Tag: library

Have to Keep Hopping….

There’s an interesting sorta-meme going around called “Day in the Life of a Librarian.” While I will refrain from a full minute by minute, I thought I’d share an account of yesterday, so you have an idea.

Times approximate

8:35 –Call WebGuy to let him know that I will be a few minutes late for the meeting: I have to drop the car at the shop because the power steering has decided it doesn’t want to play nice.

8:37 –Since the walk from the car shop to the library takes me right past the doughnut shop…well….

9:05 –Hustle upstairs, box of doughnuts in hand (people in my dept duly doughnuted)

9:06 — Meeting with RA and WebGuy. Discuss some details for new website. Conclude with need for me to draw squares and return them to WebGuy as promptly as possible.

10:20 — Turn on computer, check email, check intranet for new incident reports and blog posts. Send emails to Madame Director and Madame Immediate Supervisor asking them for five minutes when they get it (separately–different topics/times); Add patron request to acquisition system; Email title to Teen Librarian to confer if I should buy a book or she should.

10:50 –Get call from Acquisitions Guru to understand that this particular sub-series in American Girl does not come through on the standing order but will be ordered today for patron requests. Bow to the wisdom of the Acquisitions Guru. Get call from machine knitter– should she bring machine again? What day? Yes, March 25.

11:00 –Write out children’s dept requirements for registration module for new calendar program

11:30 – 1 — Draw physical layouts for children’s website–where I want editable boxes for staff (draw squares–write in content specifications); Confirm some money details for Knit in Public day; Rewrite current to-do list and attempt to figure out what I can wade through in afternoon.

1 -5: On Desk– Answering reference questions, walking patrons to shelves, putting books on hold, pulling a teacher collection, create registration form for upcoming children’s program, reseting children’s game computers that require log out to get a game to end (several times), registering patrons for storytimes. Yes, we have tongue twister books –No, all of our copies of the Sneetches are out, can I put it on hold for you?

1:05 Madame Immediate Supervisor swings past desk to review layout of website main page and primary sub pages. Brief discussion on what will need to be updated, how often, and by whom. Meebo WebGuy to say I have my layouts ready.

1:15 Zooming on the computer screen doesn’t mean it’s going to print out a full sized page. It will print the original size of that image. No, we don’t have a color printer down here. There is one upstairs in reference.

1:30 p.m. Review Knit In timeline and other details with Madame Director. Get approval for some purchases, discuss possibility of interviews with unique knitters in the community, debate where to get snacks from and where we can keep snacks for least amount of mess.

3:00 p.m. Is it three already? I’ve been sending out emails and confirming with my speaker, hammering out other details, begging for flyer expertise from Sibling-the-Elder [a graphic designer: I am not], WebGuy makes flying pass through children’s to pick up layouts and point out immediate problems. I promise to discuss next week and have Parents/Educators site mapped out. As he leaves I advise not to lose my square layouts– he just took my master copy!!

3:30 Visit from one of my pre-schoolers who is in day care now and can’t come to storytime as regularly. I hear that the Mike Myers version of the Cat in the Hat movie was “Icky” and was turned off after ten minutes.

3:40 Teen Librarian comes by to discuss book purchases, make a recommendation, talk about Teen website layout, debate the hiring of new Gaming Assistant now that Former GA has moved across an ocean. Teen Librarian exits stage left serving as pied piper of gaming teen boys.

3:45 [phone] No I haven’t seen your brother and we’ve talked about the fact I can’t give out information like that over the phone –two minutes later brother walks out of the stacks–Your sister is looking for you. Brother mumbles okay and settles down at game computer with headphones on.

3:50 — Who’s working the weekend? Me. Learn of mayoral candidate to be in children’s room on Saturday for meet and greet. (We’re having all the primary candidates in for this little gathering. Not a debate, just a chance for voters to come by and ask questions in separate spaces in library.) Note to self: put on a little extra make-up Saturday morning–the press will be probably be here.

4:00– Attempting to locate various picture books for 3 themes a day care provider is looking for. Success on most of the books. One appears to have vamoosed somewhere between circulation and the shelf in the past 24 hours.

4:40 Do NOT vault over the side of the boat. [3 foot drop] You could get hurt and I don’t want anything happening. Alright? Look at me…alright? Okay.

4:42 Okay, off the boat. Yes I know it was him this time and not you but I just spoke to both of you and you’re done for the day on the boat.

5:00 Hello Reference? Me. Is Head of TS still up there? This computer won’t let me access the F: drive from a website. Yes the F: drive is functioning. On his way down? Awesome.

5:06 [phone] Hello Youth Services….yes, that was me calling from my cell. Five minutes? Okay…

5:10 He’s off the boat, she’s waiting for Head of TS–he’ll be down in five, this teacher collection isn’t fully pulled, I’ve got to get outside for the nice person driving me home. Would you list me on the intranet out until Saturday?

5:11 This pile on my desk; this pile in my bag. And there was no weeding done today. But I did get four things crossed off my to-do list!!

Weeding with a Vengeance: The Last of the Music CDs

(The first part of the saga.)
Ahh the tracking of the elusive music cd. It’s a slow hunt. A REALLY slow hunt.

