Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Library Day in the Life

Now this I can do:

A Library Day in the Life

Describe my day as a librarian for LIS students and those strange others who might be interested.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

8:40 AM. Get to work at Mid-City Branch. Start making coffee. Lock myself outof the library when I go to the back hallway for water from the drinking fountain. SWELL. Going to be THAT kind of day.

8:50: Get the landlord to let me in.

9:00: Sort out some of the passes to the local Zoo which are one of our Summer Reading Club prizes, to go to the different branches. I am chair of the Summer Reading Program Committee this year. My co-workers arrive.

9:15: Coffee's done. Eat my breakfast.

9:20: Take out and set up the library's laptop PAC computers. Mid-City is a temporary library under the Gates Foundation/Solinet Gulf Coast Libraries Grant for post-Katrina recovery. A lot of our equipment is small and portable.

Branch run arrives: books returning home to us, or requested by our patrons. Today's run also includes a shipment of new DVDs and music CDs from Cataloging. We will check these in later. Send the Zoo passes out in the outgoing run.

9:30: Pull the morning's Holds Request list -- books requested by patrons around the system, to be held here or sent to the branches.

10:00: Open the library. People start linig up to use the computers.

10:15: Call one of our Summer Reading performers, a magician, and cancel the performance for next Monday at Latter Branch. The branch is closed since it's air conditioning is broken. We have been unsuccessful at finding alternate locations for library programming so far.

10:30: Call a local vendor and secure a donation of ice cream for the Summer Reading Finale Party on August 2.

10:45: Work on checking in the branch run materials while assisting patrons at the circulation desk. Field a call from my intern, who is late and anxious. No problem; she is doing outreach and riding public transportation. She'll get here when she gets here.

11:00: Check email; answer some emails about planning/programming for Summer Reading. Continue to assist patrons with circulation, reference and computer questions.

12:00: Shift off the desk for a co-worker. Shelve some books. Straighten up the materials for purchase on the Book Sale table.

1:00: Lunch. Intern has not arrived. I'm a little anxious now.

2:00: Back on the Circ desk. Between patrons, write up the minutes of the last Summer Reading Committee meeting. Remind my branch manager via email of my next committee meeting, and of the Summer Reading Finale Party, which I must attend.

3:00: Intern arrives. She ate lunch first. I set her to labeling up and checking in the new CDs that arrived.

The Circ desk becomes extremely busy, with many checkouts/ins and new patrons requesting library cards. I am not at a Circ computer, but help as I can, signing people up for computers and answering general ref questions.

When the rush ends, I have my bad momoent. This happens every Wednesday. Wednesday is the only night we are open late, and I work an 11-hour day. On most days, three o'clock equals two hours til quitting time! On Wednesdays -- five hours! Gah!

4:00: Fuss around and surf the biblioblogosphere while riding the Circ desk. Set my intern to updating the computerized statictics for the Summer Reading participants at the branch. Answer some more emails about Summer Reading, the next committee meeting, and the Finale Party. Two kids come in and redeem their Summer Reading logs.

5:00 -- 5:15: Take a break before the bulk of the staff leaves at six.

5:15: Things get much slower after five. Chat with my coworkers. Winnow out my email inbox. Find the day in the life project and start typing.

6:15 Have to rein in a kid who's tearing books off the shelves like the Tsmanian Devil. My coworkers are men and leave me to deal with the kids, although I am no more a kid person than these bachelors are. Not too cool.

7:30: Make the "half hour til closing" announcement.

7:45: Take down the PAC laptops and lock them up for the night. Well, actually one of my coworkers does this while I "supervise." :-)

8:00: Run the last one or two diehards out and the library is closed!


Bobbi Newman said...

It's interesting to hear about a temporary library set up after Katrina. How long will the library run? What type of building are you in?

K2.0 said...

The Gates grants funds the library for three years -- building maintenance, fittings, books, staff salaries. After that the library system must assume the cost. Mid-City is slated to be open for a few more years, until a new regional branch is built in the Carrollton neighborhood.

We are lucky that in the branch is in a real building, a storefront in a mixed retail/office building. Most of the gates temporary branches along the Gulf Coast are in "modular buildings," IE doublewide trailers, the kind of thing temporary school classrooms are often in.

Here'sa picture of the branch from our homepage: