A Librarian Day In The Life

So some librarians have started a “Day in the life” wiki, wherein we all blog about what we’ve done with our day and then report back to the page for others to read. The wiki’s preamble mentions that one of its purposes is to give students an idea of what the working life is like. This doesn’t apply to me since I’m still technically a student, but I’m willing to play along anyhow.

Here’s a basic rundown of my day, 22 July 2009. Today was not as busy as my days often are, admittedly. But if I’m up for it, I’ll write once or twice more before the 27th, when the wiki-challenge ends; between those three entries I might be able to create a representative sample of my worklife.

6am-ish. Awoken by the deluge outside my window. It has been raining, a lot, here in Halifax. I go back to sleep.

6:30. Wake up. This is still somewhat early, but I didn’t bother to iron my shirt that I washed the night before, so now i must pay the piper.

6-30-750-ish. Feed cats, breakfast, iron that shirt, etc.

8am. Get on bus to go to work.

825. It’s a short commute, and for that I’m happy. I sit down at my little pod/cubicle.

830-930 – Morning pleasantries. This includes saying hello to my office neighbours, getting some water, checking my e-mail, and reading up on ILI-L, LES-L, Digipres, some other listservs and a few blogs. Keeping current through the internets is encouraged and tolerated, so long as our work is completed in a timely fashion..

930-10. Finish tweaking an audio track I laid down yesterday afternoon for a screencast about the library’s homepage. The library is undergoing renovations, so there were a few distant “bumps” from construction that I had to wash out with some ambient noise. I use Audacity to record and edit sound because i’m a firm believer in using open source and open access whenever possible.

10-15ish. Ran off to catch some coffee. The University has a Just Us! Café, which brews a nice cup. It’s bought as fair trade and is locally roasted, so I don’t feel completely terrible about downing the glorious caffeine.

1015-12ish. Start synching the audio to the captured screens in Adobe Captivate. I am not a big fan of Captivate (this is a piece of software that needs a serious reboot), but I’m happy to have a paycheque, so I’m not complaining too loudly. Captivate gets the job done, in spite of its finicky nature.

12ish-1ish. Normally I take lunch at 1pm, but today I have to take it at 12 since I will be sitting on the reference desk this afternoon. However, I promised a colleague that I’d show her some screencasting methods, so we have a bit of a working lunch in front of the computer. I don’t mind because I like to teach things and also because I’m excited to get other people in the library excited about screencasting. And I’m also still a bit caffeinated from that 10am coffee, surprisingly.

1-3. Sitting at the reference desk. It’s the summer session, so I didn’t have to field many questions, but a variety remains. I helped one student track down an abstract to a article we don’t have but can be acquired from CISTI through Interlibrary Loan (for only a limited time now, I’m sure), and I helped another fellow start to track down some sources about the city’s streetcar system as it existed in the late 19th Century. There were also a few more questions about the catalogue and some basic reference questions, but all in all, a short, quiet shift.

3-30. A Planning meeting. The library’s reference desk is going to move due in September, due to the renovations I alluded to. The desk, we figure, is going to become a popular access point when the construction is completed because it will moved to a high-traffic zone near the entrance to three different buildings. Since we already field phone calls about how to book ice time, where to find a post office, etc, we’re going to create a supplement to the existing campus directory so we don’t have to waste too much time constantly looking up answers to these common questions.

3:30-4. Back to the screencast. It feels like forever since I touched it, even though it’s only been three hours or so. It’s so close to being finished I nearly decide to stay late at work to get’er done, but then I look at the clouds gathering outside and decide to get home before the rain falls again. (n.b. we work on a short schedule in the summertime, otherwise I’d be at work until around 4:30).

4:10 – Get on bus.

4:30 – Get off bus. Rain falls. I’m soaked. Boo.

4:40. Make it home and in a soggy state. The end.

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