Library Day in the Life Project – Day 1

So I decided at the last minute to participate in this fabulous online project to share a week of my work life with a broader audience.  I currently work as the Prairie History Librarian at the Prairie History Room at Regina Public Library. I am primary responsible for maintaining this collection which contains non-circulating local history & genealogy materials. I am also one of three reference librarians at my library.

My plan is to blog every day from January 30 to February 5.  Here is Day 1:

7:30 am to 8:30 am: Stumble out of bed, wash up and eat breakfast while watching one of my random show on my PVR.

8:30 am to 8:55 am: Walk to work.  Despite the fact it’s January 30, it is only -4 C so the weather is actually mild.

8:55 am to 9:15 am: Catch up with my supervisor who informs me that we had an incident this past Saturday with a patron who was tossed out of the library for berating staff.  If this individual shows up in the library, he is to receive a letter from management that banns him from the library’s premises for up to a year.  I also find out that our new business librarian who was to start today, has called in sick.

9:15 to 10:00 am: While drinking coffee, I receive a much anticipated phone call from a fellow genealogy librarian who is currently the library director in her system.  We congratulate each other for all of our hard work in establishing the new Local History and Genealogy Services Network within CLA and discuss some tentative plans for our group at this year’s annual conference in Ottawa.

10:10 am to 11:55 am: A colleague stops by to chat about her weekend. After a quick break, I start to tackle my email messages including a couple of reference questions (one regarding an Interlibrary Loan request and the other is an obituary request).  Maintenance also stops by to deliver the 5 fans that we ordered for my office, our work area and our reading room.

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm: Lunch.  Out of the 6 staff members in our lunch room, 4 are reading books, 1 is reading on an eReader (that be moi!) and another is listening to music on her iPod.

1:00 pm to 5:00 pm: Scheduled shift on the PHR desk.  Still amazed by the fact that we are fully staffed today (3 people on the main ref desk and 1 on the PHR desk), which is abnormal because we have been short-staffed for such a long time.  During my shift, I managed to update our PHR blog and wrote a couple of draft posts that can be published at a later date, decided against adding 9 out of the 10 books that were being weeded out of our main collection for the PHR collection, and had a brief telephone conversation with another colleague about planning a local history-themed public program in May.  Also received a phone call from a researcher in Toronto who wanted access to a book that only exists in our library and the legislative library.  Interesting chat with the researcher.  In truth, I am not sure how we managed to get a copy of this manuscript, which this gentleman has been struggling to track down.  Needless to say, it’s one of the best things about my job when I get to discover a “hidden gem” within my collection.  While on my scheduled coffee break, I try to think of ways to rewrite one of our Reader’s Advisory libguide that in all honesty, is really skimpy in terms of content.  Also spent some time catching up on reading my RSS feeds, including a link to a free podcast from RootsTech (technology for genealogists).

5:00 pm to 5:30 pm: Chatted with my Library Assistant. She worked yesterday which happened to be stat tracking day.  We had 13 patrons use our resources.  7 reference questions, 7 directional questions and 3 technical assistance.  Quite the busy Sunday afternoon for us.

 5:30 pm to 6:45 pm: Have dinner with yet another colleague who I haven’t seen for several weeks.  Yes, I spend a lot time with librarians both at work and outside of it.  Unfortunately she will be missing most of next week’s Archives Week celebrations.  Luckily, her husband who is an archivist and one of the chief organizers of the event, will still be in town next week.

6:45 pm to 6:55 pm: A quick walk with my colleague back to the library.

7:00 pm to 7:45 pm: Attended a union meeting held at the library.  Struggled all day to be enthusiastic about it.  Normally union meetings seem to go forever but this meeting was thankfully short.  As our union president reminded us, it is now 25 months without a new labor contract and the conciliation talks have now failed.  Meanwhile, one of our branches is moving to a temporary location until the permanent location is ready so 1/2 of the branch staff are being “temporarily displaced” for the next 5 months.  I just shake my head at all of this.  I accept a ride home and treat myself to a nice cup of green tea as I unwind.

So here was my day.  Sorry about all the text but tomorrow, I plan to take some pictures to show off a little bit more about my job.


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