It’s Typical Week!

20141110_150341If you drop by the library this week, you might see us clicking a counter, or madly writing down statistics. It’s “Typical Week” at the library—a week during November where statistics are gathered about libraries to see just what happens on a regular day. It’s interesting for us, and also a bit of fun. Don’t be surprised if we get especially excited if you ask us a rare question, or take out a large number of books. This is librarian fun!

A Day in the Life of an Adult Services and Outreach Coordinator!

a-day-in-the6My name is Caroline, and I’m the Adult Services and Outreach Coordinator. I like to arrive early, because that’s my nature, and then I typically spend the first hour performing opening duties, like emptying the blue return box, checking in materials, and putting returned DVDs away. I usually have emails to follow up on, and might spend a few minutes returning phone calls or making appointments.

Then, I spend the rest of the morning planning for my programs. That might involve scanning Pinterest to find great craft ideas, trying out those ideas, doing research on Google for programs and displays, and I also make posters for upcoming programs.

After lunch, I’ll prepare for any programs I might have in the afternoon or evening,  and then work on the circulation desk for an hour circulating materials, answering reference questions, making book suggestions, and helping with research. It can very busy!

You might not realize it, but we make visits to home bound patrons to deliver books. It’s not just about dropping off materials–it usually involves spending a little time with them, as we might be one of their only visitors that week. And once I return from my deliveries, I spend the next two hours doing one-on-one tech tutoring. This service is so popular with our patrons, we often book several weeks in advance. I answer questions about whatever device they would like to learn about, and we spend time learning specific skills during their hour-long session.

Sometimes, I have evening or weekend programs, which means I need to spend about 45 minutes setting up and making sure everything is ready. Being prepared means the program will run well, and everyone will have fun, or be informed.

It’s an interesting position, and every day brings something new!

You can find out more about our staff and what we do all day by coming back tomorrow.

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A Day in the Life of a Library Assistant, Part 2

3My name is Judi, and I’m a Library Assistant. I’m here typically 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 days each week, so my days are usually packed with things I need to get done in that time. We do much more than just circulate books on the front desk; there are many tasks that have to get done in order for our books to circulate properly, and I do a number of things each week.

My full days of work usually include searching for books that patrons have put on hold from home. There can be anywhere from 1- 20 holds that I have to search for, process, and put on the shelf so that our patrons can pick them up once we open. If they don’t use email for notification, I will put those aside to be called later in the evening. We search for holds twice a day, so this can be a very time-consuming part of my job.

While we don’t normally notify people of recently overdue books, there are always a number of books that have reached the overdue status of several weeks or more, and those patrons need to be notified. We run a report that tells us which books are long overdue, at which point, I’ll do a search to make sure they haven’t just been missed on our shelves. Any that I don’t find will stay on our report, and I’ll send bills in the mail to those patrons. Often, people just need a reminder to return something.

Interlibrary loan is a popular service in libraries these days, and we have a good turnover of books we loan out and books we borrow. It can take a while to package up these books to get ready for the courier, depending on how busy we are at the circulation desk. If books aren’t on our courier route, we have to get these ready to mail, which requires a bit more work, and eventually, a visit to the post office.

Once a week, we get new books delivered to the library that we’ve purchased. After they are processed, these books will come to me to add spine labels, get covered, and stamped. Then, they’re ready to go out to people who have placed holds on them. I am also in charge of processing paperbacks for our shelves.

I’m the Health and Safety rep for our library, and that requires me to attend meetings, take special training courses, do monthly inspections, and prepare reports. When things are running smoothly, it’s a pretty straight-forward job that I enjoy.

We do a lot of outreach to the community, which entails packaging up books to take to seniors’ residences, removing books from our collection and packing boxes to send the books away to Better World Books to be redistributed, and more.

Of course, none of these things take precedence over helping patrons find books, answering the phones, registering new members, or answering reference questions. We love our patrons (I especially LOVE the babies), and enjoy the constant variety found in each day. It’s always exciting!

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A Day in the Life of a Library Assistant, Part 1

a-day-in-the5As part of Ontario Public Library Week, we are profiling our staff, and all of the great things they do each day to keep our library running smoothly. You can come back tomorrow to find out what else goes on at the Carleton Place Public Library on a daily basis.

My name is Sheila, and I am a Library Assistant. While there are two library assistants in our library, we both do a variety of different things. The majority of my day is spent serving patrons, and preparing materials for circulation. I work with a holds list each day, collecting books that are on hold for people, and removing expired holds so that our shelves aren’t overflowing. I also request materials through interlibrary loan, and collect and prepare out-going interlibrary loans requests for shipment to other libraries across Ontario, as well as returns. In the evenings, I’ll notify patrons of holds that are available for pick up.

Another big part of my job is managing our magazine subscriptions, and keeping our issues current on the shelves. This is a big job that requires a constant review of expiration dates, cataloging new magazines, discarding old ones, and also preparing them to go out to patrons.

Along with magazines, I help to process new DVDs, audiobooks, and books to get them ready to go on the shelves, or out to patrons. This might require me to cover books, do spine labels, or data entry for those new materials. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work to get these ready for our patrons!

At the end of each month, I enter statistics so that we can keep track of program attendance, and more throughout the year. I also update the video display that you see when you walk into the library. I make sure patrons know about upcoming programs, new books, and special library events. Stop by and say hello the next time you drop in!

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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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Staff Snaps

a-day-in-the2As part of our Ontario Public Library Week celebrations, we thought we’d introduce you to our staff and what they do each day. We’ll be posting some info each day next week here, as well as on our Carleton Place Public Library Facebook page, to help you become familiar with what goes on in our library each day, the jobs we perform, and maybe even a few unexpected tidbits about us!

We’re excited…it’s almost Ontario Public Library Week! A visit will get you thinking!

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Museum Passes

13927388698_042687a6f3_bCanadian Museum of Nature photo credit to Ottawa Tourism

With the long weekend upon us, we’re seeing a lot of activity regarding the museum passes we have for Ottawa and Brockville attractions. Just a few reminders:

  • most museum passes go out for FOUR days (which includes the day you pick it up, and the day you must return it), the exception being the Brockville Aquatarium which goes out for a week
  • passes go out on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • You’re welcome to call us to check on availability, or go online to http://carletonplacelibrary.ca and check under the “Museum Passes” tab
  • We have multiple passes for each museum, but some will be more popular than others
  • If you keep a museum pass out past the due date, fines are $5 per day

These are such a popular item in the library, and understandably so. The passes allow FIVE admissions (usually two adults and up to three children), and make going to see the exhibits much more affordable. While we would love to have an unlimited number of passes for each museum, we do not. Please keep in mind that the loan policies we have put in place are to make it easier for everyone to have the opportunity to experience exhibits, not to make it impossible. We will certainly call a patron if a pass is very overdue, however, we cannot call simply because it is a day late. It is up to patrons to return items on time, and we hope that everyone will appreciate that these are in high demand, and get their passes back promptly.

The library isn’t just about books anymore!