Well we performed Yarra’s fastest ever IT upgrade this week. After some mis-communication (I read something differently to my boss, and we were both wrong with how we read it anyway) we found out on Thursday afternoon that our library system’s database was going to be upgraded on Tuesday morning. This meant we had to install a brand new library program on every library computer across our council (about 50 or so). And as I am not allowed to install/uninstall/touch anything on the computers, I told the IT guys they had to do it.

Our timeline kind of went like this (you need to imagine the annoying music from 24 playing).

2.45 – Christian hears ‘bing’ and notices there’s an email
2.46 – Christian reads the email saying “I hope you’ve all upgraded your software because this is happening” and thinks a bunch of words starting with F.
2.47 – Christian realises that the library system won’t work at all without the upgrade and says the bunch of words starting with F and decides to go speak to his boss.
2.50 – After explaining the situation, Christian’s boss says a few words (none starting with F) and rings anyone with any IT skills who she knows.
3.00 – IT ring back and we explain the situation
3.05 – Still explaining, stressing that the library cannot function with no system
3.10 – Still explaining, this time just stressing
3.11 – IT mentions that the last upgrade took a month of testing before it could be rolled out
3.12 – End of phone call with a meeting booked for 9am next morning.

Queue the tense music from 24 that probably plays when someone is about to have a meltdown (having never watched more than 2 minutes of 24, I am assuming this exists, they can’t just play that tick-tock countdown sound for an entire show, can they?)

Skip ahead to 9am the next morning. Both Christian and his boss now have stomach ulcers.

8.55am – Arrive at Collingwood town hall (where the department is located)
9.00am – Arrive at the IT area after getting lost going through 53 flights of stairs and 218 office spaces (some in cupboards)
9.01am – Begin grovelling to IT manager
9.05 – still grovelling
9.06 – he gets sick of grovelling and sends us off with an IT bloke
9.07 – I hand over the software upgrade for them to install on a test machine
9.10 – Software installed, so I start testing
9.11 – Check out a book. Check in a book. Place a hold. Add a user. Change some details. Perform a search. Catalogue an item. Check our home library service users. Run some reports.
9.30 – Testing finished (note how this didn’t take a month).
9.31 – Leave office.

(more dreadful music, this time showing a montage of a drive back to Collingwood with my boss, then more statistics and some budget forecasting)

11.00am – IT bloke arrives with install disk and starts testing the install in the live environment on one of our PCs.
11.15 – Install finished, PC up and running, everyone happy.

(more music)

5.00pm – Install completed on the front desk at Fitzroy and on the front desk at Collingwood.


8.30am – Arrive at work to find that the computers that were upgraded could not access circulation over the weekend
8.40am – Figure out that I need to physically go to every computer and change a setting because I’m the only one with the admin password
9.00am – Realise I cannot be bothered doing that and give the admin password to the IT guy who is installing stuff on every PC (I’ll change it later)
9.02am – Watch IT guy begin to install on the backroom computers at Fitzroy
10.00am – IT guy says ‘bye’ and heads off to another location to install.


5.15pm – Finally decide to call IT guy to see if he’s finished.
5.30pm – After talking to staff at every branch (4 of which I now know are upgraded, 1 who are unsure), call the IT department to find out where he is.
5.31pm – He’s gone home.
5.32pm – Decide to go home myself.

8.15am – Arrive at work and put things on every computer so noone logs in.
9.00am – Tell a staff member off who logged in and buggered their computer.
9.15am – Receive a message that it should all be good.
9.16am – Discover I cannot log in but everyone else can.
9.17am – Begin to call branches to let them know.
9.25am – Finally talk to them all.
9.26am – Find out Richmond hasn’t been upgraded, frantically call them to tell them to log out.
9.27am – Call IT, get hold musak.
9.30am – On hold.
9.31am – Find out person is in a meeting and leave an urgent message.
9.32am – Call Richmond to get them to ring IT because I’m supposed to be in training.
9.55am – Call Richmond because training was a bit boring and find out that they will have to go in to offline mode until IT show up (he’s on his way).
9.56am – Find out that computers at Fitzroy, Carlton and Collingwood are also not working.
9.57am – Decide that training is slightly more fun than this and let my second in charge know that she’ll be doing the ringing around to get IT to come out and fix those computers as a matter of urgency.

All through that there was the annoying music from 24.

And you all thought I was being slack with my posts…look how long this one was?

All in all, the upgrade went fairly well (especially given our limited timeframe). It would have been much easier if I was able to install the software myself, but, over time, IT may relax around me and allow me to do some things.

Finger’s crossed.

Upgrade upgrade upgrade

6 thoughts on “Upgrade upgrade upgrade

  • July 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Michelle, the training got better, but I had read most of the training notes before-hand so was a little bored to start with (and felt like I asked waaay too many questions). If you’re going to be editing your opac then I may be picking your brains someday soon.

    Scot! For some reason my rss reader doesn’t like your blog. And I’ve performed plenty of upgrades in the past, I just usually had the power to do everything (instead of having to send it out to my minions).

    I have minions! 🙂

  • July 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Which blog? Justgiblets.com? I will be starting a new librarian blog at http://libnilets.justgiblets.com. I just gotta get it going.

    But the minions were part and parcel of my world in aqn academic library. Now we are frightfully on our own in my public. Can’t win.

    When do you visit Boston?

  • July 14, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Scot: Yes to justgiblets.com. My rss reader (bloglines) has this little ‘problem’ exclamation mark next to it. But if I go to the blog itself it’s fine. The joys of technology.

    Email me sometime!

  • July 15, 2009 at 2:53 am

    I would love to email you, but both emails I have for you bounced!

    But try this for our feed. You can keep up with Michael’s book reviews and my You Tube postings of children cussing.


    Stupid Bloglines. It’s the only reader I know that has that problem with a normal RSS 2.0 feed from WordPress!


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