Monday, January 24, 2011

Library day in the life, Round 6, Day 1

Welcome to Round 6! I don't know if I'll keep this up all week, but here you go.... Welcome to any newcomers. You may stalk more formally here. Also, previous "Library Day In The Life" posts are here.

This was one of those mornings when I really had to peel myself off the bedsheets. Oh, wait, that's almost every Monday morning. I love my job, truly, I do. It's just January in Canada and -36 degrees celcius with windchill and I have school today....Really? I have to get up now? Fine. Kissed husband goodbye and whined, "But I don't want to school today!" like a petulant child. Forthwith, the rest of the day, in bullet points.
  • Went outside and choked on my first breath of outdoor air. MINUS 36! SERIOUSLY. Not cool.
  • Taught my Acquisitions class at Algonquin College. Today's class was about verification sources for orders; checking not only vendor, bookstore and publisher websites, but also using Amicus, Amicus New Book Service, CISTI, Depository Services catalogue, etc. We went over last week's readings as a discussion, we talked about last week's discussion topic (censorship! I had them read this, this, this and this), then I lectured for about 45 minutes and we did an in-class exercise after that.
  • Checked work e-mail while students were working on the in-class assignments. Hooray - today I am senior person in our cluster (Rideau-Rockcliffe Park-Vanier-Cumberland)!
  • OMG it's noon. Must run!
  • Crap. Forgot my granola bar. Purchased crappy egg sandwich from school cafeteria and ate it on the bus on the way to work. I never eat white bread... sinful!
  • 1 pm - got to work late. Sat down at Info desk (that's what we call Reference); sent colleague on lunch. Immediately felt tired.
  • Discussed indoor temperature with branch staff - because our front doors are opening all the time, it gets cold in the library pretty quickly. We do have double doors, but because of the placement of our security gates we can't close the internal doors. I joked that we need some City of Ottawa legwarmers. I would so wear them...
  • Opened Outlook; 7 reminders popped up. Considered running in the other direction.
  • Sorted e-mail... Responded to H&S question, approved overtime, and various other admin tasks.
  • 243 items in Google Reader. Crap. Interesting newsy nuggets for the day: "How far can you get ... digitally?" and "Supply and demand and book awards" (and this for laughs). Bonus post I actually read yesterday and *starred* because I am going to use it in my Acquisitions class here.
  • Explained computer booking system to patron.
  • Worked on our Picture book replacement list - this comes once a year to every branch. Based on the size of our branch, we can select a certain number of titles to replace "classic" picture books. Usually, I pull what we already have to examine condition and decide accordingly what old material circulates well but needs replacing, and what new material we might want to consider. x2 this time around, since I am doing Rockcliffe Park Branch's replacement list also while I am temporarily supervising the branch.
  • Conversation with staff about patron involved in incident in the library last week.
  • Reference question: books and articles from the database for a project about dealing with Oppositional Defiant Disorder in the classroom.
  • Filled in incident report for something minor that happened on Saturday, but which nevertheless should be documented
  • Question: Where's the babytime? Luckily, I know St Laurent Branch has their babytime 1:30 on Mondays... Sorry, you are in the wrong branch! But we have storytime Tuesdays at 10:30!
  • Patron inquired about a book on hold that they have been waiting a long time for (more than a week). Detective Alex investigates.... This ended up being really weird. Short version: various copies checked in, so I called one branch with a copy and they tried to transfer it but since another copy was in transit for the patron since last week (which I didn't notice at first...) it wouldn't work. Finally, with the help of colleagues, it was sorted out. I think. I made a note of the patron's name so I can check in a few days.
  • Several reference questions based on reviews from a print magazine in Polish...
  • Books about reading body language.
  • The sun hit my eyeball at 2:13 pm. Gah. We need blinds.
  • Books about Germany: specifically, the Baedeker, Insight, and Fodors' travel guides. Oh, and some big photography books (why, sir, do you mean subject heading "Pictorial works?"). And some DVDs. Please.
  • Read the CLA's open letter to LAC regarding Iranium screening
  • Replaced vandalised headphones on public PC
  • Printed bestseller lists. Did you know they are also here?
  • 2:45 pm - went downstairs for off-desk time. Meant to work on OLA presentation; ended up spending majority of 1/2 hour sorting requests, building display for legal aid workshop this week, and other things I already forget.
  • Approved timesheets for Rideau, Rockcliffe Park and Vanier. It's tough being Queen of the World senior person in the cluster.
  • "Please don't Skype in the library!" en français
  • Made bilingue sign for legal aid display
  • Books about Poland - what we have at Rideau is all WW2-related. Politely suggested a children's nonfic from National Geographic. (That's twice today for Poland! Are you paying attention, Iwona?)
  • Surprised a child running around in the children's section (she gasped) She was following our alphabet carpet squares...
  • 4 pm - dinner!!
  • During dinner: convo about putting up signage regarding putting books on the tables rather than leaving books on the floor or the radiator.
  • 5 pm - back on Info. Made those signs re. pick up. Translation ... what are radiators en français? Oh yeah, radiateurs. Duh.
  • Returned several e-mails - everyone seems to be in the mood to talk teen services today, perhaps as a result of inspiration from this event!
  • French non-fiction book NOS; search on one of seven trucks to put away in basement - found!
  • Ooooh request for a SM@RT card! en français
  • Question about reserving a computer en français
  • Question about reserving a computer - again; different person, obvs.
  • Printer issues - re-filling, jamming, people pushing buttons on the printer that they shouldn't, thereby pausing the printer, people choosing coloured paper as an option when we don't have colour paper... etc.
  • "I need to call my answering machine - can I use your phone?" en français
  • Requests: Mao's last dancer (DVD) - we don't have - suggested to Collection development - ordered the book instead; Small wars by Sadie Jones; L'immeuble yacoubian par ʻAlāʼ Aswānī.
  • FINALLY working on my OLA presentation! Hey, it's only 6:45. GAH.
  • Histoires d'Anansi...
  • postal code look up...
  • OMG could the world wide internets take longer to load pages tonight? I have a presentation to finish!
  • Sometimes I wonder if my "I'm working on a presentation" face is showing.. Ha! Just when I formulated that thought, someone asked me where the Danielle Steel novels are.
  • Sitting-in-the-same-chair resting-the-eyes break: looked at photos of beautiful Res-ling baby Leyla.
  • A short interlude in which it takes me several shameful minutes to log into Delicious (I'm tired!)
  • Colleague tries to convince me to take an actual break - thank you!
  • More OLA work....
  • We had a minor incident involving someone who appeared to be in distress; we administered some help and called for more help. The cold is pretty vicious for anyone who spends a lot of time on the street these days...
  • Crap it's 8:25.
  • 8:30 go home......


  1. I love day in the life of...keeps my mind fresh about work and the things i did in my day. Except for the teaching and librarian mumbo jumbo stuff!

  2. Wow! Busy day for you! How many info staff workers do you have? You seem to be on the desk a lot (I have 5 hrs/week).

  3. bibliothech - come baaaaaack! we're so lonely without you! + we missed you at storytime this week.

    leigh - we have 2 FT Info people and we split the hours pretty much 60% (public service assistant)-40% (me). so that works out to anything between 20-32ish hours a week. insanity!

  4. You just run all day! And who said being a librarian was a nice quiet job ...

  5. wow! how do you get any work done? as much as I love working reference, this sounds like a recipe for burnout

  6. The funny thing is, it's only once every few months that I really feel it. I kind of thrive on being busy. When Rideau was closed for renos, and I was doing other stuff, I got really bored. That being said, I am on reference way too much. No one should be on reference that much.