Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Day in the Life

I get a lot of questions from family, friends, and strangers as to what I actually do all day.  People just don't realize all that goes into our jobs.  One of my favorite things to do is to have a job shadow, whether my godchild for Take Your Child to Work Day, a practicum student, an intern, or a teenager thinking about this as a career.  I like to tell people that it is a great career for anybody who wants to do a lot of different things!

Just for fun, here is what I did today: 

8:15 a.m.
Arrive at work.  My workday starts at 8:30 a.m. 3 days a week.  I work one night and one weekend day (Friday or Saturday).  I drop my lunch in the refrigerator in the break room, check my mailbox, and head upstairs to the children's department.
**For some great morning fun, we play 2 songs every morning over our loudspeaker.  It really gets you going and starts the day off right.  Requests are taken from staff so you get a great variety.

Once upstairs, the first person in turns on our AWE stations, our reference computers, and the lights in our Activity Room.  I head into my office in the staff workroom and check my email on my computer.  Being a manager means that I need to stay on top of any situations that may have popped up since I was last in.  This could be anything from the ceiling leaking to a problem with a patron.

9 a.m.
I had a Library Olympics program set for 10:30 a.m.  Many of our programs require prep work and set-up, but little work during the program.  While we have both a Story Time Room and an Activity Room in the children's department, I need to hold any programs with more than 20 people downstairs in our auditorium.  This means loading up a cart and transporting my supplies.

Set-up took about an hour.  Just as I made it back upstairs to my desk, our teen librarian asked if I wanted to use her Plinko board for a downhill skiing.  Of course I did.  This meant that I was printing out clip art skiers and taping them to Plinko chips, plus moving the board downstairs.

10:20 a.m.
By 10:20 I had a line outside of the auditorium of kids who were waiting to attend the program.  Since I was all set up and the program was mostly self-directed, I let them in early.  This began one of my favorite parts of my job-the program!  What is nice about stations is that the kids and parents can move at their own pace and do the ones that they want to do.  It also leaves me free to help, to play, and to talk with parents about what we do at the library and why we are important in a low key way.  

11:30 a.m.
Our programs last an hour so I began to wrap things up.  With the awesome car track and Plinko board, the kids would have stayed all day if their parents let them.  Now began the task of clean-up.  Everything had to be taken down, loaded up, and transported back upstairs.

12 p.m.
Lunchtime!  I had an hour to eat, regroup, and recaffeinate before heading upstairs for my desk shift.  This is also my chance to touch base with staff members throughout the building to see what is going on.

1 p.m.
At my location, all staff work the reference desk for part of their shift.  It is usually a 3-4 hour chunk of time.  Where programming is my favorite part of my job, I view the reference desk as my most important part.  I see it as if you don't have customers, you don't have a job.  Since we are a dedicated children's desk, we tend to do mostly reader's advisory, directions (Where are the chapter books?), program registration, and homework help.  That's not to say that is all that we do.  With 8 computer stations in our room and 8 in the teen room, we also help with basic computer work and printing.  We have an Activity Room with toys so when they aren't cleaned up, the reference desk person goes in for a quick pick up.

Today, it was midwinter break for our local schools, which meant that there were a lot of people in the children's room.  There were a lot of requests for Diary of a Wimpy Kid titles.  Also, kids were getting a jump start on their genre reading for "March is Reading" month, which meant that I got a lot of questions like "I need a science fiction title with a Lexile between 850 and 1000."

Normally when the reference desk isn't busy, I will work on ordering, writing blog posts, planning future programs, etc.  Today I was working on two big tasks.  The first was writing newsletter articles for our summer newsletter.  Our deadline is March 15 for our May-August newsletter, which means it needs to contain everything summer reading.  Being the Head of Youth Services means that it is my job to coordinate and book all outside programs at all three of our locations, then add them to the newsletter.  My brain needs to handle writing clever newsletter articles in small doses so I try to only do 1 or 2 a day or they all end up saying the same thing.  My second big thing I was working on are details for MiKidLib, which will be at my library on Friday.  This included things like alphabetizing the registration list for the registration table, working on a way to coordinate lunch orders from 2 vendors, and signage.

3:30 p.m.
Break time!  If we work for 7 1/2 hours, we get an hour lunch and 2 15 minute breaks.  I have a hard time sitting still so my break today consisted of me refilling my pop glass and booktaping new board books in the cataloging department.

3:45 p.m.
Back to the reference desk and more work on MiKidLib.  I also had a sub cancel a shift in March so I needed to find a replacement.

5 p.m.
The end of the work day. The new reference desk staff came out and I updated them on any issues we had during the shift.  I checked and cleared out my voicemail, then headed home.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...