festivities.  My name is Tom Bruno, and I am currently the Head of Resource Sharing at Widener Library of the Harvard College Library.  Most of my day to day activities revolve around managing our interlibrary loan and electronic document delivery (otherwise known as Scan & Deliver) services, but as the Harvard Library system in the midst of a vast and comprehensive reorganization I am occasionally asked to serve in a broader capacity as well.  I also coordinate training and troubleshoot any problems involving ILLiad, our common system for ILL and Scan & Deliver, and act as liaison between Harvard and OCLC and/or the vendor, Atlas Systems for any service or support issues.

Resource Sharing is one of the oldest disciplines in librarianship, addressing the basic problem faced since time immemorial:  i.e., that no one library can possess all of the knowledge in the world.  Even as we experience wave after wave of disruptive technological changes it remains unlikely that our patrons' need for information beyond the collections of our library (be they physical, digital, or whatever comes after that), although the tools with which we meet our patrons' information needs will no doubt change and/or evolve. I hope that over the upcoming week I am able to shine a little light on what it is I do-- feel free to ask any questions, and I'll do my best to answer them!

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