Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day in the Life of a Children's Librarian

8:30am - Arrive at library, turn on lights and computers, put my stuff away. (At my new library we have a fridge in our office, which is Really Nice.)

8:40a - Feed fish and frog. (We have an African water frog named Rocky and we have a fish tank with about 20 small fish.)

8:45a - Run a pull list (books that people have requested we hold for them) and find the holds. Take them over to Circ. As I search, I notice that the Parents' Shelf is seriously out of order.

8:55a - I'm technically on desk, but while we don't have any people I start shelf-reading the Parents' Shelf. The books on these shelves are books about childcare, homeschooling, etc.

9:00a-12:00p - On desk. In between checking in kids for the Summer Reading Club, I shelf-read for awhile. When it gets too busy I switch to sitting at the desk looking at the core collection of autism books I requested from the Center for Disability Information & Referral. Do you take advantage of your state's University Center for Excellence?

Here's a sampling of questions I'm asked at the desk:

When does the Summer Reading Club end?
July 31

Do you have Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?
Yes, but it's checked out. I put it on hold for the patron.

Are my kids signed up for the 1:00 or 2:30 session of this afternoon's program?

I'm calling from a company that wants to sell you something. Can you talk?

9:20a - Get a call from another librarian I work with and we chat for a little bit about some upcoming meetings.

10:15a - YMCA summer day camp arrives for their scheduled visit and A goes to do their storytime. They bring around 75 kids.

10:35a - It's slow on desk, so I set up the small meeting room for my afternoon program. I set up tables and chairs for the craft we'll be doing and I set out display books.

10:57a - I poke my head into A's storytime to make sure she's doing okay with all those people. She's fine, of course.

11:30a - Check email.

11:55a - Track down some dry erase markers for afternoon program. (It's been unusually slow this morning, which is lucky because I'm by myself since A is in the storytime!)

12:00p - Lunch time!

12:30p - After a quick lunch, I'm back to finish setting up the small meeting room for the poetry program. I finish prepping all the materials for the craft and set them up so they're ready to pass out when it's time. At my previous library, our craft room and story room were separated by a folding wall, but at my new library the room's not divided. I have a suspicion that if craft materials are set out beforehand they might be somewhat distracting during the reading portion.

1:00p - 2:00p - First session of my poetry program! It goes well, which is always a good feeling.

2:00p-2:30p - I reset the room for the second session and help out briefly during a small rush on the reference desk.

2:30p-3:15p - Second session of the poetry program.

3:15p-4:00p - Clean up the room, check in all the books I used, record stats, make notes about the program for future use.

4:00p-4:30p - Help out on reference desk.

Can you recommend some fantasy books for a 4th-grader?
Sure, I can!

4:30p - Clean up the books that have somehow amassed on my desk (that always happens... I think they breed with each other or something).

4:35p - Upload the photos I took at the program and start the battery on the camera charging.

4:45p - Time to go home!