working on Saturday – library day in the life

July 12, 2008 at 9:35 am (library, mpow) ()

My current position is working reference (in person, phone, and email) at the main reference desk at our central library.  I work night and weekend shifts – many people are horrified by my schedule, but it works perfectly for me.

This Saturday we have an ethnic costume symposium inside our library, and a summer festival parade outside.  It was a bit drizzly out, but not enough to keep the parade masses away.  This should be a busy day at the library.

Questions/issues I dealt with on the desk:

  • found a recent obituary on the newspaper’s Web site
  • updated one of the library blogs
  • provided directions to two out of town visitors
  • answered email reference about library hours,
  • helped a patron find a variety of books and audiobooks
  • showed a co-worker how to use our digital sender
  • got someone started researching their historic home
  • handed out prizes for our adult summer reading program
  • found where people can take construction materials to be recycled
  • assisted one of our regular mentally ill patrons with her endless quests
  • out-of-town phone listings
  • realized we had run out of computer class fliers and made some more
  • regular phone caller who requests phone listings for a specific city – sometimes the listings exist/are easy to find, other times it’s a wild goose chase (and she doesn’t want it to end)
  • added catalog links to one of our children’s booklists
  • yes, we do have Playstation 3 games
  • troubleshooting public scanner
  • advice for someone starting to use our downloadable audiobooks
  • uploaded pics to Flickr
  • tracked down some urban fiction titles
  • regular patron who always has questions about local government
  • travel books

Since the weather held, I visited one of the local farmers markets over my lunch hour. I got a fruit/tea smoothie, bought some cute pottery and two bouquets as a present.  I also visited the Art in the Park event, part of the summer festival.


  1. Bobbi Newman said,

    I noticed the PS3 question, does your library check out video games or just have them on site for use?

  2. webchicken said,

    We circulate video games for several platforms. Many are 7-day checkouts that cannot be placed on hold, though some are 21-day checkouts and may be placed on hold. They are very popular.

  3. Rebecca said,

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog posts from this “Day in the Life” segment. I am currently working in a public library as a reference assistant and am about to start my MLS degree this Fall. While I am excited, I still have some decisions to make as to which area of interest I will take. My 2 main interests are for academic librarianship and school media librarianship. While the two are VERY different, I’m looking for some pros and cons…or any other insight from current employed librarians. I’m beginning to lean more toward the Academic field, but any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Keep the great posts coming!
    Becca in Indiana

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