Friday – Day in the Life

6:00 Arise

6:30 Eat, scan headlines in local newspaper, etc.

7:20 Feed fish and head for bus stop.  Pause with hand on doorknob as I exit the house and say, “@#$%*” when I realize today is Friday, and I work 9-6 instead of 8-5.  I could have stayed in bed a half hour longer, or watered the garden, or gone for a walk …  I decide to go in early anyway and read the latest 27 Things blog posts.

9:00 Pick up book truck/mobile office from desk in Collection Management Dept. in basement, head to other desk on the 5th floor and put lunch in the fridge. Big agenda today, so I get right to work.  Scan e-mail, discover our new InfoQuest text reference service has been added to our web site and I can now  blog it. Update the TELIS TipSheet for telephone ref staff to include cancellation of the bookmobile stop tomorrow due to driver illness.

9:45 Prepare 4th floor and 2nd floor for opening: close internal doors to sorting areas and freight elevator, close restroom doors propped open by the custodians, turn on all the OPAC monitors and copy machines.  Log in to the staff computers and open the ILS and browser.

10:00 Showtime! From now to 6 p.m. I and the other Saturday librarians stand shifts sequentially at 4 different reference desks, with breaks before and after lunch.  We are encouraged to be available to our borrowers, meaning we appear approachable and helpful, not engrossed in e-mail or busywork. 

Patrons bring lost and found items to me at the desk: a staff coffee mug (it’s empty and clean, and I know it’s a staff mug because of its shape and distinctive logo), and two drivers licenses and original Social Security cards left in the copier.  Another patron asks whether anyone has turned in her lost originals left in the copier.  I have returned the drivers licenses and SS cards to their owner, so I refer her to our Lost and Found Depatment on the 1st floor.  As she reaches the elevator, I discover school papers behind the reference desk and run them over to her at the elevator. She recognizes them immediately as her missing originals and is effusively grateful!  

I send a third trouble ticket to IT for that troublesome database access problem – it’s so intermittent, we haven’t been able to pin it down from either the Vendor’s side or our side. I also send an e-mail to our public services staff with a status report, because it’s taking longer to fix than normal.  And I thank another Vendor for sending additional information about transferring downloaded files to an iPod shuffle – he thinks it’s not possible.  I ‘m stubborn, so I’m going to try.

Reference questions include finding pictures of a certain plant; locating a circulating book that describes mental illnesses; printing a list of trading posts in three states and the contact information of another, identified by name; location of our computer tech books; a circulating street atlas of California. In Kids’ Place, I help locate Berenstain Bears, craft books with how-to projects featuring food items, place holds on chick lit for a young mom with a toddler, and show a mom and teen how to find programs for college-bound students using our online event calendar.

Other assistance includes resetting PINs, helping patrons create computer reservations, placing holds, explaining – again – that even though we have 35 public computers, it IS possible for them all to be booked and in use, and no, there is nothing I can do about that except show how to get a reservation for a little later today.

Between times, and while moving from one floor to another, I touch bases with the Collection Development Manager about the pervasive audiobook type mismatches, which we now suspect was caused by the reloading of our MARC records minus the material type changes we had made to the original records. I also touch bases with the Marketing Director, who shows me proofs of the print publicity we requested for My InfoQuest text reference.  I ask permission to share our PR with the other InfoQuest participating libraries, and he agrees. I show a colleague how to check whether the laptop battery is fully charged because she will be taking it to the Depression Glass Show  tomorrow morning.

The day ends with the August Audiobook Bulletin still unfinished; it MUST get done tomorrow, because it will be published automatically on Sunday morning. 

At home, after dinner, I download an audiobook from the no-shuffle Vendor’s collection. I succeed in converting the files and getting them into a playlist in iTunes, but am unable to either listen in iTunes nor transfer them to my shuffle.  Rats! Time to hit the discussion boards to see if anyone else has figured out a workaround.  Maybe tomorrow, after the Book Bulletin is finalized.


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