Posted by: Katie | January 24, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Librarian

I haven’t participated in this particular meme before (this week is round #6), but about five or six years ago, I did write a book chapter on the topic. At the time I was an Adult Services/Reference librarian in a public library. Now I’m a Consultant with a state agency known as a Library Service Area that serves, initially, a 25-county region of Iowa, but I also work with libraries, primarily public, outside of that immediate area. If you want to see what other types of librarians are out there, check out the Library Day in the Life wiki.

  • Open the office. My office manager is part-time and won’t be in until 11 am. The administrator and administrative assistant actually work out of another office, so I’m here by myself half the time when I’m not out on the road.
  • After waiting for my computer boot up and then reconfigure the wireless connection, I open e-mail. Respond to a request for new director visit and try to coordinate time to do that with my administrator. Approve request to join library service area’s news list. Respond to question about advantages and disadvantages of a library investigating whether or not to change the method by which they authenticate for our OverDrive consortium (WILBOR). I no longer manage the server as it got moved to the office that manages the authentication server for the other consortium in the state, but I’m still the authentication contact for WILBOR. Send e-mail to WILBOR co-administrator about which libraries are authenticating through us in the upcoming add period. Receive notice of meeting for debriefing from last week’s state online conference.
  • Start up browser and get logged on to Meebo for the day. IM with administrator of neighboring LSA (Karen) as we work in tandem on a number of projects. Karen and I generally keep a running IM conversation throughout the days we’re both in the office.
  • Respond to a question on the WILBOR listserve re: a tech support issue.
  • Get my first real look at Twitter for the day. The first hit in the morning is usually just a quick scan of what’s getting talked about. I don’t really have time to go back and truly read everything that’s been talked about since very early this morning. Get assigned to be backup host for one of Karen’s Adobe online classrooms.
  • Take call from someone looking for the new branch of one of the local public libraries. Look up the main phone number for the library and give it to her.
  • Returned an e-mail from a colleague discussing reader’s advisory appeal factors of ebooks and if there’s anything different we need to be doing when talking about ebooks versus print books.
  • Go through Google Reader.
  • Go to note Wednesday’s meeting on my calendar and realize I have left calendar at home. Make note to get calendar when I’m home for lunch.
  • Get Meebo message asking how to go about getting CE credit for watching archived sessions of our conference from last week.
  • Work out pins and needles I got in one of my legs.
  • Read through a few publishing industry articles that popped up in my Twitter feed.
  • Sort through recent presentations for material for Tools of Change Conference (TOCCON) presentation. Realize I left my notes for what to include, other than how many steps it takes to download an ebook to a device from a library ebook lending vendor, in my calendar which was accidentally left at home.
  • Phone call from one of our librarians on sorting out authorization issues for Adobe Digital Editions so she can use their computer lab to teach their patrons how to use ebooks through WILBOR.
  • Quickly followed by a wrong number phone call.
  • Lunch time!
  • Talked with office manager regarding various issues around the office.
  • Discover that to make it somewhat warm in my office, the thermostat for the rest of the office needs to be set to 78.
  • Sent out survey to gather authentication for new WILBOR libraries.
  • Responded to a few more e-mails.
  • Signed up for the networking/bowling party at TOCCON.
  • Worked some more on slides for TOCCON.
  • Home time!
  • And the work doesn’t end when I leave the office. Working on revisions for an article on ebooks and reader’s advisory for RUSQ and turned those back in.

So that’s it for my day. A pretty quiet one for the most part. Other days, like this coming Thursday and Friday, I visit libraries in my area and do in person consultations on various issues. Our immediate coverage area is pretty big as we have 1/4 of the counties in the state, so some of those in person visits can result in 6+ hours in the car. Audiobooks are my friends on those days 🙂


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