Library Day In The Life, Post One.
Each year, I participate in Bobbi Newman’s A Day in the Life of a Librarian initiative, where librarians all over the world document a week out of their professional lives. This is a great resource for library school students, or anyone interested in going to library school, as well as for people curious about what librarians do all day. No, we do not sit around and read books. Nor do we hush people. : )
Let me first begin by explaining that I am the director of the Portneuf District Library in Chubbuck, Idaho. Chubbuck is outside of Pocatello, and my metro area is about 50,000 or so people. I serve a community of 21,000 people. I’ve been director here for about a year and a half. We’re a small operation and as director, I do a little bit of everything. We work hard as a team in my library, and although there is a formal hierarchy, we are all valuable members of a team that works very hard to serve our community members.
So today I begin by spending an hour or so organizing my email. When I took over here, there wasn’t any email, or a domain, or any of the fancy things big libraries have. I moved all of us to Google Apps for Ed, and bought us a domain. At that time, I chose to use Thunderbird as my primary mail client so I could also monitor other email addresses affiliated with our library. About eight months ago or so, Thunderbird began to do things I did not like, which I no longer remember exactly what, but I quit using it. When I started to log into my work Gmail account, I saw that Gmail wasn’t deleting when I deleted stuff in Thunderbird, but was instead archiving email. That means I have *thousands* of useless emails that clutter up my search results when I need to find something. It also means that I have no organization for my older stuff. Nothing is labeled. Nothing is categorized. So, on slower days, I spend an hour or so going back through the old stuff to assign labels, delete useless stuff, and the like. It’s tedious, but the process is making it far easier to find things I need quickly.
Next, I caught my techie staff member and we finished up a project for a large sign for the children’s room. Recently, we made a huge move, moving the children’s room into our large meeting room, doubling the space, and moving the young adult sections into the former children’s area. It compartmentalizes space better for activity and noise levels, and gives both collections and community users more space to play and explore. However, when my children’s librarian goes home, there’s no one in her room across the hall. My techie staff member came up with a fun 2 foot by 3 foot sign my children’s librarian can put up that directs our users to the main service desk after she goes home. We wrapped up the finishing touches and sent that off to a local company for printing on foam board.
Then, I caught my children’s librarian before she ran out to run some errands, and we talked about getting some LDS books. We do most of our ordering on Amazon, but Amazon doesn’t offer many LDS books new and/or hardbound, so we need to work with Deseret Books to get those. I typically like to consolidate services to one vendor when possible for simplicity’s sake, but in this case, Amazon does not fit the bill.
After that, I moved on to making the next week of scheduling, which I do about two weeks in advance, and started putting together a list for our new temp employee, who starts tomorrow. We have a clerk who will be away for an extended amount of time, and I chose to hire a temp from a local temp agency for the short period. I needed to make a schedule that included her, as well as come up with a training checklist to get her off and running when she comes in tomorrow.
Finally, I’ll finish up the day by working on version four of my proposed long range plan. I have to have this version uploaded to our Google Apps by the first for review by my board. We’re nearly there; we just need to put the finishing touches on the plan. It’s been fun to write it, actually, to think about my ideal library and reverse engineer getting there.
So that was my first Day in the Life! I’ll post another tomorrow, then take Wednesday off, then back for the rest of the week. : )