a day in the life of a part-time, reference librarian [working circ] for a county public library system
Once again, as I did on the last round of the Day in the Life of a Library escapades, I am working the Circulation Desk. That’s right. Our Circ Department is still understaffed, so I’m taking a break from my usual night Reference Desk shift on Mondays to help out at Circ.
As I wrote about before, Circ duty is NOT glamorous. There’s no fancy web 2.0 outreach, fabulous programs, or time to work on projects of those ilk. There were plenty of programs going on this evening, such as open craft time, game night, and Tai Chi, but I had very little [if nothing] to do with any of the programs. At Circ, I am on the “front line” so to speak. A lot of my night was spent checking in [or what we call "discharging" at my library] materials from and checking out materials to patrons. And Mondays tend to be a bit nutty, mainly because we get two “runs” of materials from the eight other branches. Normally, there is only one run a day. So, what’s the big deal — those materials need to be placed on hold for our branch’s patrons or prepared to be shelved back into our collection, which means it takes a BIG chunk of time. All the materials are “checked in,” patrons [who haven't set up email notification] are called so they know their hold is ready for them to pick up, and materials are sorted and put into proper order to facilitate shelving. So on Mondays, a lot of the time during the day is taking care of the runs, which means when I waltz in at 5pm, there tends to be a lot of catch up needed to get the desk into a manageable state. It’s not bad; it’s actually nice being busy.
Summers are always interesting to me, because when I was working at academic libraries, summer was somewhat of a “down time.” I was still busy, but I wasn’t necessarily meeting with faculty or students on a daily basis. Summers in the public library world are crazy! The summer reading program brings a whole new vibe in the library. I’m not even a Youth Services Librarian, but the summer reading program still effects my work days at the library. One of my favorite things to do is log participants reading progress. It is truly inspiring to see how excited a child gets when telling you about a book s/he just read. His/her eyes light up.
The Youth Services librarian and I had an informal chat about the library blog to which we both contribute. We tend to bounce entry ideas off of each other. We both try to avoid the “list of books” entry. I know — I’m a librarian — books are everything, right? Well, information transcends books, especially in today’s world. So, I’m constantly trying to come up with ideas for the blog that are more than a “next reads” post, as well as to make the blog more interactive. Our blog doesn’t get a lot of comments from our readers, so I’ve done some posts with polls via Polldaddy, which at least gets a little feedback from readers.
Finally, at random down times throughout the night, I tend to get into my Google Reader and check out some library/librarian blogs I follow. One thing I like to do is look for “alerts” when the Adventures in Library Instruction podcast is mentioned. I co-produce the podcast with two former Emory University colleagues, Rachel Borchardt and Jason Puckett, who are now at American U. and Georgia State, respectively. I haven’t been on the past few episodes; I’m in the process of trying to get my life organized after giving birth to my second son. I’m looking forward to getting back into it, and taping August’s episode. With that being said, I’m anxious to get back to leading some workshops. I’ve mainly been doing introductions/hands-on-workshops focused on Facebook, Twitter, RSS, Blogging, etc. I’m trying to figure out what to with my next workshop. I’ll be teaching less, so I want to make the workshops that I offer timely and relevant to the community.
So, there it is — my day in the life of a librarian. A huge thanks to Bobbi Newman for once again organizing such a fun activity!