Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Library day in the life ... day 3

First of all, I remembered a few things I forgot from previous days: I woke up the other day at 4:30 am with an idea to shift around some collections, grouping together (hopefully) languages and ESL / literacy, which I think makes a lot more sense. With some recent weeding and shifting, I think this might be possible. I also had a convo about a security issue with every full-time staff member on Monday.

And we're off again!

9-10: As usual, 7 million things before opening. Um, ok. I am writing these notes at 9:25 and I already forget what happened. Oh yeah - I found a guy lurking in the bushes. It was the IT guy who was coming to replace a broken CD drive on a public PC. He was looking for our facilities operator, who is always in early and whose window is beside the bushes. I let him in. Before I even got my bag upstairs and my lunch in the fridge, I had a strategy convo with an employee about security (I wish I could say, but I totally can't, for security reasons...). Then I started pulling some books to fill a display and got into a convo with our facilities operator: he is going on an emergency trip to Bolivia to be with a sick family member and will be gone for a month and a half. I am bereft. We discussed procedures for handling things while he is gone. Ack. Then another employee and I discussed ensuring there is someone in the building in the evenings this week who has an alarm code (with two people off, and some mix-ups with people being sick, we wanted to check everything). Then the IT guy left, explaining he needs to come back with another CD drive because the power on this one is on the opposite side and it won't connect properly. Sigh. I checked who would be in on Friday to let him in the door, and realised OH CRAP I changed my own schedule on Friday and forgot about it (I would normally work Sat.) So I assured the IT guy I would let him in and then re-arranged my plans for Friday (having assumed I would be off - why am I such a loser? AAAH!). THEN I finally finished that display, and we all had a loud voices convo about another branch that is having some staffing issues. Since we are closed between 9-10, it's a good time to yell over to your colleagues at the circ desk - ha ha. Actually, it is kind of fun - team spirit! We also debated about who would win in a fight between a library staff member and a city employee who is kind of a jerk (our money's on our staff member: she's tiny but craftier). Then the boss came by and we talked more security and other stuff (By now, I have clicked snooze on my morning Outlook reminder like 5 times, I still have 89 items in my newsreader, and the new books have to be looked at before we open and it's 9:45). Mad dash to do everything before we open.... also, I notice we are up to 170 kids signed up for SRC - yay! Left message for patron regarding a comment card submitted right under the wire at 9:59 am (like to have these convos before we open...).

