A Day in the Life of a Public Librarian

a-day-in-the4My name is Meriah, and I am the Manager of Library Services at the Carleton Place Public Library. One of the things I love about my job is that while I have general tasks to do each week, every day is different for me.  As a public librarian, I find I wear many hats- I could be involved in facilities management, ordering supplies, tech support, human resource management, and program coordinating, all in one day.  I am certainly never bored!

A typical Tuesday could look like this:

  • Paying bills (one hour).  Dry but necessary!
  • Receiving the shipment of new library books.  This takes about 45 minutes, and is one of my favourite jobs at the library.  Opening the box is like Christmas morning, because you never know what treasures could be inside.  This is also a very practical task for me, because it allows me to touch every book that comes into our library.  By going through each title, I have a better idea of what items are in our collection.
  • Tuesday mornings I tend to have some uninterrupted quiet time, and I try to spend it on any special projects I am currently working on.  Recently I have been spending time on gathering information for the creation of our library’s first Strategic Plan.  This means I might be making a survey, creating meeting minutes, or information gathering.
  • Afternoons are a bit of a free-for all, and are when things get interesting!  Once we open at 1:30, I could be preparing for a Library Board meeting, which includes compiling monthly statistics, preparing financial statements, creating agendas, and information gathering.  However, I often find myself doing two or more things at once.  For example, while I’m working on Board meeting prep, a patron may come in with a question about setting up OverDrive, which could take anywhere from 5 to 50 minutes to troubleshoot.  Then a staff member may have a question about a strange thing they are noticing with our library catalogue.  This may require me to get in touch with our tech support to find out what’s going on.  Hopefully I get the Board meeting documents done, because I will usually spend the last 45 minutes to an hour of the day on the Circulation desk, helping patrons find books and answering questions.
  • When I have a few minutes, I like to look at book blogs and our OverDrive site to find out about upcoming releases or new eBooks we have in our collection.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to read about another staff member!



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