So, you’ve read my previous blog post and are still keen on joining the library industry? FANTASTIC, you are ready to hear about a typical day in the life of me. A librarian.
A typical work day for me can begin at 9am, 9.30am, 10am or once a month 12noon. We work on a rotating four-week roster which after thirteen years I’ve finally gotten used to.
I work with 5 full time and 4 part-time staff. The library coordinator spends most of her day at her desk completing admin and general office work. The rest of us spend 90% of our day on our feet completing a range of different jobs including, but not limited to customer service, reader advising, shelving, checking out and checking in of items, placing requests for new materials and holds requests for books we don’t have currently on our shelves.
My job is to oversee the staff on the floor and work as a team to make sure all the jobs we have to do get done. I am also the person responsible for designing and implementing adult programming such as author events, workshops and other events throughout the year. We work really closely with our community to find out their needs and wants in regards to programs and events the library holds. It’s such an interesting job managing all these different people who all have different personalities, ways of doing things and ideas. I love the way our team works collaboratively to get things done together.
Currently our team only get one hour each ‘off desk’ away from the public to plan, implement and evaluate the programs and events we run. We have to make sure to utilise that hour to the maximum potential as it’s hard to complete something in only an hour.
My job is also to purchase, maintain and delete items from the ‘adult collections’ we have around 80,000 items in our library and currently our collection age is way older than I want it to be. I am frantically trying to reduce that by deleting items which haven’t been borrowed by the public in 3 years or more. If items haven’t been used in 3 years or more it means that they aren’t ‘pulling their weight’ and are just taking up space on shelves. At a training workshop I recently attended the presenter posed the question… Does your library want to be a repository or a vibrant collection of constantly moving items. I prefer the latter. There’s an awesome website we use daily called fantastic fiction (www.fantasticfiction.com) its an amazing resource for finding authors – finding the order in which a series should be read and more!!
Libraries today are fast becoming the technology help go to place. We are always assisting people with their devices, how to print, using email and so on. The thing that makes it so frustrating is that people don’t know their passwords any more. Smart devices have made us humans dumb by remembering all our passwords for us. This often causes issues when we are instructing people.
There are numerous interesting parts of working in our library.
1. Meeting wonderful Authors.
We have so many authors who visit our library, every one of them have been diverse and interesting and such a pleasure to meet and chat with. It’s one of my favourite aspects of my job.
2. Seeing people light up at our events.
I love seeing the enjoyment, connection and friendships developed at our events and workshops. Every Thursday our knitting group meet at the back of the library – they laugh, they yell, they hoot and they have a ball together. This makes my day.
3. Dealing with complex customers.
Every day we deal with really interesting people, people from all walks of life and all backgrounds. Sometimes we have to deal with people who have mental illness or might just be having a terrible day. I have attended training to deal with difficult customers and it has actually come in so handy when I’ve needed it.
4. Books, glorious books!
I get to work with books every day, I get to see books come across my counter every hour. I see new books, old books, comic books, audio books. I love books. Can you tell? I also LOVE to recommend books to people. I am hope that people actually enjoy my recommendations. Hehe.
If any of these things appeal to you I strongly suggest you join me in the world of libraries. It’s a really interesting, ever evolving, brilliant bookish profession which I absolutely adore.
Stay tuned for more of my bookish adventures through my blog.
Yours in books,
– J xx