My latest printout was about 40-50 sheets long. Truth be told, I didn’t count. I just found out the hard way that it is taking me on average about 10 minutes per page to track down the cds that weren’t on the shelf if there is nothing else distracting me. And I have 12 pages left at present count.

The process for each cd that isn’t checked off yet:

Is the cd checked out?

If no, when did they get returned? If within last 10 days, I will assume it is actually here.

If they are recently returned or checked out–do I need to see them/pull for replacement? If yes, mark on list in green (if in) or place hold (if out).

If they are “in” but haven’t been touched in a couple of months and weren’t on the shelf when I went through it–go to another screen and mark them as missing. If someone returns/checks out the cd, they’ll go back to regular status. If not, we’ll look around a few more times and then there will be some pruning. Either way, once in a missing status patrons can’t put holds on them, so there are fewer disappointed patrons and consequently, fewer frustrated staff.

One line at a time–and some of these pages have a full half page of stuff. The good news is that a surprising number of the cds that weren’t on the shelf were checked out. I was envisioning a far greater number of missing records. I hadn’t realized that many parents and kids were picking up music. Yay that.

And that money I got to replace cds? Well….let’s just say I went a little over budget. So I have a healthy “back up list” that I’ll pull from once we know final prices on the cds and probably well into next year’s budget.

It’s been a pretty hefty amount of work but, all in all, once I finish, it will have been just over a week. Not a bad time investment considering the return is happier staff who can find cds patrons ask for and hopefully happier patrons who can find enjoyable music on cds that are in good shape.

So I think it’s worth my time, even if I still don’t understand why the previous selector bought five copies of the Chicken Little soundtrack.

(For that matter–neither does she)

About the Canada story….

There’s a story going around about how a knitting group has been ousted from a library.

Several people have passed this on to me as I happen to not only have a little yarn issue but I have a pretty healthy knitters group here at work. (And in the interest of full disclosure, we’re going on a four month break after today– we’re going to do scrapbooking for a few months. Knitting will resume in January.)

I have a feeling we’re not getting the full story. It’s unclear if the knitting was library sponsored or was an outside group using the space. The Yarn Harlot mentions in today’s post that this is a small branch open only part-time without a lot of programming space or staff. That is a very different space to try and coordinate as opposed to my children’s department, where we have several spaces we could use for programming and I’m fortunate enough to have the time to take ninety minutes out of my schedule to supervise a small group of attendees while other staff is available to help patrons find books/check things in and out/etc. I have a solid group of knitters but not a huge one and that can be both positive and negative in the eyes of those higher up or in the community.

It is always difficult to know what to cut, what to change and what to promote. Libraries have missions and mission statements, with a focus on literacy and information literacy. Most libraries have increasingly restricted budgets and sky-rocketing materials costs, with patrons who think they should never have to wait more than five minutes after a release date for the latest best-seller or block buster movie. It’s a delicate balance of buying copies to meet a need and spending all your money in one place. And trying to make space available to public groups while still having space/time for library programs is an even bigger headache.

I hope the library is successful in being able to create more literary focused programs and events that will appeal to their community. I hope the knitters step up and create a book group. I hope people understand this isn’t about hating a specific craft or punishing anyone but trying to meet their mission and the literacy and information needs of their community. And for that book club may I recommend:

Shall I Knit You a Hat?
by Kate Klise


Chicks with Sticks (Knit Two Together)
by Elizabeth Lenhard


At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

to start?

(Stephanie even has audio books–they might be able to get together and listen to her read!)

Thought Challenge Response

As yet, I have had the good fortune not to have a book challenged specifically to me. Occasionally, if asked, I’ve discussed more controversial books with parents (why was there so much fuss about the Higher Power of Lucky?). I’ve also found myself explaining a suggestion to a parent and seeing them shut down on me when they realize the book has a quality they find unacceptable. This I usually don’t take personally–there are books that would have deal-breakers for me as well. But generally, I’ve been pretty fortunate.

Blogger/Librarian Jamie Larue provided the transcription of a challenge response for a new picture book that he expects will be challenged over the coming year. I share the link with you and strongly encourage you to read it–even if you’re not a librarian. It’s thoughtful, open minded, and practical. And I hope that I am able to be as thoughtful and considerate should the need arise.

Official Posting Notice for Youth Service Manager Job

Madame Director informs me that the formal job posting is up and I’ve seen it on a number of job boards. To the resumes!!

Seriously, if you are interested at all, I do recommend applying. There is a lot of potential for growth and development of this department. There is also a lot of potential for baked goods and (if I’m productive) occasional knitted surprises.

What do I think we’re looking for? Someone dynamic, enthusiastic, leadership, whimsy, forward thinking, and ready to experiment. Are we willing to look nationally? Absolutely. I came from IL/NY, another reference librarian from OR and a new hire starting next month in another department is from FL. So there’s an interesting mix between people who have lived here their entire years and people brand new to the area (and yes, brand new lasts the first 10 years of residence).

Please check out my other post and the job ad. Again, please feel free to send questions my way (email on the blog site) and pass to those you think should be applying.