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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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Tomorrow is my last day at LittleU. And I’m officially excited about starting the new job. The reality is slowly sinking in now that it’s in sight and things are moving along.

Still working on getting the last bit of my office packed up. And I didn’t make it to LittleUtown yesterday so I still have to stop by the apartment to pick up those few things.

My file drawers are all cleaned out though. I still have to go through the in/out trays on my desk and clean out the files on my computer.

It’s a relief. I’ve been seeing some things come through my feeds about various things that community college librarians are doing in Illinois. Exciting stuff! I’m looking forward to meeting these people.

Next week by this time, I’ll have been in my new position for almost two days. Yay!

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While life is kind of exciting around here at the moment, there isn’t much to really blog about. Or maybe I’m just being modest. Meh.

The office packing has begun. Tomorrow night I plan to work on packing up the apartment. The library is doing a food drive beginning next week, so I’ll bring in any non-perishables I don’t want to mess with transporting. It’s a “food for fines” thing and if we aren’t doing something like that (and do charge fines) at my next place, I think I’ll start it. Fines don’t really add much money to the budget anyway and it’s a goodwill thing for the students.

I spent an hour on the phone and internet yesterday getting all my utilities set up for the new place. Decided to get cable and am hoping that I won’t become addicted to TV again. I’m watching almost none anymore and am much more relaxed. Decided to go with wireless internet since the only extra expense was the router and once I have that it’s ours to keep. The only other thing I’ll probably get once I’m there is a subscription to the local paper. It feels good to have that stuff out of the way.

Joined a scarf exchange on Facebook. Waiting to hear from my partner about any allergies and preferences before heading out to buy yarn. Fortunately we have until mid-January to get the scarf knit, so I’ve got some time.

I was given a gift from the library today at our staff meeting. It’s a LittleU Christmas ornament. It will fit in with the general idea of our Christmas tree. DH gets me an ornament each year that is supposed to signify something significant about that year. My time here has been an important part of my life and it will be nice to hang that next year. There will be no tree this year since I won’t be there to put it up and I’m not moving all that stuff with me. I might get one of those little live trees in a pot so my apartment isn’t completely un-Christmasy. But that’s about all I’ll have room for.

In general, I don’t feel all that sad about leaving. I think it hasn’t completely sunk in yet and probably really won’t until next week when I’m walking out the door. Also, the one person who has had been my closest ally and friend here has also found another job. Things are definitely going to change around the LittleU library in the next several months. I wish them well.

It’s amazing how a cute outfit can make you feel good. I recently got a dark brown pencil skirt from Avenue. (Let me just say that I love Avenue. At least the online store.) Add a denim swing jacket with a floral tank underneath and my purple suede wedges and I feel stylish and sassy. The only bad thing is the pachyderm ankles due to hose. While most women have eliminated pantyhose out of their wardrobe, with my scarred up, dry skin legs, I really need to wear something when I’m wearing a skirt or dress. As the temps cool more, I’ll switch over to tights.

And the weather is cooling some here this week. The temperature on the computer says 61 degrees. I’m able to sleep with my window open a small bit which makes for better sleep for me. Don’t know why it is, but fresh air seems to help. My landlord came in sometime last week to turn the heat on, but it’s not running much because it’s really not that cold outside yet. We might get some rain tomorrow. I like rainy fall days. Perfect for sweaters, hot tea, and soup. And of course, knitting.

On the knitting front, I seem to have many WIP’s and not much FO’s floating around. I’m almost done with my second pair of socks. I’m almost done with my string market bag. I’m almost done with my pumpkin. I’m almost done with my vest. One of my 101 things was to finish a knitting project each month. Since I knit fast (when I’ve got uninterrupted time) this isn’t usually a problem and I’ve been doing well with this goal. But I got a bad case of startitis recently. Now I’ve just got to get the finishitis bug and get some things off the needles.

