Location: Lister Hill Library, Reference
Current gig: Reference Librarian & Liaison to UAB’s School of Health Professions
Current mobile devices: iPhone 4S, iPad Mini, and decreasingly, iPad
Current computer: My work computer is a Windows Dell laptop connected to a docking station with double monitors. I use (and LOVE) a MacBook Pro at home, so when I was due for a new computer at work a few months ago I really debated whether to switch to a Mac at work as well. In the end, I decided it would be really helpful to be proficient in both operating systems. I like being able to more confidently troubleshoot library technical issues and help patrons on either OS. I’ve been extremely happy with my decision to use one OS at work and one at home. Also, I don’t think I could ever go back to having a desktop computer. I love knowing I can just undock my laptop (work or home) and go wherever.
One word that best describes how you work: Focused with a side of adaptive. I have a list that I set out to accomplish each day. Usually I write out this list on a sticky note at the beginning of the day and stick it right in front of me. The sticky note is usually just the key things that really must/should happen that day, but I have a much longer to-do list that I constantly refer back to so things don’t fall off my radar. I also have my yearly goals posted right behind my monitors so I never forget them, and I am always checking and re-checking my calendar to see what deadlines are coming up. Because of the nature of my job, I’m accustomed to dropping whatever I’m working on to help a library user. (That’s where the “adaptive” part come into play.) I’ve gotten pretty good at being able to switch gears quickly and using small pockets of time to work toward my goals. My natural tendency is to be a perfectionist about everything I do. While I still strive to do the best I can do, I’ve gotten better at giving myself a break. Some projects/tasks are better “good and complete” than “perfect and never completed”!
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Outlook (especially calendar), Wunderlist, ZipList, and Gmail.
What’s your workspace like? Organized piles of papers that don’t always look like organized piles of papers. This is another way I’ve adapted. I am a clean and organization freak, but I am usually too busy to tidy up my desk like I really want it to be. So I just keep my project papers grouped in piles that get a little messy-looking at times. As soon as I get a chance, I put them in labeled hanging file folders, and I always file away papers for projects that are done or not “active” at the moment. I mentioned the double monitors above. Like anyone who’s ever worked with double monitors, there is no way I could ever operate without both of them again. I have lots of photos of my family and some of my kids’ artwork. They are my absolute #1, no matter what the work day brings. Oh, and I also have a couple of sickly violet plants that are technically still alive but haven’t bloomed in a few years. Though I keep hoping one day they will surprise me. No green thumb here!
What is your best life hack? Pausing to soak in the details of life, praying/listening, and when I can force myself… putting the iPhone away.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Wunderlist is what I’ve ended up using, though I’m sure there are other good ones.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? GPS in my car.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Being a mom has made me a pretty darn good multi-tasker.
What are you currently reading? I don’t remember the last time I had time to read anything for pleasure. But when I DO have time to read, it’s nonfiction.
What do you listen to while you work? Usually nothing, but if things get “rowdy” in our suite (insert librarian joke here – yes we get rowdy!) and I’m trying to finish up something I’ll turn on something soothing without words. Yo-Yo Ma is one of my go-to’s at work.
Are you more of an introvert or extrovert? Definitely an introvert, but not a hermit kind of an introvert. I really enjoy being with others and working in teams. I just also need a good bit of “me” time to re-charge.
What’s your sleep routine like? I am a finicky sleeper. The Princess and the Pea story may be an exaggerated comparison, but I’m pretty silly about my sleep environment. Any tiny sound will keep me awake. When you couple this with the fact that I have two kids, one of whom is a 1-year-old… well, sleep has been a sensitive issue with me for the past year. I’m up at 5:15 am each morning to get myself, the kiddos, and sometimes the pug ready. I require lots of sleep, so I go to bed embarrassingly early.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? I don’t remember anyone ever telling me this, but the older I get I find myself coming back to this thought: “You think you know. But you don’t really know.” We all have more to learn. This also applies to what we think we know about others. Pretty much everyone is going through something tough that you don’t know about.