For the past few years, I’ve participated in the Library Day in the Life project. I wasn’t sure whether or not to participate this year, as I seem to have less time to write blog posts than I used to (not necessarily a bad thing), but I’m just going to write this one for today. So, here’s my ‘Library Day in the Life’ for January 2012:
This morning, it was my turn to help with the banking – cashing up the till money and checking the card machine transactions from Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Although the people on duty at the weekend had run out of till roll, the money and transactions were OK, thankfully.
It was our teams turn to empty the ‘bins’ in the returns room this morning. Students can return items though the returns machine themselves. This has two ‘stations’ and the items’ barcodes are scanned, the items removed from the students’ records and the items are taken away via conveyor belt – not very far, just into the returns room and then the machine magically sorts them into the appropriate bin, according to which floor they belong on. Then, library staff go in and empty the bins, putting the items on trolleys and take the trolleys up to the relevant floors. We have four teams who do this on a rota basis.
After that, I talked to my supervisor and another colleague about me being co-opted (in a nice way) to help with the institutional repository. I think it will be interesting, and it’s another thing to go on my CV, but we’re just not quite sure what the practicalities will entail as yet.
I then looked at some exciting items people had left for me on my desk. These are usually damaged books, or books without barcodes, or books without catalogue records, or books people have left ‘in processing’ on the system – that sort of thing. I dealt with these – there wasn’t too many of them this morning – and then went to empty the lovely bins again!
I had a shift on the library point (desk) then, but as it was fairly quiet we didn’t really need two people there, so I went back up to the office and started taking items ‘out of of processing’. When things are being labelled or otherwise ‘processed’ we put them ‘in processing’ on the system, so that users know they’re not available to borrow. When they’ve had their labels or whatever done, they then need to have the ‘in processing’ taken off, otherwise people won’t be able to borrow them when they’re back on the shelves, which could obviously cause some annoyance to users. Today, it being Monday, there were lots of things that had shiny new spine labels put on over the weekend, so it took me quite a while to take them all out of processing and return them to their appropriate floors.
Then, I sat at the point/desk for half an hour. I don’t think there were any especially interesting queries. After that, I checked the bus times for a visit to a neighbouring library on Wednesday. We’re going to look at their use of space, because we’re thinking of creating some new zones in our building. I’m on the working group for this, and we’re looking at making a larger quiet (or silent) zone and making a ‘creative learning’ zone to encourage people to use the available technologies in the building. Anyway, I found the times, so hopefully we’re all set.
I also had a look at the shared drive for the other group I’m on, which is looking at the use of ‘new’ technologies for communication with library users. By ‘new’ technologies, we mean stuff like Twitter and Facebook and blogs, which are not really new at all now, but we’re a bit behind with such things in our workplace, I’m afraid. We have an area on the library shared drive to deposit our findings. I just had to check the terms of reference for the group. I made a little alteration – whether it will stay in or not I don’t know!
After that I went to empty the bins again, then I had lunch. (An onion bagel with garlic cheese – yes, very smelly!) After lunch, I went back to taking things out of processing and putting them out on the floors. As I said, it took rather a long time, and it’s a bit monotonous, so I had a little break in between – see above.
Finally, at about four o’clock, I actually got round to doing some cataloguing. As you’ll know if you read my other blog, I’m currently in the middle of cataloguing hundreds of music scores and music-related books we’ve been given by the music faculty. I like cataloguing music scores at the moment, but I’m not sure how I’ll feel about them once this project is over!
In the middle of cataloguing I went to empty the bins again. I was supposed to also be on the library desk/point again, but (again) I wasn’t needed to I went back upstairs to carry on cataloguing. I also wrote up my log of the vibrations we’ve been experiencing in the office for the past two years (at least). Everyone is getting heartily sick of them, in some cases literally. People have to move desks on a regular basis, and the powers that be don’t seem to be much nearer to solving the problem than they were a year ago. It’s rather frustrating.
After that, I continued the cataloguing until it was time to go home.