Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Library day in the life ... day 2

5:30: Get up and go for a 6k run with the husband.

7:30: Read news of the day while eating grilled cheese on French toast (there is extra time for fancy breakfast when I get up early):
8:45: Arrive at work. Make coffee. Cream in the fridge expired on June 15. Ick.

9:00 - 9:45:
  • Edit Shared collections document: Rideau has a significant overflow of some Shared collections; staff here re-distribute these collections according to procedures... I updated the doc I keep in our Info desk binder for casual staff, clarifying some recent misunderstandings about what gets sent, what goes where, and whose job it is to evaluate what goes and what doesn't. 'Nuff said.
  • Put up a flyer about a local author's new book on the community bulletin board. Remove non-community info from the board, as well as expired flyers. Remove garbage inserted in plastic slatwall for pamphlets. Ew.
  • Employee at circ called in sick. One person already here offers to stay later this afternoon; other person calls the list to see if someone else can come in this evening. We decide if no one can, I will agree to have her do overtime.
9:45 - 10:00: Preparation for Contes

10:00 - 10:30: Contes for a local preschool. This was fun, of course, with the added bonus that they haven't visited in awhile (loooong story!) and I signed the kids up for SRC. Évidemment, I did a jungle-themed contes. We read La grenouille qui avait une grande bouche, Voilà la pluie!, and Le grand plouf. I had some jungle (and non-jungle) stuffed animals around the room that we related to the books; we also talked about what happens before it rains (les éclairs, la tonnerre grande, les nuages gris....). I also had a snake song on CD I forgot to play (duh) and 5 little monkeys in French that I didn't feel like using (the class was rowdy enough already, and I wasn't in a singing mood).

Songs we did sing: "Si tu aimes le soleil", "Tête, épaules genoux, orteils"
Fingerplays and rhymes we did together: "Claque, claque tes mains", "La petite araignée" (with the help of Alice the spider puppet), and "Coucou" (couldn't find this online; text below)

Coucou Je cache mes yeux !
Je montre mes yeux !
Je mets mes mains en l’air !
Je mets mes mains derrière !

… Je cache mon nez !
… Je cache mes oreilles !
… Je cache ma bouche !

10:30-10:50: A slew of questions (I guess people missed me?):
  • Can I reserve the latest Sandra Brown / Ken Follett?
  • Did I already reserve the latest Michael Connelly?
  • Can I reserve Turmoil and Triumph by that Shultz guy who was Secretary of State?
  • Where are your nature books?
  • Where are your computer games?
  • Do you have spare headphones?
  • A regular patron, a lovely older gentleman from the senior's home next door, asked about a musical group I've already forgotten. He is really into classical music and opera, so I told him that I had recently seen Kathleen Battle; I told him about her amazing encore, a kickass rendition (with scat) of the hymn, "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" He was happy to chat about it; I'm rarely a chatter at the desk, but I do have a soft spot for this gentleman. He recently fell, and is recovering slowly (I am anxious that he is moving a lot slower these days)
  • The class I did Contes for came upstairs; the teacher asked me for a copy of the songs I use.
Random thought: Sometimes I think I could spend all day pushing in the unoccupied chairs at the public computers. Does no one push in their own chair anymore? Not cool.

10:55 - 1: More questions and random stuff:
  • How do I reserve a computer?
  • [interim: helped at circ because there was a line up]
  • [same patron, when it appeared there were no computers free here until noon] How do I get to Main Library? Can you print me out a map? What bus can I take?
  • Do you have books about angels?
  • Consult with circ. re making a new card for a patron who legally changed her name but had ID with her previous name only.
  • Strategising with boss re. author visit in the fall.
  • Lost sunglasses found.
  • PIN number problems for computer login.
  • Is it OK if I bring my laptop and [mumble mumble] - turns out he wanted wireless access. Yes, of course!
  • I'd like to use a computer...
  • Alex replies to some old e-mail ....
  • There's a message on the phone and I only noticed now. Crap.
  • RA en français pour un jeune fille: romans d'amour. I showed her the obvious (Nora Roberts, Isabel Wolff, Sophie Kinsella) and also tried to suggest some "stretches:" Sarah Dunant, for instance. She left with her Nora Roberts and a book from the J'ai lu collection.
  • Do you have books on knitting?
  • Where is my book on hold?
  • Pest control monthly report handed in to me.
  • Donated copy of Munsch's Smelly socks scored for a SRC prize. I love it when circ brings me the good donations.
  • How many people are waiting for the museum pass for the Science and technology museum? (You don't want to know). Follow-up Q: Opening hours, costs and directions to Science Tech Museum and the Agriculture Museum (visiting grandkids). Patron tells me her grandfather convinced her as a kid that brown cows gave chocolate milk. Hee hee! I encouraged her to bring her grandkids to library programs (here or elsewhere).
  • Washroom?
  • Called a taxi for a patron who is blind.
  • Two colleagues showed up at once to say "hi!" - one from Main Reference, one from St Laurent.
  • Request for L'énigme du retour par Dany Laferrière.
  • Finally go upstairs for the rest of the coffee I made (at 8:45) around 12:30. Bust a dude on a cellphone on the way back to the desk.
  • Have you seen today's Globe and Mail? (ongoing saga)
  • Hey, kid, did YOU join SRC?
  • Where are the physical fitness books?
  • Task preparation for the librarian working this afternoon so I can have more off-desk time.
  • Whoops and she's here already! I love people who are early. She debriefed me on last night (tons of RA questions from kids and teens: we discussed read-alikes for Twilight and Hush, hush, for future reference, including the lovely Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray). I outlined her tasks for the afternoon/evening.
  • Quick trip to my desk in the basement to drop stuff off and make a few notes for this aft.
  • Trip back up to Info for a technical question from staff.
1:15-2:15 - Lunch! Hooray! I ate outside on the bench in the garden. I used to do this a lot, then I stopped because too many patrons came up and asked elaborate questions (plus the bench is a popular spot for smokers from the businesses nearby). I'm tentatively trying it again; so far, regular patrons have waved but kept walking, which is good. I also popped into the post office to get a bubble envelope for some stuff I am mailing to Miss Z and Miss K in Cape Town. I miss them a lot.

