A Day in the Life

It’s 8.00 and I just heard about this project, so I’m going to join.  A day in the life of a librarian… it’s what I love about my job, every day is different.  My name is Sharon and I’m a children’s librarian in the Chicago area. You can read more about me if you click on the ME tab in the upper left hand corner of this page.  I work at the Downers Grove Public Library and have for 12-1/2 years. My official title is Children’s Reference Coordinator, which means I oversee reference work in our department: finding materials for patrons, helping staff work their way through the different tools they need to find those materials.  I have other responsibilities, but in summer it’s all about the Book!

step 1: i have a pbwiki account already, hooray
step 2: add your name… How?  I end up putting it in the comment section and I don’t know how to get it off.  Woefully incompetent!  Bad start? or good learning experience for training in the future?  (Depends on how the issue resolves itself)
step 3: start blogging.  I work at nine so I’ll start then…

9 – 9.30  It takes about 5 minutes to start my computer so while I wait for it to load …  The three other full-time librarians in our department and I are having a long meeting this morning so I got ready for that.

9.30 – 11.30 Meeting

  • Budget!  Not much of an increase for next year.  We’ll basically be robbing one budget line to help another budget line.  One of my issues was audiobooks.  We have not had a successful run with downloadable books for juvenile fiction.  Playaways are much more successful and we’re going to try the mp3/cds that Brilliance Audio offers.  They can be played on ipods, windows media, your car (if it will play mp3s)… it will better for our population (kids).
  • yearly staff meeting topics
  • editting our genre lists.  Genre lists are go-to lists for staff when they need help in a specific genre.  Some of the debates include: is Holes too old? Realistic Fiction? Should Spinelli be on RF and which one? Good debating. I hope she puts Alanna on the list for Fantasy. That is my go-to book (I’m not a fantasy reader–see below).
  • I requested some changes in summer reading next year.

11.30 – 12.00 Helped a colleague figure out flow charts in Word–Smart Art. She’s developing a Tech Services procedure manual and wants flow charts.  She helps me with Access, I help her with Word.  (I’ve got it easy.)

12.15 – 12.45 lunch.

1.00 – 2.30 Desk work:

  • I have a full stack of Harry Potter audiobooks.  It was time for a new set, too many of the ones we own were missing or in repair.  Money well spent.  
  • Summer Reading is coming to a close.  We started Read on the Wild Side on May 19th and we end August 2nd.  I love how we decorated for the club but it’s been 60+ days and I’m ready for them to go away – I couldn’t handle the fabric on the desk anymore and we took it down! 
  • Working on my realistic fiction genre list. I need a balance of ages, even boy/girl ratio and old favorites with good new titles…The boy/girl thing is probably the hardest part–I’m finding that certain age levels are girl-heavy or boy heavy.  The thing to remember is that a boy will rarely read a book about a female main character.  But, a girl will read a good book regardless of the main character.  Boy-heavy it is.

2.00   The flea circus is coming to the library and the performer came an hour early, so I’m on desk now til 5.  So far it isn’t busy — we finally have amazing weather and  it didn’t rain as predicted.  Rain + flea circus = crazy library day. I think we’ve dodged a bullet.

Since I’ve been on desk I’ve helped:
 1 lost kid
three audiobook Reader’s advisory questions
25 summer reading club prizes handed out
1 summer reading club first prize given away (by me at least–he was walking passed the desk when I heard him tell his grandmother he wasn’t doing summer reading, but focusing on his math instead. I called him back and helped him brainstorm his reading this summer. He got a prize!  Hooray!)
Children Tackling children: one that I saw
play on the computer: 5
computer not working: 5 comments
holds: 7
taking a trip to Wisconsin: 5
Police called for striking a staff member upstairs: 1. That rarely happens, but still.
Reader’s Advisory: 6

Complaint: a mom didn’t like that the Flea Circus performer was so cranky with her preschooler for running around and asking her adult to take control of her child.  This is the mom that didn’t actually sign up for the program but just showed up. This is the same preschooler who was being tackled by her sibling.  It’s funny because other mom’s stopped me and said they were impressed that the performer stopped the program and asked for adult intervention.

All in all a rather quiet day in the summer. It’s 4.30 and I’m going to stop blogging and get my desk in order. Thanks for coming by and hearing about my day. Some days are completely different.


About SH

I'm a children's librarian in the western suburbs of Chicago. I've been involved with children's literature since working in a children's bookstore in 1990.
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One Response to A Day in the Life

  1. Melissa says:

    Hi Sharon! I love your day! It sounds like mine in that there’s some big-picture stuff and some little-picture stuff in it. Keeps us on our toes. I really like your list of on-desk happenings and questions answered!

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