Saturday: A Day in the Life

Halfway through this day, I realized I’m tired of recording. Five days would have been perfect – seven days was too long. However, I will finish the week so as to avoid the guilt trip.

There is no public transportation from home to work on Saturdays. That means I get to sleep in a bit, because Husband will drive me. We have only one car, so rather than pay for parking, he is willing to chauffer in exchange for the use of the car during the day.

8:00 Arrive at work. Scan e-mail. Edit TELIS TipSheet used by Telephone Reference staff to include grand opening info about the new Folsom Public Library branch opening in 2 weeks. Check phone group’s edits to the voice library messages.

9:00 General office news-sharing relating to an internal announcement via “Friday Finale” and yet another front-page article about “The Troubles” of SPL. I log in to answer the “contact us” email questions – only 6 or 7 this morning, not counting the spam.

9:30 Work some more on the Chesterton quote. I don’t think I’m going to find it – I think the patron has mis-remembered it.

9:50 Open 38 public and 3 staff PCs, 2 copiers and 2 print management stations on the 3rd floor. I am here with another reference librarian for 2 hours. There’s an altercation in the stairwell that can be heard throughout the building: Security has rousted a bather from the men’s restroom on the 2nd floor. He is objecting loudly and using bad words. Security escorts him out of the building. It’s slow on 3, so I take my Chesterton callback to the 2nd floor and look through about 6 quotation dictionaries of various flavors, including religious quotations. No dice. I’m tracked down by Telephone Reference, who transfers a call from a branch librarian who has a question about Gale’s new interface for the Virtual Reference Library. We troubleshoot on the phone for 15 minutes.

Back on the 3rd floor, it’s more or less a nice, quiet Saturday.

12:00 lunch. I read a few chapters of The Next Thing on my List.

1:00 Phones. I take another callback question: definition of dyfalu from any authoritative source. The caller suggests the New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. I don’t see that title in our OPAC; the caller is stunned. I offer to take her name and number and get back to her, and discover she is not in Sacramento, but in Berkeley.

2:00 Second floor – In between walk-in patrons, work on the dyfalu question. Find definitions in some of the literature reference books, one of which is The Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (not the New Princeton edition, but it’s the same book) but can’t call the Berkeley patron back from Ref desk, because long distance calling has been disabled. I am off-desk next hour, so pack up the books and the question to take to the Telephone Ref desk on the 5th floor, where I know I can make the call. (I wonder why she didn’t just try Berkeley Public?)

3:00 Call Chesterton patron to admit failure; mail him the related quotes I found. Call dyfalu patron – she is thrilled. Print system meeting calendar so I can select days for EBSCO training on the new interface and also a couple of days for a tour of the nearby county law library. Begin clearing desk of chaos, so as to start clean on Tuesday.

4:00 I am off-desk, but am on-call for Telephone Reference, so I can’t leave the 5th floor. If the queue gets longer than 3 callers, I’ll have to hop on the phones for a while. I use this time to check the “contact us” e-mail one final time and answer a few more questions that have come in today. I “manage” the papers on my desk, throwing out half of them, and filing the rest. I produce Phone Script v.3 and ship to the group for final comments. Will send to ATT on Tuesday for the professional once-over, and then we can schedule the recording session.

4:55 Closing announcement. Shut down PC, collect purse and briefcase, and walk downstairs, closing OPACS and copiers on 2nd floor on the way. Another week done.


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