  1. Employee calling re. being late tomorrow morning
  2. Where's my hold? I can't find it...
  3. Why is the computer still booting up?
  4. I was able to place a hold on a new DVD. Aren't new DVDs non-requestible?
  5. I tried to reserve a computer this morning and the system wouldn't accept my barcode 5 times!
  6. Y a t'il des groupes de jeu à la bibliothèque?
  7. Looked into a record for a book that seems to have some errors in it (brought to me by staff) - sent back to cataloguing.
  8. Can you show me how to unsuspend a hold?
  9. What formats are your digital audiobooks available in?
  10. Peeled the post-it notes made at home last night off my list of things to do. Starting knocking those suckers off, including checking the work of a casual librarian working last night, and submitting revisions to Preview.
  11. RA for a young girl (8ish?) and her brother (11ish): he likes Harry Potter and she likes Mercy Watson. The boy is reading definitely at a teen level, so we talked about Terry Pratchett and James Patterson's Maximum ride, and other titles. I talked up Medusa Jones and Ruby Lu to the little girl, especially after hearing she has traveled and lived abroad in Russia. I also showed her the Peter Sis books since she definitely wanted things with lots of pictures. P.S. I like it when parents (or in this case, grandparents) say, "You can take as many books as you like!" Damn straight.
  12. Confessions of a shoe addict? Turns out it was published in Canada under Secrets of a shoe addict.
  13. Do you work here? Can you check out my books?
  14. Do you have parking (I am working on getting us signage for our totally hidden lot)
  15. I got an e-mail about a hold that is here for me but I don't see it....
  16. [10:45: momentary lull.... Read a few news items... I have to decide if I am going to participate in the Professional Partnering program at McGill next year.... And then there's Northern Exposures to Leadership... hmmmm]
  17. Boy from earlier needs more picks. Charlie Bone and Kenneth Oppel are called to duty.
  18. Time to bust a lady on her cell phone - if I can hear you, it's too loud!
  19. Our automated phone system that notifies people about their holds is not working again. I notify our Digital services department.
  20. Est-ce que je peut utiliser cet ordinateur?
  21. [still writing e-mail about Preview edits. Realise I have to call a colleague to go over a joint submission so file as draft until she calls me back]
  22. Long distance phone call re. patron having problems with her record.
  23. Official motorcycle guide? NOS - found on truck in basement
  24. Apparently a whole whack of boxes of stuff came in the mail for me
  25. Sorted tokens for the prize draw this afternoon.
  26. Troubled patron who believes people are harassing him. We have helped him before by getting community housing info and mental health info for him, but this time he just wanted to rant a bit. I told him if he is harassed in here to come and get me and I will deal with it. Discussion with staff about dealing with this gentleman.
  27. Wrong job code on a timesheet - have to correct it.
  28. Do you have a water fountain?
  29. [finally finished Preview reviews at 11:30, even after bringing them home last night; still saved as draft]
  30. Go through org chart to figure out who to e-mail about something
  31. Go through boxes - sweet, it's the 123 Read with me stuff I ordered...
  32. Put swank posters on bulletin board (I know I am overqualified for this task, and many others, but I try to have a look at the board every few days - just to check in....)
  33. Figure out the person to e-mail about something is the person I thought it was. Well, clicking on those arrows in the org chart is always fun....
  34. La part manquante de Christiane Bobin and others by him. Which ones are at Main? Can you print the list? Can I pick up La part Manquante at another branch?
  35. [I have had to go to the bathroom for an hour]
  36. Composed whole e-mail (see #22 and #30 above) and realised I no longer had the patron's barcode. Thank God for the "Undo" button - I had copied it but not yet pasted, and got interrupted. Story. Of. My. Life.
  37. Livres sur le peintre David Roberts (Too many David Roberts... Is he Scottish? DOB 1796? Yes, he is...) et livres par Eric Butterworth. Former n/a, latter reserved. Offered to check databases for Roberts but patron not interested.
  38. True crime section? (I would have gone with him but he didn't want to wait for me to finish #37)
  39. Invitation to dinner because I am a lucky girl with nice friends.
  40. [I am going to the bathroom now. Just try and stop me]
  41. Reserved Grosse Pointe Girl for myself because it looks good.
  42. Reserved a few children's PBs from series I really like so I can booktalk them / recommend to patrons coming in....
  43. Beat newsreader into submission; reserved Emma Donoghue book (did I forget about it? Who knows... Oh, wait, it's because it's about "a five-year-old boy who has never left the room where he was born." Well, we'll see). Whoa - I forgot this weekend is the Rideau Canal Festival.
  44. Filled SRC Jungle display
  45. Ordered new library pamphlets of various sizes and languages.... We are low on library pamphlets in Punjabi, Urdu, Vietnamese and Hindi.
  46. Finally finished the instructions for casual and part-time staff re. sending out shared material. Drum roll, please! That only took 28 hours.... Saved draft e-mail about it for our circ sup.
  47. Screw thinking! I am replacing the Midsummer display with "Staff picks" - everyone can throw up their choices.
  48. Went over to help at circ but only served a few people before someone wanted to pay a fine by Interac. Then Interac machine and I are not friends, so I left her in someone else's care.
  49. Outlined duties to staff taking over
1:00-1:40: Lunch! Interrupted by phone call with colleague re. #21.

1:40-2: Chocolate break while checking e-mail and news. Finish set up for monkey program.

2-3:30: Monkeys! Not too many kids today, which is a pity, but I did get to spend some quality time with the ones who were there. Someone pointed out when we sang "5 little monkeys" that we had five kids for the program, which was kind of funny.

One of the mums asked me about what education is needed to be a librarian (she was surprised). She is going for her ECE.

Here are the monkeys we made:

3:30-4: Monkey clean-up! Brief meeting with boss!

  1. P.C. Cast books in either French or English (placed STP for French vols 2 and 3) - regular patron who I was happy to see. Young boy who I have watched grow up over the past few years...
  2. Ou sont les magazines?
  3. You know what I love? When people waiting for the Express PCs grind their popcorn bits into the carpet (I only saw this when I came back upstairs)
  4. Books reported from SRC....
  5. HR assistance for boss.....
  6. Running around looking for boxes because we are out of grey bins we ship material to other branches with.....
  7. Back downstairs to talk to boss
  8. Hold request for The Lost Symbol
  9. Name of composer, and score or lyrics for "It's now or never" (Presley!)
  10. How many DVDs can you check out?
  11. Washroom....
  12. Carl Jung
  13. Help downloading antivirus software... on our PCs.... um, no.....
5:05 pm: Dashed off to the basement to make up my to-do list for the rest of the week and send some last e-mails I didn't have time or concentration for.

P.S. Happy birthday to a dear friend from high school!


  1. Holy CRAP!!!! It's amazing you got all this done right under my nose. You always look completely calm, cool and collected. WoW!! You are amazing Alex.

  2. ha ha! thanks! glad i don't *look* stressed......