What is a librarian’s day like

Librarian by Day had someone find her blog searching on the phrase “What is a librarian’s day like.” She suggested that her readers post an answer to this question so that other librarians and potential librarians get some idea of what working as a librarian is like.

I’ll start by making some fairly obvious disclaimers. I don’t really have a “typical” day, which is one of the benefits of being a librarian. It’s not usually the same thing day after day. I’ve had those kind of jobs. So, I have picked today. Also, as an academic librarian, the summer sessions are quite different than the fall and winter sessions.

I’ll also point out that I am not living up to the parameters that Librarian by Day established. Namely, I don’t see to have the wherewithal to post everyday during the week as some people have. You can get a list of participants here.

So, what you’re getting is a fairly random assortment of things I’ve done the past few days. No real rhyme or reason other that these were the things I was thinking of when I thought to write.

  • The mornings usually begin checking email and looking at my to do list, which I recently (Monday) migrated to Remember the Milk. I was able to go through some of the stuff piling up around me and organize it and add items to RTM.
  • I had a meeting with the usability working group, of which I’m chair. The usability group is planning on a card sorting activity. One member of the group sent out some links to some card sorting software, so I looked at those and prepared some notes about my preferences. As chair, I also put together an agenda for the meeting. The meeting went well, as usual. I’m not saying that because I run the meetings. It’s a great group of people who work well together, and we seem to get a lot done. In addition to the formal usability test we’re running, we’ve been asked arrange getting some informal feedback on some mock-ups of new designs for our catalog interface.
  • In my role as a media librarian, I am involved with the National Media Market. The meeting takes place at the end of September. A group of media librarians decided to hold a special meeting the day before the market begins to discuss digital video licensing, which is a HUGE issue for us media types. We’ll be meeting with some of the documentary film vendors to figure out a reasonable pricing structure and distribution method. Gary Handman (UC Berkeley) and Lawrence Daressa (California Newsreel) have written a white paper outlining some of the issues central to this discussion. Although the discussion isn’t until September, I read this white paper, partly out of curiosity, partly because I want to dedicate some time this summer to figuring out what our library wants to do with providing online access to videos. If you’re interested, you can find the white paper at the blog that Gary set-up.
  • Got word that although our budgets haven’t been loaded into Millennium yet, our ordering department can start taking orders for the new fiscal year. However, I’m still waiting for some items that I ordered last fiscal year to get cataloged and sent down, so I checked my order list against the catalog to see what’s still outstanding. I don’t want to start ordering new titles until last year’s backlog thins out.
  • I wrote a document recommending changes to those sections of the strategic plan that affect my department.
  • Our multimedia design studio might be moving into a space recently vacated by our document delivery service, so I went over with one of my staff to take a better look at the space and began to plan some specifics. I wrote a proposal for moving to that space a while ago. I haven’t gotten formal approval, but many signs are pointing to use getting that space.
  • Wrote an evaluation for Kick Like a Girl for my work on the Notable Videos for Adults committee and posted it.
  • Attended a liaisons’ meeting and, among other things, learned our collections budget is not getting an inflation increase, which, in effect, means we have less to spend (boo).
  • Got word that the aforementioned move of our design studio has been approved (yeah). Spent time talking with Assistant Dean, Building Manager, Systems Manager, and my staff about plans for the big move.

So, there you have it.  A fairly random assortment of things that happened this week.

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4 thoughts on “What is a librarian’s day like

  1. I think what surprised me the most about reading all the blogs is that no one has a typical day. I really thought there would be someone who went in and sat at the reference desk all day.

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