Library Day in the Life, round 6

January 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm (librarydayinthelife) ()

I’m participating once again in the Library Day in the Life Project, sharing just what exactly I do all day. I always benefit from reading and seeing others’ experiences, and I enjoy recording my own work.

I work mostly night and weekend shifts. I direct patrons in our 367,000 square foot building; and answer reference questions at the desk, over the phone, and via email.

Staff Development Day! I am on the committee for our Staff Day, which is this Friday.  We have lots of last minute details to take care of, so I’m keeping very busy!  Today we were stuffing folders, which will continue later this week.  :)

Stuffing folders for Staff Development Day

eBooks Our library began offering eBooks through OverDrive earlier this month. We get questions from patrons very regularly – everything from “how do I sign up?” to “what titles do you have?” to specific tech troubleshooting. Other librarians who aren’t as comfortable with technology refer a lot of these questions to me.

Homeless and out-of town patron computer use We have a large homeless population downtown, as well as a steady stream of out-of-town genealogists. Our public computers use library cards to sign up for reservations, so patrons without a card must sign up with a librarian. We have many regular homeless patrons that visit us several times a day to get online. I’m glad that the library is a place where they can go and, like all of our customers, be treated with respect.

Tax forms I am in charge of ordering, receiving, stocking, and inventorying our tax forms. Since neither state nor federal forms will be mailed out this year, we have seen an increased demand. I work on the desk most of the day and sometimes find it challenging to keep on top of restocking. Some boxes of forms are stocked and all gone within the hour!

Sampling of questions so far today:

  • Email request for eBook title purchase.
  • Phone call for an out-of-town obituary.  I redirected them to the public library for the city they were inquiring about.
  • Employer tax form question.  (We don’t offer tax advice.  This question was about which forms we carry.)
  • Information about Jack LaLanne, who died recently.
  • Instructions on how to access statewide databases from our Web site.
  • Difference between silken and regular tofu.
  • Books on mythological beasts.
  • Hold on a popular novel.
  • Several interlibrary loans for books we don’t own.
  • Purchase requests for new books coming out.  (Two from me.  I don’t do collection development in my current position, but I offer lots of suggestions to purchasers.)
  • Correction to information that we had posted on some historic photographs in our digital collection.
  • Received a call for the wrong “Allen” library –  this has happened many times over the years.  (It’s easier when you figure it out early in the call!)  I got them the phone number to the correct library and hopefully left them with a good impression of ours. ;)

This semester my work week is Thursday to Monday; I am off the next two days after this.  TGIM!


  1. msyingling said,

    Most of my students just ask about books. It must be fun to look up some of the random questions that you get!

    • webchicken said,

      It can be very interesting. You never know what a day will hold…

  2. crossclark76070 said,

    haha – no this actually relates. we were at a baseball field…they were building a dugout….so while i was watching them i was standing in the on deck circle. Come on

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