2:15-3:50: Off-desk.
  • E-mails beaten into submission (for now).
  • Quick scan of news feed (Cape Town book fair! Streets in Ottawa named after fictional characters!).
  • Chose monkey books for tomorrow's program and began set up in the program room.
  • E-mail again: Yikes! The class I am teaching at Algonquin in the fall might be from 8-10 on Monday mornings....
  • Printed up fall program info in draft form to proofread: my Outlook calendar, Preview magazine, and in-house posters and bookmarks must all be the same! I know, I killed some trees, but proofreading is not one of my talents and I need the paper format (both for myself and so I can find a willing victim to check my work). I am also going to try to throw myself on the mercy of the Preview elves and ask them to toss in a program I am submitting late (It's not my fault! I swear!): coffee with a community police officer, which is an idea I stole from TPL, and I hopw will attract people of all ages and walks of life (including newcomers and some of our transient population), to discuss community safety and also just get to know the local officers / build community goodwill in a safe setting.
  • Chit-chat about various work things with boss!
  • N.B. my old job at St Laurent is posted on the city website, if you are interested!
  • Fielded questions from the page working today about items not found....
  • Good God, the e-mails.... I kind of ignored some yesterday, and they totally came back and bit me in the ass today.
3:53: Went up to Info early because, um, I had to pee for the past 1/2 hour and kept putting it off.....

4:00-5:00: Info desk again! A flurry of 5 Internet questions all at once, including a headphone replacement for one computer. The computers are super busy; when I came upstairs, 3 people were waiting for our 2 Express stations. Over the next hour, I also:
  • Got the hairy eyeball (when walking by me, in both directions - petty, much?) from a regular who is mad at me because I wouldn't proofread his 2 pg document last week. Seriously, dude, we are not editors; we are librarians. It's a pet peeve of mine.
  • Put some NOS items in missing
  • More e-mail - AAAHHH!
  • Strategising with pages re. duties (it's like the shelves vomited everywhere today; massive pick-up. Plus we started the day with 0 book trucks and ended with 5 - wtf? Pick up makes me crazy and sometimes I do it myself - shhh don't tell! but I want the place to look nice... and I need to fill displays anyway....- but today I had to turn a blind eye....)
  • Long drawn-out convo with dude who glared at me earlier, this time about his holds. We have the same convo frequently; it's like the "Who's on first" skit. Most of it revolves around the question, "But when will the book arrive for me?"
  • I may have had too much coffee; my hands are shaky. Wheeeee!
  • What was I doing? Oh yeah, grabbing the Curious George books to add to the monkey stuff, filling the Preview stack in the program room, checking out my own holds, sending some inter-office mail, and e-mailing again....
  • I have to log out and log back in to do a renewal, because Symphony's Info module doesn't have that option (only if you login as circ). Damn you, Sirsi!
  • Fielded a response to a comment card.
  • Phone call answered after dashing back out from workroom (sorting timesheets and pay stubs): Avez-vous des nouveaux livres de Barbara Taylor Bradford? En livre de poche? Ah, et alors, de Danielle Steel? Et est ce que ce sont des livres de poche? Et le premier titre, de Bradford, est-ce que celui est sortie en traduction français déjà? etc. (regular patron; TV blaring in the background; accent very hard to decipher, even on a good day, and this was not really a good day!)
  • Circ staff has excellent display suggestion for the DVDs. Implemented!
  • Lillian Brown? (= Lillian Jackson Braun)
  • Today I sent 23 e-mails and rec'd God knows how many. Kill me now?
And, holy crap, it's 5 pm again. On the way out, flagged down a page to ask her about a shift next week someone cancelled, and got caught talking to another page about the backlog of trucks to put away.

Got home and learned via FB that my friend Tara is now coordinator of her department at OPL - three cheers for Tara! Congratulations!


  1. I really enjoyed reading your post, I looked everywhere to see if you're on twitter, but couldn't see you.
    I commented on 'Alaskan Librarian' blog that we are worlds apart, but I did laugh to myself, public library work is no different in Ottawa to working in a public library in Australia.
    warm regards, Bronwyn (@geomancer if you're on twitter)

  2. Hi Bronwyn,

    I found you on Twitter! Will read your post today when I have a moment. Thanks!