Library Day in the Life, Round 5

July 24, 2010 at 9:16 am (blogging, librarian, libraries, library, librarydayinthelife) ()

July 24, 2010

(The actual date for this round of  Library Day in the Life is July 26, but I don’t work on Mondays in the summer.)

This is a look into my life as a reference librarian at a semi-large urban public library in the Midwest.  On Saturdays, I work 8 hours on the desk.

Here are some of the issues I dealt with, and questions answered for patrons:

  • Troubleshooting problems with our VOIP phone system
  • “Can you use my ID to look up my library card number so I can use the Internet?”  (No, I can’t.  Patrons who live in our county must have their library card to use the computer or get free parking.)
  • “When is the children’s chess tournament?”
  • Place books on hold
  • Find call numbers for books on: a psychological disorder, Native American religion/spiritualism, Australian travel, a Sumerian goddess
  • Two interlibrary loan requests for titles we don’t have
  • LOTS of validating parking tickets
  • Which bands are playing at the outdoor concert tonight?
  • “Does the library offer computer classes ?” (Not until September.)
  • Yep, I did shush someone. :)
  • “When did women in the US get the right to vote?” (Do I get bonus points because I knew which Amendment and the year it became law even before I verified it?)
  • Which states have legalized medical marijuana?
  • Phone number lookup (had to use both an online database and print city directory to verify, since the names were listed slightly differently)

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library regulars

July 15, 2008 at 3:26 pm (blogging, library, mpow) ()

I noticed in my previous Library Day in the Life post that I referenced several of our regular patrons.  Now, don’t get me wrong – we have great patrons who come in regularly.  Wonderful people who are delightful and engaging.  They enjoy using the library’s services and we love to help them.

But many of our regular patrons are “difficult”, or just plain crazy.  Each has their own unique brand of crazy, or the specific things they do that drive us nuts.  I sympathize with mentally ill people and many of these people are just being themselves.  But it can make a trying day worse.  And many of these people take advantage of the situation and berate us as is their imagined right, since they are Taxpayers.

The abuse we, as public service representatives, endure can be hard to take.  I relaize this situation is not limited to libraries, but that doesn’t make it any easier when someone is screaming or cursing at you.

For example, our library is dealing with upcoming budget cuts which are quite severe.  Popular services have been cut or altered, and people are understandably upset.  But when airing these feelings on our library blog, many of them have pulled out all the stops — they are demanding, condescending, and downright rude.  The online nature of the conversation removes any civility they might have in person or on the phone.  I do understand their frustration with the changes.  But as the blog administrator, it can be hard to not feel personally attacked.

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Blogger to WordPress

July 10, 2008 at 10:06 am (2.0, blogging, online presence) (, , , , )

The Library Day in the Life business got me inspired to put more energy into my blog. I was bothered that I had the librarychicken address on Blogger, then remembered in 2005 I had begun this WordPress blog with my preferred “webchicken”. So this morning I imported all of my past Blogger posts to this WordPress blog – everything seemed to go smoothly.

For the course I teach, I’ve used Blogger, MySpace, and WordPress. WordPress won out there, so I might as well make the switch here! I’ve been having a spot of trouble adding widgets as I’d like to my theme, but I think with some expert WordPress help from the YA librarians today that I should be good to go.

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new blog!

July 13, 2007 at 4:46 pm (2.0, blogging)

I’ve started and abandoned several blogs over the years, but increasingly I’ve been aching for one, true place to post my personal and professional thoughts. Truth be told, the thing holding me back is fear. Not fear of the technology, I’ve taught others how to use a variety of blogging software and even installed WordPress on my own domain. I worry about having my words come back to haunt me. That years from now, something seemingly inconsequential I wrote will be discovered and taken out of context, or will cost me a friend, a job, or that elusive political office! But I’m biting the bullet, so here we go!

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