My dear RSS reader recently delivered me this post by the always funformative Bobbi L. Newman at Librarian by day. In a nutshell, she has created a project – now in it’s sixth year – where librarians across the world document their days, and then share them. The hope being that library workers will gain an understanding of what is like to live a day as a librarian in a workplace/country/etc. different to their own. The other equally – if not more – important hope is that non-library workers will gain an understanding of what it is like to live a day as a librarian. It will be great to hear how (if?) the message escapes the “echolib” as it is known. As I see it, Library day in the life aims to educate my libraryland friends and my other friends, and of course myself, about an average day for librarians across the world. By participating in this project I will also have the chance to reflect on what I do everyday, because it’s not often (read: never) that I stop & write it all down. I’m guessing this will be very useful. John Kennerly explains it very well in this post:
It forces me to reflect on what I am doing as a librarian. By reporting on my daily activities, I can’t help but see a snapshot of my day-to-day efforts in a typical work week. It’s an opportunity for professional self-assessment. Granted, it only records one week of activity out of the year, but it is real activity nonetheless. Are there things that I can improve? (Time management? Goal adjustments? Priorities?) Can I validate my contributions to the profession? (I really accomplished all that today? I must have been on my game! Now that particular task was something I can feel good about and keep doing.)
For the record: I’m a Children’s and Youth Librarian in a Public Library in NSW, Australia.
Monday 24th January, 2011
Arrive MPOW & greet bookseller on way in door (I didn’t realise he was coming; I was hoping to use the time for other things!)
Greet new staff member – great to have a new smiling face on board, especially because we needed to fill this position for a few months.
9.00am (actual start time)
Log on & open email client, LMS, etc.
Go through eight milk crates of books & select titles for our four branches. I select junior fiction, picture books, board books, young adult fiction, junior graphic novels and young adult graphic novels.
“Morning meeting”: we drink tea & fold & stuff envelopes with library notices and talk about work/weekend/colleague’s farewell dinner/tv/etc.
Continued (perhaps too quickly?) selecting books while nervously watching time as I had to prep for 11am event.
Set-up and prep for “Paul Jennings Fest!” School Holiday Activity event. (Jennings is an Australian author who young people enjoy. I chose him to link in with Summer Reading Club‘s theme of Scare up a good book. His website’s here.) I hurriedly created a display of items for loan, while re-brainstorming event plan, sound-checking talking book, and attempting to calm pre-event jitters (do these ever subside?!)
Start event by reading a short story called A good tip for ghosts from Paul Jennings’ Spookiest Stories.
Discuss the author and writing style, genres, what have you read, etc?
Decide against planned games because a. there’s not enough people for the 2 games I planned, and b. there’s not enough time to fit everything I planned in.
Decide against talking book option as the story I chose is too long and I’m already running overtime.
Talk about tv series Round the twist adapted from Jenning’s books.
Play one episode.
DVD skips then stops, even though it played fine at my house yesterday. Grrr.
Clean DVD, finish show & encourage readers to borrow from Jennings display (or anything!) and say thanks for coming, see you next time
Drink water (phew!). Re-set up junior area where event was. Check and send email.
12.35pm (5 mins late)
Go to lunch. Talk work, film (Black swan), gossip mags, foodstuffs, etc.
1.05pm (5 mins late)
Return to desk & read received email outlining syllabus for ALA (U.S.A.) course I’m considering paying for myself for professional development. Decide against it as I hoped it would be more teen-based. Make another nts to re-read ALIA (Australian) PD courses
Send thank you email to LEGO for awesome School Holiday Activities (see photo).
Read General Manager’s blog post RE our council’s financial standing. Prognosis: hmmm.
Read, respond to & cull emails.
Write & re-write to-do lists – I do a lot of this!
I have a white-board, diary, to-do list pad, post-its, heaps of scrap bits of paper, task list in Outlook, Outlook calender reminders, etc., etc. Perhaps this is too many places for lists? Do others have this problem/obsession? Solutions welcomed
Go talk to my supervisor about budget, and then about Glee!
Create RSVP list for Summer Reading Club. Brainstorm Summer Reading Club party RE staffing, prize-drawing/presenting, food, etc.
Email staff RE Club party & RSVP process.
Change email signature to reflect what I’m reading. I like to include an “I’m reading…” mention as part of my signature to promote reading, my general love of it, and our collection. It can spark some great conversations too…
Edit draft children’s and youth services contribution for new format monthly library e-newsletter.
Discuss staffing for Summer Reading Club party. Especially given I may no longer be able to be there (oops) due to meeting at State Library.
Make tea & bring back to desk to drink.
Nibble seeds & nuts & sip tea while finalising newsletter contribution. Email this to colleague.
3.35 (& all day really)
Took a few more notes RE #libday6. Also took a couple of photos for this blog post & #dailyimage2011 flickr project.
Finally start allocating new items. I classify new/donated items as Junior/Youth Fiction, Easies (picture books), Youth/Junior Graphic Novels. Then I allocate them to one of four libraries. I had planned to start this at 9.05am.
Chat with supervisor RE procedures & staffing.
Continue allocating, occasional email.
Email most excellent wife J. & ask if it’s OK if I finish 15mins late? (I pick J. up on my way home.)
5.20 (20 mins late – sorry J.!)
Shut down & leave for home.
So that’s it. Thanks for reading
Now let’s share! What did you do at work today?
Non-library workers – pls let me know about your day! AND does my day surprise/excite/bore/perplex/other you?
Library day in the life participants – pls drop a link to your post/s.