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Day 0.5 in the Life of a Librarian

This summer I tried to resurrect this blog with a fun little game that was going around library blogs at the time. For one week librarians would detail what they did every day at work. Ever since the flooding that displaced us last June, anyone at my library doing that project would have been interesting reading. Unfortunately, things were so crazy and busy that I couldn't finish the first week I started.

I have a feeling that this week will pose similar challenges, but it's an exciting week, definitely one worth recording. After spending the last six months crammed into a handful of small mall storefronts, we're moving into a significantly larger space in the mall, what used to be an Osco drug store.

Finally, we will have room to take more of the donations our patrons have been dying to give us. Finally, the youth and adult collections will be in the same room. Finally, we'll get a real break room where more than one person can take a break at a time. Finally, no more fighting to find an open computer to work on. In essence, a return to sanity and an almost normal library.

Since Sundays are considered overtime at our library, and I was scheduled to work on Sunday, there will be 5.5 days to my week in the life of a librarian. But since Sunday was the day we started moving, it really will give a more complete view of the whole process.

The game plan on Sunday was to use the over 200 volunteers we had signed up to move our books from our current location to the new one all the way on the other side of the mall. Instead of pitching in with the physical labor, I was stuck answering the phone all afternoon at what had been our adult services desk.

In preparation for the move I had some coffee that morning before heading in to work, something I don't usually do, and for good reason. Answering the phones was probably the worst job I could have had in my buzzed state. Still, it did give me a nice vantage point on the whole moving process. The Friends of the Library had set up a table with refreshments for the volunteers next to my desk so I got to see most of them as they refueled throughout the afternoon. After cleaning out the children's library in a little over an hour, I got to watch the volunteers spend the rest of the afternoon quickly cleaning out the shelves in the adult collection as well.

I got the impression from most of the supervisors that they hadn't expected all of the books to get moved on Sunday, but I believe all the shelves upstairs were empty by 4:30, so the volunteers were able to spend the last half hour making sure everything found a place in the Bridge Facility.

Despite publicizing the heck out of our move, there were still some people wandering in throughout the afternoon with confused looks on their faces, wondering what in the world had happened to the library. Most of them ended up heading over to our technology center, the only part of the library that will be open to the public all week. We moved a few of our newspapers and magazines over there, so our patrons could at least have some reading material. The staff over there is also offering to run over to our old adult department desk to grab items patrons have on hold. So we are trying to offer as many services as we can, even though patrons are unable to look through our collection this week.

All in all, Sunday was a wonderful start, to what everyone was hoping wouldn't be too stressful of a moving experience. There have been so many changes in the last six months, I think everyone is really starting to get sick of change. On the other hand, this should be a really good change, and I think that thought keeps people up for the challenge. Sunday was also a nice day for the library because we got a lot of press for the event. All three TV networks did a piece for their evening newscasts, and the local newspaper paper sent a reporter as well. Plus I got to see myself on TV for a split second, which almost made it okay that the Cardinals lost the Super Bowl (it also helps that in most other situations I would have cheered for the Steelers).
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