Friday, January 25, 2008
A Day in the Life of a Librarian
Where I work, back entrance
I seldom write about work, but since librarians have such a staid stereotype, I thought some people might be interested in a glimpse of my usual day. I'll just hit the high spots:
Up and at 'em.
Snowy, icy roads again, so traveling out to work was a slow trip.
At work, checking restrooms to be sure they were cleaned properly by the new janitor; checking for icy spots on the walkways; check with assistant on recent deliveries of furniture.
Discuss an open position and a plugged toilet with a co-worker; answer a question about collection development and another about staff performance. Recycling truck arrives--talk to them; cleaners arrive to clean chairs in the meeting room--talk to them.
Visit a branch to discuss changes to the teen area and janitorial problems, and go over plans for a new bookmobile. Suggest ways to deal with some problems with teens. Look at ideas for rearranging furniture. Discussing staffing. Discuss budget.
Stop at another branch for a quick visit, then back to the office for email and paperwork. (Lunch? In the car, between branches.)
In the afternoon, sorting in the book sale area--I'm determined to get that area under control for my new employee. Three hours of moving boxes, sorting and boxing books is grunt work, but a welcome relief in some ways, the decisions are so simple. Put aside books that might be collectible to look at later.
A scare--a chemical-y smell outside. What is it? Is it a shelter-in-place situation? Call 9-1-1. Not a danger, no sheltering needed. Whew. Back to book sorting.
Discuss security problems with the guard, janitorial issues with the janitor. Check and answer email. Leave a 5:20.
Drive to Ripley, arrive at the Alpine Theatre for our special screening of Rebel Without a Cause. Popcorn is ready, we wait for people to come. They do, not many, but for this cold night a good group. Sell popcorn, watch the movie, clean up afterwards, close the theatre. Then finally, home to the fire, the dogs, a warm house, a glass of Shiraz. Storytelling? No place for it in this day, except one thing...
As I arrived back at work after the branch visits, I saw a car swing around the corner and zip up to a trash can. The girl in the passenger seat rolled down her window and tossed a bag into the can as the young male driver talked on his cell phone. They zoomed off.
So I'm wondering--what was in the bag? Was it some sort of drop-off? of what? I watch for a while. No one approaches the trash can. People are looking at me. I go inside. But after work, I casually walk over to the trash can and look inside. There's the bag. I poke it.
Trash. nothing more. Ah well. It could have been a story.
It might still be a story... "The car zoomed around the corner and screeched to a stop. A hand reached out the the open window and threw a bag into the trash. The driver dialed a number. "That's it, man. It's done."