July 27, 2011
I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life Project (now in its seventh round) this week. To quote the project wiki, “the Library Day in the Life Project is a semi-annual event coordinated by Bobbi Newman of Librarian by Day. Twice a year librarians, library staff and library students from all over the globe share a day (or week) in their life through blog posts, photos, video and Twitter updates.”
Today was a slightly scattered day at work. I also remain baffled by huge swings in turnout for my programs this summer. But I get to hang out with enthusiastic teen readers!
Before work this morning: I wrote up the short blog post here about my guest post at In the Library with the Lead Pipe, did a lot of audiobook listening, and then wrote a zillion emails. When I stood up from the computer to get ready for work, my inbox had more items than when I first sat down. Augh. I am never going to be back on top of correspondence again ever.
12:30pm: arrive at work. Check in with my boss, Lauren. She tells me members of the reference staff have been asking when I’ll get in today. Lauren and I make plans for 2pm (after she gets back from lunch but before her meeting and my drop-in gaming program) to look over the functional requirements document about the proposed new building that our director wants feedback on. We talk a little bit about ebooks and OverDrive (we’ve only had it for a few months and we’re still finding our way with what we decide to add to our collection). I take care of a few things that were left for me on my desk, check my mailbox (just an audiobook catalog–I flip through and note a few popular titles we don’t have), and clock in.
12:45pm: I check my email with some trepidation after yesterday’s deluge. There are only 13 new emails, though! I’m both relieved and a little bit bummed that there aren’t more summer reading entries. I look through the Teen Reads newsletter since I know some of my patrons’ parents read it. There’s an email from our reference/tech guy about a possible opportunity to do an interview about Harry Potter.
1:00pm: I start going through summer reading log updates. It goes really quickly–a relief after yesterday. I head up to the reference desk to distribute raffle tickets and initial for prizes. While I’m upstairs, I make more summer reading club flyers and put them into holds at the circ desk.
1:15pm: it’s Facebook time. I add event listings for upcoming programs (I’m a little behind, so it takes a while) to our teen page and start to post pictures from the manga club meeting on Saturday.
1:30pm: Lauren is just now leaving for lunch, so we decide to look over the functional requirements document at 2:30 when she gets back.
1:45pm: I forgot to upload the manga club photos to my Dropbox account while I was at home, so I’ve emailed them to my work account from my phone. I’m waiting for them to show up in my inbox, so I decide to take care of a few administrative things. I note to-do items that arose in our last department heads meeting, sign up for the new online payroll system, put contact information for new members of the book club into my list, send my schedule for the next pay period to my boss (I schedule myself since I’m the one who plans all the YA programs). I schedule myself a little short for next week so that my hours will zero out for the year so far (I’d been going over in previous weeks)–and I can start my 22 hour workweeks after that!
2:15pm: that administrative stuff took longer than I was expecting, but now the photos have arrived and I can upload them to Facebook. It’s taken a few conversations with my director, but I’m comfortable now with how to take photos so that kids’ faces are appropriately obscured, so now I can finally start sharing photos of what we do at the library. I’m hoping this’ll give kids an idea of what goes on at library programs to make them less scary for newcomers and make the Facebook page feel more personal and less institutional. I need to rotate and rename these photos before I can upload them.
2:30pm: Mary (the children’s librarian/my friend with whom I saw the last Harry Potter movie) stops by on her lunch break to congratulate me on getting more hours, to talk about that potential Harry Potter-related interview coming up, and ask if I know what the surprise meeting this afternoon is about. (I don’t.) She also tells me she’s buying a house!
2:45pm: Lauren is back, but I need to get set up for drop-in gaming, so we decide we’ll have to review the functional requirements document separately. I’m starting to get worried about how much I wanted to do today vs how much time I have. Facebook-related stuff was not supposed to take this long. I go upstairs to get the games for drop-in gaming, taking my laptop with me. On the way to the children’s room, I stop by the reference desk to ask if our head of reference has heard about BookLamp. She has, and we talk about it and the state of library software and web tools.
3:00pm: the games (Candy Land, Sorry, Apples to Apples, Uno, dominoes, chess, and Scrabble) and I are in the teen area. Most of my regulars have told me they can’t make it this week, so I’m not sure if anyone will come. I’m also reminded that now that it’s the new fiscal year, I can buy more games again, but I really want to finish this Facebook business before I do or think about anything else. Literally five minutes later, I am finally done. Finally! I email the manga club to remind them that we don’t have a meeting this week–and to show them the photos!
3:15pm: our weekly department heads meeting is tomorrow, but I’ll miss it since I’ll be on a field trip to the Chicopee Public Library. I want to make sure that teen stuff is on people’s minds, though, so I put together a few short notes on what’s happened in the last week and how the summer reading club is coming for Lauren to share with everyone. I recently rearranged some of the teen section: we have a little bit less room for fiction now, and the audiobook collection doesn’t have as much room to grow, but we can expand the YA nonfiction section, and it and the new fiction both have a lot more space for face-out displays. Our summer reading club is nearing the end of the sixth week of eight: we currently have 72 kids registered and they’ve logged 179,407 pages. The kids on the Top Ten list have all read at least 5,790 pages, and the top reader just hit 17,000 pages.
