An odd time to start

Looking back, I can’t believe that I started this weblog on April 1–or at any time in April.

If a few postings have seemed more scatterbrained and on-edge than you’d expect even in a “random” weblog, there’s a reason. These have been strange times at work. (Among other things, I’ve spent 90% of my time in April and May so far doing things that were never previously part of my portfolio, using tools that I’d never seen in March, working with a data source that didn’t exist until March and was still being debugged… After a few weeks of beating my head against tool problems and data sources, it’s actually proving to be worthwhile. Reminds me of back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was doing MARC-based programming with no role models…)

You don’t need more details. Those of you who use RLG services know that the transition we’re going through has taken a little longer and been a little tougher than expected. I think we’re coming out of it stronger, and in ways that will soon be better for users as well. I know I’m coming out of it with a lot more duties, but also the tools to do some of them more effectively.

What the heck. Maybe starting a weblog at the worst possible time was a great idea for the long term.

That was the first work-related post I’ve done. Likely the last for a while as well.

2 Responses to “An odd time to start”

  1. Jon Gorman Says:

    “You don’t need more details.”

    Wow, way to drive my curiosity up. Way up. Perhaps you don’t want to give away any secrets; or more likely I suppose bore most visitors who care less. But now I’m wondering what new forms of data and tools it could be. XML is popular nowdays, perhaps that and XSLT/SAX processing of some sort? FLOWR? Maybe it’s some bizarre new MARC format developed in a dark, dank castle by a group of crazed monks turned mad scientists? Of course, I’m a bit new to the fields so I’m not entirely sure what all RGL does besides it’s a big organization. You’ve at least got me to check out their webpages a little more closely ;)

  2. walt Says:

    I’d same some details might be confidential. We’re moving (have almost entirely moved) databases and services from a mainframe platform to an open server platform and industry-standard database software. In the process, to be sure, we’re storing records in XML (but since all of our searching is Z39.50-based, there’s a lot of XML->MARC conversion happening).

    The tools I’m talking about have nothing to do with bibliographic data, at least not directly: Along with my Eureka and OpenURL and other analysis duties, I’m now Internal Reports Guy, so I’ve been learning the Cognos suite of report-building/database-analysis products and our own newly-implemented data repository.

    RLG is actually a small organization that does a lot (there are fewer than 90 of us on staff, but we serve hundreds of libraries worldwide and have the second-largest union catalog around). Our webpages do indeed tell a lot (and you can sign up for the wonderful RLG Diginews!)


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