A Day in the Life of a Materials Processor

4My name is Maren, and I am the Materials Processor at the Carleton Place Public Library. Tuesdays are typically my busiest days, and usually the most structured, so I’ll tell you what I do on those days.

I arrive in the morning, large coffee in hand, and get the circulation desk up and running. Meriah and I tend to split the opening duties, so I either count the float or bring in books from the return box. Some mornings, the blue box is so full, it takes both of us to check in all of the items.

After the opening duties, I start on Interlibrary loans. First, I begin with books that other libraries are requesting from us. Some days, I might have 2 requests, but other days I can have as many as 30. I search the titles to see if they are available, and if they are, I go to our shelves and pull them.

Once those requests are satisfied, I work on processing the interlibrary loan books that have been returned or need to go out. The books coming in from other libraries are delivered in bins and need to be unpackaged. I’ll check out those books to our patrons and put them on the holds/call shelf.

Next comes the best part–new books! Meriah typically checks the shipping list to see if we received all of our new titles while I work on the interlibrary loans. This is also the point in my day where I take a tiny break and drool (figuratively, of course) over the new books and add titles to my ever growing to-be-read list. Once that task is complete, I’ll pull out the ones that have holds on them so that they are catalogued first.

After lunch, another large coffee in hand, I’ll hop on the circulation desk when the library opens. In between checking in/checking out items for patrons, I work on fulfilling interlibrary loan requests that our patrons have made from the day before. This typically includes book club requests, which can take up quite a bit of time as I’m requesting somewhere between 4-15 copies, depending on the book club.

At some point during the day, I’ll go back to cataloging the rest of the new books. This can often take the rest of the week to complete if the shipment is large. And if for some reason I finish all that in a day (phew!), I work on some of the odd jobs that fall on my desk, like replacing audiobook cases, or cleaning DVDs that are scratched. There is never a dull moment!

Check back tomorrow for more about our staff!


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