I finished reading The Historian this weekend. It was a really good book and held my interest. In fact, I was almost late to work Saturday because I was trying to finish the last couple of chapters as I ate my breakfast. A very different take on Dracula’s story. Less about Dracula and more about how the fascination in the vampire affected the lives of the characters. Throw in a mystery and a couple of doomed love stories and you get a fascinating read.

I recently got a $50 gift card for completing an online health survey for my work insurance. It was a pretty simple survey and there were some good suggestions for health improvements at the end of it. And a $50 gift card, did I mention? I got to choose the store. Of course I went with a bookstore, Barnes and Noble. Today I picked out my goodies and am pleased with my haul. I pre-ordered Stephen King’s new collection of short stories. Looking forward to that. I’m also getting a new box calendar for my desk at work. Knitting related of course. Someone reminded me of the knitting cartoon book. And there had to be some music in the order as well. It’s like Christmas in October.

On the job search front, I’ve got a phone interview next week for another possibility. The job is here in KS though. But I’d like to talk to them to find out more and see if it would be a good fit. In many ways I’m still torn about looking for a job. There are many reasons for leaving, but a few good reasons for staying put. If anything, it’s making me fairly cautious about what I’m looking at and where. I won’t be rushing into a new situation without careful thought and thorough research. In the meantime, I do have some interesting projects I’m working on. (Which is part of the reason I’m reluctant to leave. If I could basically be left to do my work, I’d be happy as a clam.) Something that just came up is doing SWARM International tours again for spring semester. I really enjoyed working on this before the fall semester started and now that I know how it worked, I’m ready to tackle it again. And I’m confident that I’ll be able to easily meet my tenure requirements as there have been some very positive developments on that front. It was a struggle, but I think we’re in a better place with how the process should work and how to interpret the requirements for librarians. Still…

I couldn’t wait to start assembling the Halloween goody bags for the student workers. It’s just too much fun. I’ve found little Halloween decorated cans of pop, Halloween stickers, tattoos, play-doh, pencils, and mini flashlights. All I need now is some candy and the bags will be ready to go. I’ve got to get candy to hand out at home this year. It’s the first time in years that I’ll be home to hand out candy. I enjoy seeing the costumes and hearing “trick or treat”. Since I’ve got Halloween on the brain, I’ll leave you with a Halloweenie picture:

It’s really been a good week. DH and I went bowling on Monday. He did well, I was able to get the ball in my lane most of the time. *laugh* It’s been at least three years since I’ve bowled. Hard to believe, but the last time was in Alaska and we came back to the lower 48 almost 3 years ago.

The library was closed tonight since it’s Fall Break, so I ended up coming back to BigUtown last night and scored a work at home day. I didn’t get as much accomplished as I wanted, so I’m also working tomorrow even though it’s technically my day off.

I got a message yesterday about a job in Kewanee. Yes, Illinois! We’re considering moving back as a possibility. It’s a job I’m very interested in (although I’m really not applying for anything I’m not interested in) and would be a good opportunity. I called them back this morning and have an interview set up for next week. It’ll be a super quick trip there and back, but I’m excited. Things seem to be moving a bit more now in the job search front.

And DH is off Friday. Looks like it should be another beautiful day. We plan to play a round of golf on the course here in the neighborhood.

A week full of good things!

Little Bits

Posted on: October 1, 2008

I wrote my first book review for the local paper. It should be published Oct. 10. Yes, family types, I’ll get a couple of copies and send it along. It’s really not anything spectacular, but I enjoyed doing it. The hard part was deciding which book to review. I chose Augusten Burroughs latest book, A Wolf at the Table.

Currently I’m reading Kevin Brockmeier’s A View from the Seventh Layer. It’s a beautiful collection of short stories. There is even a choose-your-own-adventure story! I love his writing and am very impressed so far. Highly recommend you grab this at your local library.

So far this week, I’ve not watched any movies. Television isn’t really an option since I don’t have cable. I’m rediscovering how incredibly relaxing reading and listening to music can be.

I’m working on increasing my meditation to 3 hours a day. Means I do some over my lunch hour. Almost three weeks since the retreat and I’m noticing a difference in meditating in the real world with distractions and noise. But I will persevere because I also notice how I’m dealing with life in a more productive and peaceful way. That’s a huge thing for me!

