Home > Libraries, Personal > Library Day in the Life project and why I’m in

Library Day in the Life project and why I’m in

January 21, 2011

Next week (Jan 24-30) marks the 6th round of the Library Day in the Life project–an ingenious creation by Bobbi Newman. For those unfamiliar with the project, it is a way to share and learn what a typical work week is like for those who work in libraries. I participated in round 5 last year, and I plan to be back for more. Here are the main reasons why:

  1. It is a great resource for those considering the profession. If you were interested in a particular career, wouldn’t you like the idea of being able to read the activities and thoughts of people already in the trenches of that type of job? I would. If that’s you and your career interest is libraries, Library Day in the Life is for you. Go to the Library Day in the Life wiki, and check back often.
  2. It can help those questioning their place in the profession. Are you already a librarian? Have you ever had doubts or low points in your career/job? If you’re like me, you’ve been on the roller coaster and the answer is ‘yes.’ Here’s a thought: The contributions coming out of this project could be of value to those already in the profession and currently wondering if they made the best choice by becoming a librarian. Sometimes it helps to see the bigger picture in order to find your place. For example, you could learn from other librarians what it is like to work in other areas of the profession or in other types of libraries. You just may discover something that you connect with. At the very least, it can be a source of encouragement or motivation.
  3. 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.)
  4. It can be an outreach tool. Let’s look away from the inside of the profession for a while. Library Day in the Life is an excellent “tool” for conversations with people outside the library who are wondering just what it is that librarians do or why we need libraries. Librarian and blogger Daenel makes this point very well in a recent video post. Collectively sharing stories about what we do in libraries has the potential to show others (to quote Daenel) “the lives that we touch and the impact that we have on communities.” Good stuff.

So next week, I will join many other librarians taking part in Library Day in the Life. You can participate too–whether as a contributor or an inquisitive reader. Follow all the Library Day in the Life activity on:



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  1. January 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I look forward to reading and seeing pictures/vlogs from everyone’s week. Like you said, it provides a great snapshot not only of our own work lives but those of others. Also this is a great way to spark creativity in our personal workspaces ~ other libraries may be dealing with the same issues or using creative ways to provide services to their patrons.

    • January 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      Sparking creativity…yes, great point. Iron does sharpen iron.

  2. January 22, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Thank you for blogging this John!.

    PS I deleted the Facebook Group in favor of a Page this morning

    • January 22, 2011 at 11:38 pm

      Sure thing. Thanks for sharing this project with libraryland. Looking forward to Round 6!

  3. January 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    A great post detailing the importance of this project! I agree- this will be a good opportunity for professional self-assessment. I’ve just realised, I don’t really allocate time or head-space for this. Perhaps this project will help me start…

    • January 22, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s great to be a part of things like this that provide an opportunity to share and benefit AND are fun at the same time! (A ‘thanks’ to Bobbi.) Hope you are able to participate.

      • January 23, 2011 at 7:05 am

        For sure, I’m in!

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