Looking back at my first year in the Digital Repository: Well it started on May 19, 2014 at 1pm in the afternoon….alright, I promise I am not going to give you play by play of each day! My time here did start on that lovely sunny day and I am still very happy I made this jump into the Digital Repository. As I said, time flies by and I feel on one level I have learned so much and on another level I know I still have so much more to learn.
Why do folks look back on what has happened instead of looking forward? Well, looking back all I see at this moment is how fast time flies and, at my age, I want time to slow down. But if the Supervisor Hope Mitchell wants me to look back at my first year, here it goes…
My first task was to learn how to split out articles from Sketch and then how to upload those articles. I still find it very interesting to see what people wrote about so many years ago. Next up was the Iowa State Daily and was reminded of all the things from 2010 and 2011 that had happened here at Iowa State University.
Went to my first conference Digital Commons+ Great Lakes User Group Annual Meeting held in Valparaiso, IN and that was a learning experience. Being my first conference and learning the “dos” and “don’ts” of conference going. For example, on the last day I attended a “Birds-of-a-Feather Discussion”. For you folks, like myself, who might not know what that is or means, well it means that on each table there is a topic written on a sheet of paper. You’re tasked with walking around and checking them all out. From there, you decide which topic you want to discuss and you sit down (don’t forget your treats and coffee first!) and wait for some folks to join you and then discuss away. Well, I didn’t get a handbook on the “dos and don’ts” at conference, so my co-worker Susan Knippel and I sat down and were visiting when a couple of nice gentlemen from a couple different universities sat down and we just picked a topic and started talking.
Later, my boss, Harrison W. Inefuku, explained to me what was supposed to have taken place. I said “why didn’t you tell me that BEFORE we got there?!” Let’s call it even since he took a selfie as his presentation was starting; I am pretty sure that isn’t in the “do” side of the conference handbook either. Even though I didn’t quite understand the ins and outs of the activity, I actually picked up some great information while sitting there listening to these folks talk about “Permissions checking”, “staffing” issues, “finding a faster way and more efficient” way to process a vita. At that moment, I was so new to my position that I didn’t realize I had picked all this very important and interesting information until I returned back to work and started the actual process of working on a vita. Now I am so very grateful to have had the chance to attend that conference!
Another major undertaking in my first year was overhauling our organizational system. As I became more familiar with my duties, I realized that the initial organizational system I had developed could be reworked in a way that would really benefit our whole unit. I took a week and created a whole new filing system for what seemed like an endless trail of vitas. Ultimately, this new system has been a success and really helps all of our staff work more smoothly through incoming vitas.
And finally, I have become much more confident and comfortable working through the permissions checking and uploading process. My departments range from food science to interior design to finance and often require a lot of back and forth with publishers checking on policies and permissions. I am also responsible for creating a SelectedWorks profile, which is basically a personalized website that features all of the faculty member’s publications. This is one of the aspects of my job that I find very interesting, because this is the part where I can learn more about the author I am working with since the SelectedWorks page highlights all their specialties, interests, and awards they may have won. Once we have completed any uploads, SelectedWorks profile is/was created then it is time to update the author and let them know what we were able to do for them and items we might need from them. This letter is awesome for the author because it tells them what we have been able to complete up to this point and send them the link to their
SelectedWorks profile for them to see. You usually get a reply from the author and they are so happy to see what has been done. This part is really rewarding because it makes you realize you have just helped an author get their work out into the world wide web and that millions of folks will now be able to access this information for free anytime they want to view it. It is really exciting to see when someone from Pewsey, England, United Kingdom is viewing something you have uploaded into the Digital Repository for your author.
Another year…heck ya! What new stuff will I learn about in year two? Only time will tell! Well, check back in a year and will tell you all about it.