And I’ve been doing the vegetarian thing for a month now. It’s hard to find good fresh produce (and a good selection of it) here in LittleUtown, but I’m determined to stick with it. Overall, I do feel healthier and am still able to get all the nutrients I need. I found a great cookbook at the public library and am looking forward to trying out different recipes. DH might even find that he likes the food. *grin* He’s been great about this change in lifestyle. Just means we have to eat veggie or cheese pizzas on the weekend instead.

Life will be a bit crazier for the next few weeks. I’m working the next three weekends and have a few workshops and conferences coming up. Seems like it comes in spurts.

And the weather is starting to cool off. Still in the 70’s this week, but it’s lower 70’s. Means I can wear light sweaters and jeans. I’m ready for 50’s.

I haven’t been all that inspired to write much lately. Things are fine. Busy, but that’s a good thing. But busy doesn’t always equal interesting.

I did get a call about a potential job. Mostly they just wanted to let me know they were interested and to check to see if I was still interested. I am. They are looking for someone to help them establish more of a web presence using 2.0 tools. It’s an intriguing possibility to do something that I was hoping to do where I currently am. Fingers crossed that I’ll at least get to go and interview. It was a good feeling to know that people still find me interesting and want to talk to me.

Never heard anything about the AK job. It was a long shot anyway. AK is the dream. The more practical side of me is considering places like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Iowa. I’d really like to get back to a place with snow all winter and cooler summers.

Again, for now, I’m happy with the actual work I’m doing. It’s rewarding and interesting. I’m dealing with the other stuff. It’s a valuable learning experience.


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October 2017
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Upcoming

Mar. 10 - Photography Class

Mar. 11 - Quad Cities SnB

Mar. 12 - Lincoln Reenactor performance at BHE

Mar. 13 - Annual budget due

Mar. 14 - SnB trip to Galena

Mar. 16-21 - Spring Break

Mar. 16-18 - On the Front Lines library conference in Springfield

Mar. 19-22 - In Kansas

Mar. 23 - Orientation in Quad Cities

Mar. 24 - Photography Class

Mar. 26 - Spring Break for Academic Librarians workshop in Peoria

Mar. 27 - Supervisor Development in Quad Cities

Apr. 2 - Using Social Technologies in Library Instruction workshop

Apr. 6 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 6 - My birthday

Apr. 7 - Photography Class

Apr. 9-12 - In Kansas

Apr. 10 - College Closed

Apr. 12 - Easter

Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

Apr. 13 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 14 - Photography Class

Apr. 16 - Evening Instruction Session

Apr. 17 - Information Literacy Summit

Apr. 18 - A Day of Books and Quilts at Toulon Public Library

Apr. 20 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 21 - Photography Class

Apr. 22 - Renegade Reference meeting in Bloomington

Apr. 23 - Illinois Library Day

Apr. 24 - Quarterly Supervisors Meeting

Apr. 27 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 28 - Photography Class

Apr. 29 - Supervisor Training in Quad Cities

May 5 - Photography Class

May 12 - National Library Legislative Day

May 25 - Memorial Day - College Closed

June 4 - RSA Users' Group meeting in Peoria

June 6 - SIL's birthday June 6 - Brother and SIL Anniversary

June 8 - Nancy Pearl at Bradley University

June 13 - WWKIP train trip to St. Louis

July 3 - Holiday - College Closed

July 4 - Independence Day

July 10 - Mom's Birthday

July 10-15 - ALA Annual Conference in Chicago

July 17-19 - Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL

July 31 - 10th Anniversary

Sept. 7 - Labor Day, College closed

Oct. 6-9 - Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Peoria

Nov. 23 - Brother's birthday

Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day, College closed

Nov. 27 - College Closed

Dec. 7 - MIL's birthday

Dec. 18 - DH's birthday

Dec. 25 - Christmas Day

Dec. 26 - Dad's birthday

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