It’s Friday night and I’ve just completed my first week as an Information Services Librarian and I can sum up how I feel in one word: tired. A lot of people discount the energy it takes to learn new things, especially as you get older. Now I’m not that old, but I am not a teenager no matter what people say (the other day I got mistaken for 16…how rude!). I’ve done a lot of learning this week and reorganizing my brain to fit it all in. And working at the public library is very taxing physically! In other words I’m sorry for the large word dump but I just want to document this first week and hopefully in the weeks to come I’ll be able to talk specifically about certain duties. No one really wants to hear what I do every single day.
Thursday morning I went to a staff meeting for the Paratech. There is one for each department in the main library and for each branch location (I think there are 9 branches). This was a great opportunity for me to meet other librarians at other branches. During the meeting we talked about some new technology the library will be getting. We talked about some of the old issues like work orders being dropped, computers being updated and ordering software. After the meeting I talked with my supervisor for a while and assured her that I would like to take over the Paratech role for the department. I enjoyed the meeting and learning about the new things coming to the library. Then it was time for me to go finish up some stuff with the county’s HR. I now have benefits…go me! After HR and lunch, I sent my NCLA request off and sat on the desk for the rest of the day. I did my first ILL request, which I’ve never done as a staff member. As a page or intern, I’ve fielded the request by helping them fill out the form. I’ve seen an ILL request completed when I did my internship at Guildford College. This time I had to fill out the “For Staff Use Only” portion…ah the changes! At first I was a bit confused because I had to figure out the OCLC number…but than I remembered from the internship something about Worldcat and OCLC; so I looked the book up on there and ta-da got the number.
Today I got in first so I got the department ready for opening. I don’t think I said it in the last post but we have 8 computers relegated for research and work needs only (school work, job searching, or academic research) and one computer for Nonprofit Resources. We open up at 9 and most people call the day before to schedule computer time. So it’s important to have the department up and ready for when they come in. I think that’s the first difference I’ve noticed from public to academic, you use to have the random student who stood outside the library waiting for it to open. But usually that’s to get a paper or assignment printed before their morning class. Now that a lot of academic libraries are moving towards 24/7 or 24/5 models that no longer occurs. They straggle in at all sorts of time. I don’t know of any 24/7 public library…if there is one please share! Most public libraries are using digital and online services to offer a 24/7 digital library. But that model only works for those who have internet access at home. And despite what most people think there is still a large group of people who do not. So I said all that to say I understand why we have people standing outside 15 minutes before the doors open. I understand why we need to have reserve-able computers and I hope that one day the economy allows us to have public libraries staffed 24/7. Okay enough of the idealistic librarian bit…after my co-workers got in. I sat on desk for a while before joining one of the other librarians down in our computer lab. We had on schedule a class from the local community college to have one of their ESL class come in for an introduction to the library course. Not all the students came but those who did I think they came away with a lot of information. They were at different levels of computer skills and they were all from different countries. That was fun and I already told my supervisor I would love to lead a class of my own when the opportunity comes up.
I did two hours on the desk, then I retired to my office to go over the procedures some more and just retreat for a while. It’s been a long week and it’s not over yet. But I’m really enjoying myself and I’m so grateful that it worked out that I am where I am.