Round Five, Day One
And so begins Round Five, Day One, of A Day in the Life of a Library. This initiative began a few years ago by Librarian Bobbi Newman and it chronicles the daily activities of librarians in all types of librarianship, from public libraries to academic libraries to special libraries.
So, last round of A Day In The Life, I was an academic science librarian at the Claremont Colleges, in Claremont, California. The last year at Claremont I was on the Research and Development team, but prior to that, I was the librarian at Sprague Science Library on Harvey Mudd College’s campus. I adored my library, and I adored my community, but unfortunately my library was closed due to economic and real estate issues in the Summer of 2009. It was a devastating blow to me, as my library drove my professional existence. After another year in Claremont, I decided I needed to get as far away from California as possible, and I gambled it all and moved to Pocatello, Idaho. A few months after making that fateful decision, I landed a job as the Director of the Portneuf District Library.
The Portneuf District Library is quite a change from what I’m used to… it’s a public library and I was previously an academic science librarian. But… librarianship is about serving your community of users, and in that regard, the logistics are the same, and only the materials served are different. I have a lot on my To Do list for this library, including a new website, forays into social networking, and increasing programming and the fun stuff I love to bring to my library and my community.
And so begins my next adventure into Librarianship. : )
Monday, July 26th
I get into the library at 8:30 this morning, wanting an early start as I want to leave early this afternoon. I clear out weekend email and prepare for the work day. I have two primary tasks that must be done today – I have to bid out a concrete job and I have to finalize the draft of the 2011 budget for my board as well as prepare the standard paperwork for our meeting on Thursday.
The concrete job is really the most important. In front of our main entrance the concrete is reducing to rubble and is a dangerous spot, just begging for an accident. I arranged last week to talk to four concrete guys and get four bids. One guy doesnt show up, and of the other three, Peter of Wiegman Concrete wins the job. He is extremely professional in his appearance and demeanor, and, having 8 years experience as an engineering librarian at one of the finest engineering institutions in the country, I definitely sensed the young man knew his business. I’m happy to know that I can choose the best solution for my library without lots of red tape to wade through. Yes, this is plenty different from my life as an academic librarian, forever waiting on someone else to approve the decisions I want to make!
As I finish drafting up the information on the concrete job for my board, I get to experience my first problem patron in my new library. The patron consumes the library’s time for the next two hours causing disturbances and making the library uncomfortable for the staff and surrounding users. The other users are patient with the situation as they see the library staff working with her to get her comfortable editing her website and situated to do what she needs to do. During the process, we discover that she does not have a library account although she is a regular visitor. I document the situation and move on with my day. This situation leads me to think hard about some sort of authentication software for our computers.
Other than that, the rest of the day had a few meetings with staff members and number crunching for the budget and the coming board meeting. I have some great staff here! Chris is preparing a gaming program, which we’ll do two nights a month. He’ll do video games one night and board games and Magic the other. He’s putting together a budget and proposal for me, and we only needed to talk about getting numbers for board games and assessment criteria. I also talk to Karri, an MLS student, about bringing ideas and projects from her classes into the library, and about the two of us collaborating on writing and presenting projects.
So far, the new job is great! I’m enjoying my library and getting to know my new community of users. I’m finding it delightful that I’m handling fun reading books instead of the Lecture Notes in Mathematics (no offense, my Math friends!) and putting together fun activities. Also on my agenda – a weekly crochet group. : )