Day in the Life
Posted January 21, 2009on:
Now that I’ve started a new job, it seemed an appropriate time to write a new post about a typical day in my librarian life…if there is a day you can call typical.
Most mornings I get up around 7 am. I’m still not a morning person, but it’s nice to have more of a routine again. By 8:15, I’m at work.
The first thing I do when I get into my office (yes, I have an office with a door!) is turn on my computer. So much of what I do for the rest of the day will involve the computer.
After that I go find some coffee. If it isn’t already brewing, I’ll get it going. My full-timers are generally here before me, so they’ve already got the library opened up for the day. Often there are morning distance education classes, so one of my staff is somewhere in the building at that time making sure the classroom technology is working properly.
After pouring a cup of coffee, I sit down at my desk and check the library’s Google mail account. This is where we get our intralibrary loan lists and the overdue lists. If our part-time person isn’t here that day, I’ll take care of pulling and preparing the books for ILL. I always take care of looking over and printing the overdue notices, which I then set out for one of the evening part-time people to double check. She makes sure that we don’t have the book on the shelf before the notice is sent out. When she’s not here, I take care of that myself.
A couple of times during the day, I check for any loan requests that come through OCLC First Search. On a typical day we’ll get one or two requests. When they come in, I pull the books, get them ready for whatever transportation method they’re going by, and enter all the information in the ILL database I’ve created for those requests.
The rest of the day is filled up with a variety of other tasks depending on the day of the week and how many part-time employees I have working. I do shelve books when our little cart is starting to overflow or when I’ve done something like taking books off the New Book shelf to move to the regular stacks. If an order comes in, I will often help with some of the processing involved, such as entering the received books into our spreadsheets or helping cover the books.
Sometimes I help out when the mail comes in for the day. We tend to get mail in the morning and afternoon. It brings the usual stuff like catalogs, bills, and our periodicals. I’ll check in newspapers, magazines, and journals. This involves barcoding, labeling, and date-stamping them among other parts of that process.
Now that the semester has begun, I’ll also be spending time preparing for instruction sessions. Since I can focus specifically on my job here, it seems like I have more time to really prepare for the individual classes that I’ll be working with. I look for reference books, periodicals, and other materials that I hope will be useful to the students in addition to databases and internet resources. I’d really like to see our print collection used more because we do have some good things even if we are a small library.
Soon, I’ll be working on our annual budget. I’ve already started doing some minor things with it, but I’ll have to complete it by April.
I also take care of the staff scheduling. This isn’t usually too complicated except when we have something going on or someone is going to be off. Most of the time, the schedule doesn’t vary much week by week.
I’ve also been spending some time most days working on ordering books. While I’ve done some actual ordering to get familiar with our vendors, one of my full-time staff does that. I do most of the selecting. Reading reviews can be time-consuming. I also have to do some digging around at times to find requested books or other materials that we should have on our shelves.
One big project that I started shortly after I arrived was the reference collection weeding and updating. It’s been awhile since that has been done and we have some things sitting out there that are out-of-date or just need to go away. I’ll also be doing some shifting in that area once I’ve got this first part completed.
This may not sound like a lot, but it does fill up a day. Mornings really seem to fly by and there have been many days when I’ve looked up at the clock to realize it’s already lunchtime.