Open Access Tenure: The Chore List

There are some things on my whiteboard that seem to perpetually be there. Chores overhanging the interesting things that get crossed off. Items that have had their own place holder so long that I might have permanent shadows even when I take rubbing alcohol to the whiteboard.  They are unfun tasks, things that are going to require some slogging, and things I really need to stop putting off.  Perhaps if I admit them to you here, I’ll make some progress? (Also, note my ability to procrastinate by writing about the things I’m procrastinating about!)

Moving the Tutorials. We have a few online tutorials that were developed in Drupal before I got here. These were done by a GA on grant funding. They were launched, the GA left, and lo and behold–we have no documentation. These things have been a bane of the SysAdmin’s existence. He’s kept them alive, barely, and because we haven’t had any major crashes, I’ve not been moving as fast as I should to migrate them to SoftChalk or Moodle.  One of them is targeted at Dentistry and I need to find a couple of hours to sit down with the faculty member who uses them the most to review the content and make sure we’re comfortable with what is being covered and update anything that isn’t productive anymore.  Right now the goal is to work with SoftChalk because it is supported on campus on a level higher than me.  Our Lady of Nursing suggested recently that we get some outside funding/help to redo these tutorials–I’m terrified that we’ll end up in the same place again and I really don’t want to end up there. That being said, I need to get something rolling so we can figure out what is going to work.

Updating the Dentistry LibGuide. This gets done sporadically, when we notice something is broken or a database log in changes. I haven’t done a systematic review of all of the pages and a severe weeding lately though.  I’d also like to do a consumer health page, though we don’t really need new/more pages. Perhaps a link to a separate guide?

Updating Other LibGuides.  At least the Dentistry one I spend time on and I know it’s used. I own some other guides that have gotten a bit dusty.

My Research Projects.  Every time I write a to do list, it has “work on x research project, y research project, z research project, and talk to Q about s research project.” Part of it is the interrupted nature of my days, where there never seems to be more than a few minutes.  Part of it is momentum, I haven’t been working on z so it’s harder to get back into z, takes my brain more than five minutes.  Part of it is the rest of the items on the to do list.

Articles I’ve Printed to Read. I’ve got a pile of them and books besides. I was convinced that I’d start reading them on the train, though of late that’s turned into my knitting time. Spending that time knitting is probably a little better for my sanity but it’s not getting the articles read.  I need to block an hour or two a week and just read PDFs, without guilt, without stress. Also, I need to remove more things from my RSS feeds so I don’t face down a mountain every day. There are blogs that I’m obviously marking-all-as-read every time and those need to go.

The Philosopher often chides me to manage my calendar better, blocking out time to work on those “don’t wanna” chores so that they’ll get done.  Now if I could just get him to practice what he preaches too. 😉

What chores are on you never-seem-to-go-away list?

 

 

 

One Comment

  1. Comment by Cleo Pappas:

    Managing my Lib-Guides is something I need to work on methodically. It is so much more fun to create a new one than to update an existing guide. But the most important item you mention is setting aside protected time to read. I rely on my younger colleagues to keep me abreast of new trends, acronyms I don’t understand, suggest books to read. I remember when I was the one leading the charge and long for those days. That is something I can remedy because commute time is regular and protected. The only thing I have to do is remember to print out what I want to read. (Oh, yes, and remember to have the item with me.)