Library Day in the Life 6: January 24 (or, Just another manic Monday)
It’s that time again. Round 6 of Library Day in the Life is underway. This week librarians from all walks of life, working in different types of libraries with various job responsibilities, will be sharing just what it’s like to be in their shoes during a typical work week. There are several reasons I have chosen to participate (this marks my 2nd year).
Day 1…yesterday…was Monday…and manic. It was…well, see for yourself:
5:30 a.m. — 6:30 a.m.
Quiet time. (This is important. Our days are so full of images, sounds, actions, demands, etc. that time for silent reflection is hard to come by. Well, here it is before the house awakes.)
Take out the dog. (The cat is self-reliant, of course.)
Feed the dog…and the cat (self-reliant? yes, but pampered? even more so.).
Wake the rest of the house, get ready, and head to work.
* I will mention this only once, but you may rightfully assume that it will occur throughout the day.
6:30 a.m. — 7:00 a.m.
Drive time. (Yet another useful time to turn off the radio and prepare mentally for the day. And, boy, did I need it.)
7:00 a.m. — 8:00 a.m.
Arrived at work.
First on the scene, so collected newspapers from delivery box, turned on lights, fired up computers, yadda yadda.
Checked email and sent some follow-up replies from the previous evening.
Morning scan of the social sphere (Twitter, Facebook, Google reader).
8:00 a.m. — 10:00 a.m.
Prepared and sent a library update report to the academic dean. This was requested last week in preparation for an upcoming February meeting of the school’s Board of Trustees. I used it to focus (yet again) on continued support for our statewide academic library consortium. With state funding the way it is these days, some things can never be said enough.
Communicated with a sales rep and a music department faculty member to iron out some decisions and details concerning a database trial for the spring semester. Negotiator. Liaison. Mediator. Roles worth being prepared to do in the business.
10:00 a.m. — 12:00 noon
Monthly meeting of campus VPs and directors with the president. This is something new the president has started in an effort to improve communication among the leadership. Lengthy, but informative. Open, cross-connected channels are good.
12:00 noon — 2:00 p.m.
More work with a fellow faculty member. This time, planning library instruction sessions for two literature classes this spring semester–World Lit II and a 400-level course on Twain.
Activated IP address recognition access for three new reference e-book resources and added links in the library website database list for a soft launch. (Drafting a promotional news post will have to come later in the day. Need to move on now.)
Switched hats from ‘local librarian’ to ‘board member’ of our statewide academic library consortium. Reviewed a draft letter the board is planning to distribute to all the library directors. Feedback and discussion via email with other board members. (Skype would have been helpful. Maybe next time.)
2:00 p.m. — 2:15 p.m.
Something resembling a quick lunch.
2:15 p.m. — 3:30 p.m.
Final prep work for a library orientation session scheduled with a group of new distance ed students. They are from the New York area; they are on campus this week for some intensive courses to begin their enrollment in a graduate program; they are Korean. Part of my prep work was some final cramming to learn how to say “hello” and “I am John” in Korean. A southern boy attempting to speak Korean can be…uh…painfully comical. This is going to be good!
3:30 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.
Time for the library orientation session with the Korean grad students. I began with “ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo” (“hello”) and made a connection with them that drove the rest of the session. Meeting people where they are: Priceless.
I am going to enjoy working with these students this week. So full of life and eager to learn. (Sorry for the quality of the picture. The camera on my phone could never get stabilized because we were all so pumped!)
4:00 p.m. — 6:30 p.m.
Worked on some book orders for the library.
Created the promotional news post for the 3 new reference e-book resources mentioned earlier.
Got out from behind the desk and helped a few library users needing assistance. (If you don’t already do it, I highly recommend walking away from the desk and into the places where the users are scattered throughout the building. Many librarians have figured this out, and it works.)
6:30 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Headed home for the day. Again, the drive time is cherished time. I call the drive home the “decompression” phase.
Very late evening:
Worked on an ongoing project compiling results from a library survey.
It was just another manic Monday. But a productive one, for sure.
John Kennerly...library director, technology dabbler, and information handler. More bio
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