3:30pm: still no one at gaming. There are people in the teen area, but they’re all receiving tutoring or studying on their own. This summer has been awfully quiet. Two girls are browsing the fiction section but turn down my offer for help finding something or for book suggestions. I refill empty displays and straighten up the YA magazines (we don’t track in-house use, so I’m also evaluating based on wear and tear–our issues of J-14 are usually missing or completely mangled and missing covers or whole sections–and what adult magazines get left in the teen area). I then do a few more summer reading log entries that have come in.
3:45pm: time to knock out the functional requirements document so I can move on to other, important stuff. I finally get to the part on the teen area and I am really happy to see that our director has done a good job of describing the wide range of uses for the area (studying, group work, hanging out, programming, browsing), its placement in the library relative to adult and children’s, and the necessity of my office being nearby. Even more important: she says teen input should be solicited during the design phase! I answer one or two patrons questions while I’m working on this.
4:00pm: Lauren comes by to check on gaming and let me know how the style guide committee meeting went. I kind of want to be on that committee since I have strong opinions about what our communications should look like (especially online), but I didn’t volunteer because I don’t really have time for more meetings right now. Lauren leaves to go to the mysterious good news meeting. I return to the functional requirements document. It also summarizes findings from feasibility studies, surveys, and focus groups that happened before I started here, so I’m glad to get that extra background and insight into my community and how they use the library. Apparently during the teen focus group, they said they wanted a textbook collection. No one who helped run the focus group told me this, but I did hear it from my Teen Advisory Board, and over the last few months, I’ve been putting together a list and hunting down the right editions, which I’ll be purchasing in time for the start of the school year. There are other suggestions from teens here that I’ve never seen, some of which I’m already working to address and others that I’m not. I note them down to figure out how to do them. I finish looking over things and send my thoughts to our director.
4:30pm: Lauren comes back to the teen area after the mysterious good news meeting: apparently a former patron recently passed away and, in a surprise move, left most of his estate to the library. We talk about him for a little while and then about my schedule, the meeting I’m missing tomorrow, and the functional requirements document. Lauren leaves and our new director of communications and development stops by to ask about summer reading and how teen stuff is going.
4:45pm: I start making my “This Month at the Library” teen programs bookmark for August. It lists all of our teen programs for August, and each month I leave them in the teen area and put them in YA books on hold at the circ desk. It sort of drives me crazy that I have no idea if they’re effective or not, but they’re handy to have when a parent asks what programs we have for teens.
5:00pm: I put the games away and mark down my attendance numbers at the reference desk. I’m bummed that no one came, but we had fourteen people last week, and that’s just the way this summer is turning out, all crazy and unpredictable. As I’m walking by the reference desk, I see a couple of my summer reading superstars, so I stop to give them their prizes and raffle tickets and talk to them about their lives and what they’ve been reading. One of them is determined to unseat the #1 reader. I like her ambition.
5:15pm: I’ve got about fifteen minutes left before I have to leave, so I excuse myself, take my things down to my desk and put them away, have another quick chat with Mary (after reading my article on YA lit for grownups, she’s curious about Clive Barker’s YA titles for her husband, who reads Mr. Barker and HP Lovecraft exclusively), and then clock out and leave. I didn’t get nearly as much done today as I needed to do (I still haven’t ordered books, talked to anyone about getting more shelving for the YA audiobooks, done the August program bookmark, or put together the budget for the lock-in I want to do this fall), but that’s just the way some days go, I guess.
5:30pm: As I’m leaving, my husband texts me to remind me about the books he wants me to check out for him. I check them in our catalog, go find them (with help from the reference librarian because augh, we sticker mysteries differently than we do fantasy and I totally couldn’t find what I wanted), check them out, and then am accosted by one of my summer readers. He’s just finished the book that will get him over the threshold to earn a frozen yogurt gift card and really wants it now, so I go back to the reference desk to mark it down on his card and give it to him. His mom and I talk about the club and the frozen yogurt place (my patron begs to go to Swirl right away, but his mom insists that they need to go home so she can start dinner, so he decides he’ll just ask his dad, causing his mom to roll her eyes), and then I’m headed home.
5:45pm: I am unable to resist stopping in at the frozen yogurt place again. I try really hard to only come twice a week, but it is ON MY WAY HOME, so really, what do you expect?
Tonight: I was planning to go indoor rock climbing tonight, but I have to finish a book and return it to the library by the end of the week and I have a lot of listening and voting to do for Amazing Audios before the month ends, so I’m going to stay home and do that tonight. And write this.
Tomorrow: a field trip!
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