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 Day in the Life, round 4

January 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm (librarian, libraries, librarydayinthelife) ()

I can’t resist participating in Library Day in the Life!  I’m also tweeting about it: http://twitter.com/webchicken So, here is a peek into my life as a reference librarian in an fairly large downtown public library.

Worked with our nonprofit librarian to update Web pages in HTML (see pic below).  I live for that stuff! :)

Working on HTML with Lettie

Most of the day I worked on the reference desk.  It was insanely busy most of the day, so I didn’t record as much as I wanted to.  Here is just a small sample of the questions/issues I dealt with today:

  • Interlibrary loan a book that we don’t own.
  • Help a patron find books on Web design for business.
  • Track down audio CDs of motivational speakers.
  • Help a patron navigate the part of our book stacks that are broken up into weird segments by the building’s architecture.
  • Page books from our HUGE basement storage area.
  • Give out plastic grocery bags that staff bring in for patrons to reuse.
  • “Where is this call number?”
  • Biographies on a 19th century abolitionist
  • Free skin cancer screenings
  • “Somebody called me from this number.  Do you know who and why?”  [We have a couple hundred phone extensions which all show up on caller ID as the same number, so, no, I don’t know.]
  • Computer Classes.  We get several people a day asking about this.  We do offer monthly classes.  We get lots of people signing up and few actually showing.

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Library Day in the Life, round 3

August 1, 2009 at 11:30 am (librarian, libraries, library, librarydayinthelife, mpow, work) ()

The second annual Day in the Life of a Library was this past week. Since I don’t work on Mondays, I’m recording mine again on a Saturday (August 1, 2009).

  • Signing up out of town patron for computer use.
  • Phone call for past week’s lottery numbers.
  • Reference question for a friend on Facebook regarding estrogen and memory.
  • Co-worker found a 1980s children’s book series for my friend.  Since our library doesn’t own them, I am interlibrary loaning the titles for their child, so they can read the books their parent enjoyed as a child.
  • Email: Troubleshooting library account problems for a homebound patron.
  • Phone: “What time is the children’s Tie Dye program?” [It was listed incorrectly on our events calendar; I quickly updated that.]
  • LOTS of holds placed over the phone.
  • Tabulating July statistics for our email Ask a Librarian service.
  • Removed unapproved literature from community information tables.
  • Update display wall: take down July children’s events calendar, put up a “Everybody’s Chicken Out Books”
  • Report problem to IT: bing.com is not saving Safe Search settings, will only accept Strict option.
  • “Where are large print books?”
  • Email: “Do you have this forthcoming fiction title?”  I can’t find any record of the title about which they are asking.  I emailed back to see if they wanted the one listed as upcoming on the author’s Web site.
  • “Can I get this book from Reshelve?”
  • “Where can I get a library card?”  (Always lots of these…)
  • I’ve been taking Library 101 photos for Michael Porter and David Lee King’s video project; will see what I can do today.
  • ACT study guides
  • Help with PIN
  • “Can I have that poster when you take it down?”
  • Phone: Questions about our digital sender which scans documents/photos to email.  (They later came in and I helped them use the scanner.)
  • “Where is a photocopier?”
  • No longer need a book that is being held at a branch.
  • Phone: Need a hold transferred to a branch for pickup.
  • Book from Storage collection not available.  We did have a (non-circulating) copy in another department.
  • Chat with regular teen patrons.
  • Definition of a specific legal term.
  • Email question about a book review publication.
  • Lottery lookups for regular patron.
  • Phone: looking to see if a particular movie is in.  The entertainment movies can not be placed on hold, so we get many calls for people checking on shelf status.
  • “Do you have X Box games?”
  • Study guides for middle school math.
  • Phone: book from storage sent to a branch.
  • Phone numbers of music stores at the local mall.
  • Study guides for math. (Yes, another one.)
  • Questions about issuing a card and what a person’s legal name is.
  • Phone: Actor’s date of birth.
  • Inebriated patron.
  • Help with PIN.
  • Email: How to place holds on specific magazine issues.
  • “Wicked”.
  • Where do I pick up my holds?
  • Email: Problem signing in for downloadable audiobooks.
  • Phone: Where is the library?
  • Phone: Question about whether a branch is open on weekends in the summer.
  • Where is the closest ATM?
  • [At 5 minutes to close]: I need a library card and this book…

letter layout

Everybody's Chicken Out Books!

*The views, opinions, and judgments expressed in this post are solely those of the author.

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librarian hell

October 18, 2007 at 1:01 pm (chickens, librarian, libraries)

Savage Chickens, one of my favorite cartoons, features chicken drawings on post-it notes. Today’s was excellent!

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