Saturday, July 30, 2011

Library Day in the Life (#libday7)

If I were a patron, I'd have racked up a serious fine, because this blog post is so overdue! Finally, here is my #LibDay7 post! Thanks for waiting and I hope you enjoy. I will be updating this post throughout the day so I apologize to anyone who sees it multiple times in their RSS feed.

I am a youth librarian in a Michigan public library, but today I have been scheduled to work in the adult department, which is always a challenge when your expertise lies elsewhere. But it can be fun to answer some tougher reference questions and see some new (to me) patrons.

8:00 Arrive at library. Yesterday I was at a workshop so I spend a few minutes going through items on my desk and running through my mental to-do list of items I want to get done before we open at 10:00. Start working on those: change the bulletin board (from an idea I found on Pinterest), go through new books fresh out of processing, check email and voicemail, as well as daily opening preparations (turn on computers, change date on date due stamps, reset people counter, etc.)

9:00 First co-workers arrive: two of my three pages arrive. The last one will be in at 10. Pages empty the book-drop and vacuum the sections of the youth department that still have debris from painting. I fill out a form for mileage reimbursement and professional development summary from yesterday's excellent workshop I attended on early literacy and school readiness (presented by MSU Extension).

10:00 Third page arrives and the two pages working in the adult department today turn on the lights, send the elevator down to the parking lot level, and  so forth. We have recently had new lighting installed on the laptop tables and neither the page or I know how to turn them on! Luckily the page scheduled for the youth department was here when they were installed and fills us in. Time to open! I wait for patrons to come in. They trickle in slowly. Check some books out, help patrons log in to use the computers. Order some books from ILL. A children's department regular comes in and asks me what I am doing "on the wrong floor" and I help her find the Cars soundtrack. Make a mental note to change the cataloging on that one as it is in the adult department but the movie itself is downstairs in children's. We also spot the Wall-e soundtrack on the wrong floor, but it has been misshelved (as opposed to miscataloged/mislabeled). Another patron asks if we can hold her ILL books if they come in Monday or Tuesday, so I promise to leave a note. In between patrons, I type up a Goodbye sign that I wanted to make for the youth department that I pinned.

11:00 Time for lunch! Since it is a short work day, I take a half-hour. My husband brings me Jimmy John's and I remember why I married him. He hasn't seen the new paint job in the youth department, so I am excited to see what he thinks. He thinks it is a big improvement and I am inclined to agree. Lunch break is interrupted by a question from a page about whether or not it is OK for a patron to take a book out of a stack (yes, and a good thing too because it was for a Board member!)

11:30 Back from lunch. Other staff members start to take their lunch. Help patron find a Nicholas Sparks book only to discover at the check-out desk that she doesn't live in our service area. So unfortunately, she would have to pay a non-resident fee or will not be able to check anything out. I hate telling people they can't borrow our materials! Hate it.

12:00 Am able to work downstairs for a few minutes to get ready for Monday's Grand Re-Opening of the youth department. Hang up a welcome banner, and put up some other decorations. Also adjust the bulletin board because when I did it this morning (pre-caffeine) I stapled some of the letters crooked. Oops! Also sign a few kids onto the computers, find a Maggie Stiefvater book for a patron, and say thank you's for compliments on our new paint job.

1:00 Finish my projects downstairs and head back up. One page goes home. We have been busy all day and this is no exception. Sign more people onto computers (one from Mississippi and one from Ontario!). A woman asks me if we have any CDs by Joanna Newsom. We do so I find it for her. Since our CDs are cataloged in Dewey, she asks if I can print her a list of category call numbers. I fish one off the Internet and send it home with her. I also print one for myself for the children's department so I can make a sign with "real people" language as our CDs are also in DDC downstairs.

Page asks me how we are supposed to put the chairs up on the reading tables now that they have lights installed on them. I have no idea so we experiment a little and get them to (just barely) fit!

2:00 Survive the last minute frenzy. Closing duties are done (everything's off and doors are locked) so it's time to go home!

That's all folks! Hope you enjoyed the blow-by-blow description of a day in the life of a youth librarian temporarily moved to the adult department!

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