Library Day in the Life – Day 2

Today I:
  • Spoke to a lady from the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (LTEU) who came round to ask us each individually what IT training we would like. I said I would like some more training in  Excel and  need to learn the basics about databases.
  • Counted the money from the till with a colleague.
  • Phoned a member of the pool staff about staffing for next Saturday afternoon.
  • Made some changes to the rota as my colleague felt confused because she wasn’t opening the library on her usual day (!).
  • Liaised with the  Systems team to try and sort out the problem of a colleague who had locked herself out of her Aleph account. She had been given new login details as her old account had, for some uknown reason, expired and had misread them and entered the details wrongly three times so the system locked her out. Unfortunately, it turned out that the only people who can unlock the account are away. Hopefully it will automatically let her in again tomorrow, but I’m a bit doubtful about this.
  • Dealt with a cheque sent in to pay for a lost book. I sent out receipts to the student, made the item lost/paid on the system and added the replacement book to an order form to send to the appropriate Faculty Liaison Librarian.
  • Dealt with a SCONUL Access card renewal.
  • Had break
  • Went on the desk. Dealt with some fines payments and returned some books
  • Returned a book that had been claimed as returned by a member of staff. We never found it in the library and they had not returned it by the end of the claimed returned procedure so we had invoiced the member of staff, who returned it by post six months later. I found the paperwork from when he was invoiced and gave it to a colleague to add the outcome to the spreadsheet.  The book needs a new spine label so I passed it on to a colleague who is busy re-spine labelling lots of books.
  • Made some changes to next week’s rota as I realised that at the moment everyone except the person on the desk is going for morning break at the same time, which is a bit silly. It’ll be better next week (I hope).
  • Updated my paper diary. I’ve been putting everything on Outlook recently, but I can’t take my computer to meetings to I have to have some way of knowing when I’m free and when I’m not that is portable, so the trusty paper diary still has its uses.
  • Added student ID numbers to the overdues spreadsheet. We’ve been asked to try and chase up people who have overdue books from the library. This is not currently an automated process and hasn’t been for years, so there are loads of people who still have our books in their posesseion, many of whom left the university years ago. The Systems team have done a report of all the overdue books, but unfortunately the report doesn’t say who has the books on loan. Therefore, one of my current jobs is to go through the spreadsheet of over 1000 items and find out who has them on loan by a fiddly process of copying and pasting the item’s barcode into Aleph then finding out who the borrower is then copying and pasting their user ID into the patron bit of Aleph then seeing how many more overdue books (if any) they have on loan then pasting the user ID in the appropriate places on the spreadsheet. There must be an easier way. I’ve asked my line manager about asking Systems to run off a report that includes the IDs of the people who have the items on loan!
  • Found it quite alarming how many people have overdue books and how many overdue books some individuals have. It is potentially a massive cost to library/university if we never get them back and/or people don’t pay the invoice if we send it. Not sure what the procedure is. Do we invoice straightaway or send a request for books to be returned then invoice after a certain period of time? Probably better to invoice straight away as we may get books back quicker (and more likely to get them back at all). Or they could just ignore invoice and keep books – what else can we do, especially if they have already left?
  • Had lunch
  • Went on desk. Returned books. Dealt with man with a £50+ fine, which he paid without complaining. It’s funny how some people don’t complain about paying huge amounts and others dispute a 50p fine. It’s also interesting how different people’s perceptions of fines are. Some people are mortified if they have a very small fine, because (I think) they feel that they have been a bad library user – they feel responsible and see it as a bad thing to have brought items back late and be in debt to the library. Others, however, just rack up fines without caring then pay off the minimum amount to be able to take books out – even when we tell them not to do this because they’re then in danger of having their account blocked the next time they have an overdue book – and won’t take responsibility for their own library accounts.
  • Added more IDs to the overdues spreadsheet.
  • Dealt with a lady whose card had expired and Registry had not updated her student record with the correct date.
  • Printed off part of the Reader Services ‘manual’ for two new Senior Library Assistants.
  • Directed some of the Estates team came to some trolleys  they had come to take to the new building.
  • Emailed next week’s rota for people sorting out books/shelves at the new building to the Head of Library Services.
  • Did the till reconciliation.
  • Helped colleague save a spreadsheet to the shared area.
  • Added yet more IDs to the overdues spreadsheet!
  • Went home

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