The eithth round of Bobbi Newman's "Library Day in the Life" has just started.
A Day in the Life of a Librarian
At breakfast I look through the weekend edition of the New York Times. Barnes & Noble and the future of books.… On the subway I read the paper. As I juggle the loose pages I consider the alternative of reading the paper on an iPad.
At 9:00am the first meeting of the day: the cultural attaché of the German Consulate and his colleagues arrive to speak with their Goethe-Institut colleagues about projects and planning. The Consulate is one of our partners in Festival Neue Literatur, which takes place next week, so I needn’t go into great detail with them about it. Another major event is the arrival of Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller, who travels to New York at the end of April to take part in the PEN World Voices Festival. She then goes on to Chicago, Boston, and Washington. Her schedule isn’t yet finalized, but her New York appearances are slowly taking shape. In addition, I inform our Consulate colleagues on the continuing developments in our German Traces project and ask them to promote our eLibrary. Since October 2011, the Goethe-Institut New York offers loan of e-Media to readers across the entire United States. Once the initial technical difficulties are cleared up we’ll begin a blanket marketing campaign. The DAAD just announced the eLibrary in its newsletter, the Goethe-Instituts in the US include information about it on the websites, and we now hope that the Consulates General will also bring the eLibrary to the attention of their constituencies.
At the point that my colleague from the Program Department colleague begins his report on Program plans I have to leave the meeting to take part in a conference call on the integration of the Goethe-Institut’s new administrative financial system (with the lovely name, DAISY) into our planning system software. The good news is that for 2011 we don’t have to create as many reports as we had feared, and for 2013 we don’t have to enter as many activities as previously. So less administrative work – wow, that’s something new.
After the call, I send comments to my colleague in Mexico on a major conference she is planning on literacy promotion. The “call for proposals” needs to be published as soon as possible, as the conference will take place in May or June already. Then I have a little time to further formulate ideas for our 2012 marketing plan. This year we will embark on a major initiative to make our little library better known. We have a budget with a line item for a marketing consultant, so the more detailed our ideas, the more focused the consultant can work. So we’re “honing” our concept paper and it is slowly taking a form we are satisfied with.
For the afternoon is scheduled a meeting with the staff of MFA Writing Progam at the Columbia University School of the Arst who wish to collaborate on a project that will bring together young German and American authors who also produce translations. This is something that fits beautifully into our other translation promotion activities and we agree to meet again with all participants in April.
And now I must finally get to at least a few of my e-mails. It’s already 5:30 and at 6:00pm is the meeting of our German Book Club. It’s odd – the Book Club is the only German-language event that the Goethe-Institut offers. Because we assume that the majority of people interested in German culture don’t actually speak German, all of our events are held in English with at most a small sampling of German. The Book Club is the exception, and aims to give Americans who understand German an incentive to read and speak German. The group is small but very enthusiastic. Today we’re discussing Monica Cantieni`s novel, Grünschnabel. The author arrives next week to take part in Festival Neue Literatur, and I’ll be interested to see if the Book Club members come to those events and ask the author some of the questions that will come up in our discussion.
At 9:00pm I’m finally at home and the sofa beckons….But I first need to begin prepping for a dinner for the German Traces crew. Everyone who worked on the project is invited to a typical German meal this Friday night. I’m serving Sauerbraten – and that takes preparation. Oh, and then I need to sit down and write “A Day in the Life of a Librarian”, which concludes my day. At 11:07pm.
Wednesday, 1. February 2012
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