Library Day in the Life – Day 5

Today I:

  • Opened the library
  • Went on the issue desk. Returned some books. Helped colleague (who was in to borrow some books and do some photocopying, not to work) with photocopier as it was playing up yet again!
  • Issued some books, dealt with fines payments
  • Discussed this afternoon’s and next week’s rota for work at the new library
  • Emailed my line manager and other colleagues with notes about the training for the new and exisiting Senior Library Assistants
  • Had coffee
  • Went on desk again while colleague had break. Returned books and tried to answer a query about Wiley InterScience. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to answer her question, but I contacted another colleague on her behalf, who was.
  • Helped colleague with the laminator
  • Added some more IDs to the overdues spreadsheet. I’m now on approximately number 750 of 1000+ items

I can’t really remember what I did after that. It might have been lunch time. I don’t think I had a very productive afternoon. I know I spoke to and emailed various members of the Library Management Team to try and get a clear answer about who was going to send out the rota for work in the new building next week. I also spent some time trying to sort out the issue desk log in for Aleph as the log in the Systems librarian said we should have been using didn’t work.  I couldn’t really bring myself to do any more of the spreadsheet. I did the till reconciliation with a colleague and then it was nearly time to go home. At two minutes to closing time, a student came in wanting to do some photocopying! At one minute to closing time she said she only had two more sheets to do but this took her longer than we expected it to. Aggh. We left the library in the end (having let the student out, don’t worry) and I asked the Security man to lock the library and went home.

The end.

I’m sorry my week of Library Days in the Life has been so unexciting and uninspiring. I’ll try and make it more exciting if I ever participate again.


Library Day in the Life – Day 4

Today I:

  • Opened up the library.
  • Helped a colleague with some scanning – extracting and inserting pages. I had no idea what I was doing, having never used the scanning software before, but we managed to make it do what we needed it to do. My colleague is one of several colleagues involved in scanning journal articles and chapters from books so they can be put on Blackboard, our virtual learning environment.
  • Processsed some SCONUL Access card applications.
  • Helped several students look for books, which were not always on the shelf as most of our books are in storage at the moment due to the fact that we are in a temporary library, waiting to move into a shiny new building.
  • Added yet more IDs to the overdues spreadsheet.
  • Dealt with a fines payment by posted cheque – sent receipt to the student.
  • Had lunch.
  • Went on issue desk.  Returned and issued some books and showed several people where the photocopier is and how to use it.
  • Added even more student IDs to the overdues spreadsheet. It is beginning to get on my nerves now, as I am probably getting on yours due to the boring and repetitive nature of these blog posts.
  • Colleague asked me to print off a copy of the rota so she doesn’t have to go and keep looking at in on the wall.
  • Had break. Met line manager in the staff room (by accident) and discussed the activity at the new building (moving lots of books and making sure they’re in the right order). Also discussed the training of new Senior Library Assistants, which is going to very difficult to accomplish before September, due to aforementioned activity which means that the potential trainers and trainees are hardly ever (if ever) available at the same time.
  • Did the till reconciliation.
  • Another colleague locked themselves out of Aleph! Fortunately, there was another login they could use.
  • Took some TOIL (time of in lieu) and went home early.

Library Day in the Life – Day 3

Today I:

  • Helped colleague with a spreadsheet.
  • Altered the rota after replies from pool staff.
  • Had an email from my line manager about the whereabouts of the radios we used to have in the old library. Looked for radios, which were nowhere to be seen and asked colleague what she did with them when we packed everything up. She said she gave them back to Security…
  • Printed off paperwork about a claimed returned item and emailed colleagues about the item.
  • Had email from line manager about a copyright course I’ve asked to go on. She said it’s OK for me to go, but my colleague who is starting a new role dealing with inter-library loans should get priority, which is fair enough. At line manager’s instruction I asked colleague to fill out a staff development form and emailed her the link to the course details.
  • Responded to an email from another colleague about who should sign her annual leave form.
  • Processed a SCONUL Access application.
  • Dealt with fine paid by cheque sent by post. Sent letter with receipt.
  • Phoned the Systems team as the colleague who was locked out of Aleph yesterday is still locked out. Aggh!
  • Had break.
  • Went on the issue desk. Returned some books and dealt with a SCONUL Access user from another university.
  • Made Aleph record and card for said SCONUL Access  user and put card in the post.
  • Had lunch.
  • Went on issue desk. Dealt with applications to join various librarycooperation schemes and some fines payments
  • Had a visit from one of the security staff asking about the radios. Told him I hadn’t seen them since we left the old library. He went to have a look in the Security office and…the radios had been in there all the time! Emailed line manager to let her know.
  • Talked to a member of staff who was disputing a fine .
  • Listened to and tried to pacify some unhappy members of library staff.
  • Processed another SCONUL Access card application.
  • Added some more IDs to the overdues spreadsheet (see days 1 & 2)
  • Spoke to colleague about what information to give people about inter-library loans.
  • Went home.

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

Library Day in the Life – Day 1

I decided to join in the Library Day in the Life project on the spur of the moment – i.e. five minutes ago and, due to the fact that it’s quite late at night (for me), this post, and probably the other posts I write this week, will be brief and to the point. Today I:

  • Printed off the rota and stuck it together and stuck it on the wall.
  • Sorted out the photocopier, which had been misbehaving.
  • Talked to a colleague who had just come back from a month’s leave about her hours and the developments that occured while she was away. Realised we both thought she was doing different hours and consequently the rota has to change again!
  • Made sure said colleague could go on her health and safety induction for helping move books around in the new building.
  • Phoned and emailed pool staff to try and fill in the gaps on next week’s rota.
  • Went on the desk. Dealt with students returning lots of books.
  • Tried to help a student who had the incorrect course end date on her record.
  • Returned some more books.
  • Had email from colleague in another of the university’s libraries saying we will have to change the lunch time closing time as otherwise the courier will not be able to get into the library (if he gets there when it’s closed).
  • Asked one of the library managers if we can change the closing time. She said yes. Emailed colleague back.
  • Helped a student who wanted to access online journal articles via CINAHL. She was able to access them in the end, so that was good.
  • Did another stint on the desk. Not many students this time, apart from people looking for computer labs.
  • Phoned pool staff to tell them about revised closing times.
  • Did the till reconciliation.
  • Waited for pool person to come in.
  • Went home.