Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Library Week - Tuesday

Well a lot has changed since the last time I did this. I have accepted a promotion, and am now head of a department at the main library downtown. Of my old division I worked in pre-Katrina in fact, the Periodicals, Arts, & Recreation division.

I have a lot on my plate. I was brought in to stabilize the division -- it has seen a crazy amount of staff turnover this year -- and to prepare it for being shut down and turned into a new Teen Center for the main library. So I have to oversee the regular duties of the division, train new staff who were brought in, and start weeding, clearing out and deaccessioning the old materials to make way for the new. Things keep coming at me, and sometimes I get a little confused about what exactly I'm doing. My staff, who know I was brought in to rescue them to a certain extent, get upset if I can't answer their questions right off. But hey, I've never been a supervisor before, I'm figuring it out too. I know a lot about how the division is supposed to be run, but not everything. I last worked here as an associate after all.

Right now we are shifting the back issues of the magazines. This is done at the new year. Some of 2007's we have to keep, and they go down to the basement, and some we can discard. The records about which goes where, however, are not up to date, so I am having to make Solomonic decisions about what stays and what goes on a daily basis.

On top of that, I am currebtly also writing the annual report for last year. I need to take an HR training course on evaluating staff, which I have to do next month - annual evaluations. I am training a new paraprofessional. I need to get started on weeding the old PAR reference collection -- a lot of thaT\t stuff needs to go. We are in the middle of shifting our circulating books to the Information division. It's a lot to keep in the air at once.

So that's what I'm doing this week.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Library Week in the Life

Well it is time for another round of the Library Day in the Life wiki. I hope this is actually doing some people some good, that library students areactually looking at it and learning something.

unfortunately, I wasn't well today and took a sick day, so I don't have anything to report on the work front. except, I guess, the fact that librarians get sick too. We may be pretty awesome,but we're not superheroes. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


People are looking forward to this Inauguration far more than any I can remember in my lifetime. People are taking off work, travelling to Washington, and not just black people, either. Not everyone -- there are still plenty of Obama haters out there -- but more than I ever remember. One of my employees is reconfiguring one of our computers so staff and patrons can watch the swearing-in.

This isn't just a simple transfer of power. It has the air of a ritual of purgation, of re-conscecration. I think it must have felt somethign like this back in Bronze Age times, at the installation of a new sacred king. After they alaughter the old one. (Assuming such a thing ever really happened, outside the fever dreams of Robert Graves.)

Well, I guess we have advanced somewhat, the human race, in that we don't have to slaughter "43" to get rid of him, and we observe a peaceful transfer of power with the full cooperation of the old regime. But it definitely feels like a new day in America. I keep thinking, Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we're free at last!