Library Student Day in a Life

Hack Library School is doing a Library Student Day in the Life week, so this is my contribution.

A quick bit about me for those who are not familiar: I’m a student at the University of Denver, and my academic focus is on archives management. It took me an extra year to graduate because I decided to do my practicum in India this past winter, and now I’m expecting to wrap everything up during the spring quarter. DU is on a quarter system, which means we only have 10 weeks per class, and I took winter quarter off, so at the moment I’m not taking any classes.

I work a part time job at the University Tech Services, doing back end work on the university websites, making our analytics system more robust, and cleaning up myweb for an incoming migration to a new system. It’s not exactly library science work, but I did get to enforce some metadata standards with the events tagging we’re doing.

Because it’s apart time job, I get Mondays and Fridays off! This Monday was typical. I slept in, rolled out of bed around 9:30 and cursed the morning with heartfelt passion, grabbed some breakfast and then started working on an Omeka project. Part of the practicum I did in India involved collecting info and images relating to thangka painting to use for a website once I got back to the states, so now I’m working on getting that website up.

Omeka is a deceptive little beast. It looks simple and user friendly unless you want to do something a little different, like, say get the stupid element descriptions to stop being so item type specific, and then suddenly you have to know php! Well, luckily, I know enough php to not blow up the site, but I’m also doing this work on Ubuntu, which is an OS I am still getting used to, and I don’t know enough php to actually know what I’m doing, so it’s been a fun adventure. I spent most of the morning doing some general reading on how omeka files are set up, and reading a lot of forums on the image magick program giving people ulcers, and then started developing my own image magick ulcer as I tried to get it an omeka to communicate.


After banging my head against that for a while I went off and drove 16 miles to see Les Miserables. I could write a post just about that, and I probably will, so suffice it to say my fear that I would hate it was unfounded and I sobbed like a child in a theater with no one be me and a bunch of older couples in it. That’s what happens when you go to a matinee at a dollar theater. Also Colm Wilkinson suddenly showed up on the screen in all his glory and I had myself a little fit in my chair but seriously I will write a post all about this later.

Since Monday is an off day for me it’s also chore day. That means laundry, groceries, all the dull stuff like that. Luckily for me Denver has a very large asian market, so after the movie my roommate and I drove over and bought enough food to last us the rest of the month. By the time we got home it was seven, and I ended up passing out soon after eating supper. I hadn’t gone to sleep before 2AM the whole week prior, so I needed it.

Today was a work day, so from 9 to 3 I was making spreadsheets and wrestling technology. Right after that I submitted myself to being a human guinea pig at the university psych department. I learned in undergrad that one can make good money playing test subject for a half hour or so. I read fast, so after clicking on a few “Strongly Agree – Strongly Disagree” buttons for thirty minutes I was handed fifteen bucks and sent on my way. It’s the only place I can get paid $30 at the moment!

After that was cartoons to wind down, dinner, and now I’m working on a few personal projects. This blog is one. Working on my resume is another. At the moment I’m a little paralyzed about applying to the Digital Stewardship program in DC, because I don’t feel qualified enough, but all I can do is put my best foot forward and let the selection committee tell me if I’m qualified or not.



  1. Brittany says:

    I just recently heard about Omeka – I’d love to get some experience with that. Thanks for sharing! I’m just now getting into html5 and CSS in a beginner level course. I’m going to take the advanced class which focuses on one language or program such as Drupal, PHP, XML, etc. I’m leaning towards XML, but I’m sure they’re all helpful!

    You should totally apply for that Digital Stewardship! That sounds like an awesome opportunity. Go for it!

  2. Maria says:

    The great thing about computer languages is that learning one helps you learn the rest. So whatever you pick will be a good choice.

    Thanks for the encouragement! I’m nervous, but that just means I want it.

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