A day in the life of a librarian..

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,
always,

– J xx

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so, you want to work in a library?

I’ve been working in the Library industry for thirteen years now. It’s a profession I absolutely adore and something that feels so natural to me. I’ve worked as an entry level Library Officer, I’ve spent six years as the Children’s and Youth Services officer and now am second in charge of a large regional library service as the Adult Programs and Services Librarian. Loads of people ask me ‘how can I become a librarian’ and my answer is always this… ‘it’s a lot of work, and often not what people expect.’

When you think of working in a library, the image that comes to mind is a kindly, somewhat dotty old lady wearing a knitted cardigan standing behind a desk stamping books with her date stamp. Working in a library these days is NOTHING LIKE THAT. If you are wanting to be a librarian because, ‘OMG you must get to read all day’ think again. If I hear someone ask ‘you get paid to work here’ one more time I may scream. Lol.

Library’s these days are fast paced, customer and community focused hubs where technology and traditional mediums collide. Not only do we provide books, newspapers, magazines, talking books and DVDs but we now offer e-books, e-audio books, e-magazines, streaming services, printing and computer access, scanning services,  programming such as story time and author events, workshops such as cooking classes, internet skills sessions, resume building and more. You have to think on your feet, provide accurate access to information in a speedy and friendly manner and be able to deal with your community’s most needy as well as sometimes difficult customers.

My aim with this blog post is not to discourage you from entering the library industry, but to make sure you are aware of what you’re getting yourself into and some ways which may help you on that journey if you do really want it.

1. Do your research. Jump online and check out any recent news articles about libraries, there’s heaps. Usually each state has a ‘state’ library which has been a major go to for me… State library of Victoria is AMAZING www.slv.vic.gov.au

Check out Public Libraries Victoria Network (PLVN.net.au), it’s an amazing network of librarians and library professionals who conduct research, professional development and more. Australian library and information association (Alia.org.au) is an amazing wealth of library information. It has lists of current employment opportunities, information on ACCREDITED library courses and more.

2. Volunteer – drop by your local library. Enquire about their volunteer opportunities or if they have a friends of the library group or a Home Library Service.

3. Study / Get experience – if you are looking into studying to be a library technician/librarian I urge you to only complete an ALIA accredited course… These course have been deemed the most relevant to libraries in Australia. Whilst completing your course you’ll have the opportunity to complete placements within libraries, make sure to make the most of this time. If you make a great impression during your placement you’re more likely to be remembered. I completed a diploma in Library and information services online through Swinburne University of Technology – the course was okay, but being the university of Technology I kind of expected there to be more tech involved – like maybe videos of the classes etc. I scored so highly in the course that they use my coursework as examples (hahaha!)

4. Know your local library – every library service has a website. You can easily find out SO much information about programs, events and happenings in your local library. The more you know, the more interested you will present to potential employers.

Working in a library is my dream job. It’s not easy. It is fun and your surrounded by books all day long. If you’re up for a challenge and for a job which is a bit left of field I urge you to jump in and explore.

You won’t regret it.
I hope you found this blog post interesting and helpful 🙂

 

Access Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) of Books in Australia

If you are like me you’ve been on Ins

hachette

tagram seeing other #bookstagrammers and #bookbloggers gaining access to these amazing copies of books for free from Australian publishers. Well, in return for being sent these goodies, recipients are asked to review these books as well as post about them on social media. As well as the above, recipients need to have a large social media following (what’s the point of sending out books to review when the reviews will only be seen by five people). I have put together a list of steps you’ll need to complete in order to request arc’s from these publishers.
(I’ve had the most success with the two listed below, but there are others you can try)

  1. Click one of the links below.
    https://www.allenandunwin.com/au-media
    https://www.hachette.com.au/media/downloads.aspx
  2. For each of these publishers you can download a ‘new books’ brochure. Have a look through these and note any titles you think you’d be interested in reviewing. Remember to read the synopsis of each book you think you’d like, the publishers will expect a review of the book if it is sent to you – if you don’t think you would enjoy or be able to read and review the book, do not request it.
  3. Make sure you will have time to complete both reading and reviewing of every item you request – don’t overload yourself. Check the publication date for the items you’ve requested. Publishers would like reviews posted as close to the novel’s publication date as possible.
  4. Send an email to the publicity addresses for the publishers with the following details.
    – A short intro/bio
    – How many followers/hits you have on social media or blogs etc.
    – Which title you would be interested in
  5. Once this is done you can wait for a response from the publisher (I received emails back from Hachette, the books from Allen and Unwin just arrived unexpectedly).

Once you’ve completed all of this you will have received your first ARC book and be on your way to be a successful book reviewer.
Good luck
Cheers
– Jayse