Cat. & Reference: The Order of Things
When I first sit down to catalog in the afternoon, I open up my windows in a very specific order. First: A Firefox window with tabs for any non-cataloging websites I open. (Yes, friends, I am now converted to Firefox at work, although I still use IE at home). The tabs in that window are usually Gmail, and sometimes The Dewey Blog, Identifont, The Language Log, or Wikipedia, although I often use the latter for cataloging purposes, so sometimes I open it in the cataloging window. Next comes the Voyager cataloging module (the program that lets me insert and edit records in our online catalog). After that comes a Firefox window with cataloging websites. This includes WebDewey (an online version of the Dewey schedules), ClassWeb (an online version of Library of Congress Subject Headings, mapped to Dewey and LC numbers), OCLC FirstSearch help pages (information about various MARC tags and indicators), the U of I library catalog, and sometimes Wikipedia. After that comes OCLC FirstSearch / WorldCat (the interface that lets me search and import records from other libraries), then comes our Cutter number calculator, and then comes a Notepad file in which I save Dewey numbers that I’m working on.
It’s very important that my windows be open in this order (although the tab order is negotiable). In fact, if I screw up the order in which I open the windows, I have to close them all and re-open them in the right order. This isn’t entirely due to OCD – although I’m sure that plays a part – if I open them in the wrong order I’ll spend there rest of the session clicking on the wrong window to open what ought to be there. (This is, by the way, one of the hugest issues I have with Macs – the order of the minimized files is constantly changing. Yes, I’m clear that it stores them in a stack, but I don’t tend to remember the file I want by how recently I’ve used it.)
At the end of the day, I can close the windows in any order I like, although I usually save the Cutter number program for last, since for some reason closing it always makes my workstation freeze for about 30 seconds.