Monday, 24 January 2011

Day in the life ...

Library snapshot It's Round #6 of the 'Day in the life of librarians' project, and I am still a solo librarian in a small academic library. In many ways, today is a much more 'usual' day for me - students are here, classes in sessions, and Koha, the new LMS I mentioned in my last 'Days post, has been up and running for a full semester.

  • - first thing: library set up - check on self-check (still logged in!), lights, newspapers, quick shelf tidy of the decimated London Focus and Travel collections.
  • - clear the returns drop box.
  • - check email on three accounts - lots of it as this weekend was the deadline for students to send me information about condition records! Skim for urgent messages, forward on those that need to be passed on to my colleagues, answer the most urgent couple.
  • - Friday was the last day for students to change their class selections, so I've done a certain amount of swapping textbooks to match, and generally trying to make sure they have any resources they need to 'catch up' missed first classes.
  • - process a couple of book requests for a lecturer - and take delivery of a kind donation from the same.
  • - work through the emails about textbook condition notes, updating the notes in the system (this is so much easier to do in the new LMS!)
  • - after speaking to a couple of students who'd missed the deadline, email all the students offering an extension. I would much rather be processing corrections now than bills later!
  • - field questions about where to find specific books, where to find the local Post Office, hand out a few membership cards to our local public library, and walk several students through using our self-check station for the first time. It's radically less high-tech than the self-check stations they're used to on campus, but it does the job!
  • - update online calendar, and take care of a list-serve mystery for a colleague.
  • - work through the first half of a bibliography for one of our faculty members, annotating it to show where to find the resources, either here in our library or through one of our partner libraries.
  • - brief meeting with one of our students who is pursuing an independent research project, followed by an email with info and links about gaining access to the archive resources they hope to use.
  • Library snapshot
  • - lunch hour - which involves doing a circuit to the London Library, to pick up an ILL book for a student, then to the supermarket to pick up supplies for tomorrow's Library Tea (and my lunch) before heading back to the office.
  • - arrive back just in time to catch the break between class sessions, so am here to take several more rapid-fire questions, library related and not, deal with more textbook exchanging, and hand out a few more public library cards - all good.
  • - wrap up the ILL administration, and notify the student that their book is available.
  • - the next class session starts, quiet descends, and I get to eat my lunch (at my desk)
  • - go back to that bibliography
  • - divert for a few minutes to help someone who's come in to reception trying to find another US university's London program. Always nice to be able to help!
  • - bibliography, continues, generating some book orders to balance the places where our partner libraries can't supply. Finished and sent off to lecturer
  • - blog admin - posting today's entry (written by one of my colleagues, but needing illustration etc) and writing and setting up tomorrows. In an ideal world this is a job I'd do as a batch once a week, but - none of us live in an ideal world!
  • - check email again, reply to a couple of students, and a mail from my boss, with an unexpected and positive proposal that inspires some brainstorming.
  • - take care of the mail that's arrived over the weekend - a handful of new arrivals for the library.
  • - add six new books to the catalogue, so they can go out onto the shelves. (Original cataloguing now takes longer, because the records are more detailed, but copy cataloguing in the new LMS is so much faster than in our old one the average comes out well ahead - I appreciate this fact often!)
  • Library snapshot
  • - welcome the return M, who's coming in to shelve.
  • - take a second to check the circulation stats to confirm that yes! Items were checked out on Saturday, so the ongoing problem we've been having with the self check station timing out seems to be fixed. Email LMS support team to share the good news, and thank them for finding the fix!
  • - transfer a report over to my e-reader, so I can read it on the way home ahead of a meeting tomorrow.
  • - update my rolling to-do list, and prep tomorrow's 'must dos', so I can get a clean start in the morning.


Ms. Yingling said...

A library tea. *Sigh* I wonder if that would work with my 11-14 year old students. Maybe not! It was fun reading about your day!

Miss Alice said...

@ MsYingling - a key factor might be how well they've internalised the 'rules' of regular library behaviour, and how well they shift from one mode to another - I'm always impressed as my 20y/olds move seamlessly from 'casual food, drink & conversation' to 'semi-silent study' without any reminders, if I'm honest! The concern that hosting the teas would lead to them treating the library as a purely social space was voiced when we started, but (so far) it's turned out not to be the case.