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!

Library Survey!

Have you filled out our library survey?  If you visit the Carleton Place Public Library on a regular basis, or even if you only drop by now and then, we’d like you to let us know how we can improve our services, or what you think we’re doing right.

13592379_1066320360070626_7511972315773206309_nTake a couple of minutes to fill out this survey, and you might win a Chapters gift card!

What’s Going On?

Summer StorytimeThis is a fun week for us at the library. We’re starting ALL of our summer programs! That also means our reading programs have begun. But wait…what can you do this week at the library?

  • Participate in an art class with the amazing Matt MacKay!
  • Take part in a fun crafting program for kids on Tuesday or Thursday (see calendar for schedule)
  • Sign up for Storytime for Wednesday
  • Join the Young Writers on Wednesday
  • Meet up with our adult writers for our first Camp NaNoWriMo meeting of the summer on Tuesday afternoon
  • Adults can also do a FUN craft on Thursday mornings!
  • Take in a MOVIE on Thursday afternoon! (It’s going to be a fun, cool place for the kids)
  • Toddler sessions begin Thursday mornings
  • Join us for Une Heure de Conte en Francais on Friday morning
  • Friday afternoon is all about the Lego!

All of these programs can be found in our calendar at the top of this page, or on our website at http://carletonplacelibrary.ca

But…..we also have THESE fun things you can participate in when you drop by the library anytime….

  • Fill out a ballot to win a library gold card (that means no fines all summer)
  • Donate your dimes to our “Adopt a Giraffe” program
  • Read some of our “Wild” trivia placed all around the library
  • Pick up an ADULT summer reading kit and maybe win a great prize!
  • Find the weekly I Spy search
  • Fill out ballots to win signed books in the Teen area, or our weekly prize!

If you have any questions, give us a call at the library today at 257-2702. We’re going to have a wild summer!

Where are those books?

Recently, Popular Science posted an article about a new “Robo Librarian” that uses RFID technology to track down missing and misplaced books in libraries. It’s an interesting concept, but while the article would make you believe librarians spend most of their days looking for lost books, it’s simply not true.

booksaleBooks that are misplaced, mis-shelved, or simply lost, are a common problem in libraries. While we employ people to keep our shelves organized, neat, and structured so that we can find items easily, there are always reasons books cannot be found. Sometimes it is a library error–we might put them in the wrong place because of a distraction. Sometimes, it is a patron error—taking that book off a shelf to see if you might want to read it can mean putting it back in a slightly wrong position. And sometimes, people walk away without checking out books, and we might not see them again.

But whatever the reason, libraries work hard to keep their collections current, shelved properly, and available for patrons to take out. It is not usually the job of the librarian to shelve or “read” the shelved books to keep them in order. Many times, this is the job of a student page or volunteer. And they are wonderful, taking care of this small but important task for us.

However, the system is not perfect, and books can become lost. The new AuRoSS by A*STAR Robotics employs the use of RFID tags placed on the books to scan shelves and check for errors. While it is time consuming to remove each book to check the RDIF tags, this robot can simply scan a shelf without the need, and find places where books have been improperly shelved, or are missing altogether. It’s a fascinating idea, and one that might soon be used everywhere, if this article were to come to fruition. While it is very important, don’t let the fear of robots making librarians obsolete scare you. Shelving is just a small library task, and one that does not require a human touch, or a degree.

Take a minute to read the article, however. Robots might be a new thing you’ll bump into when you’re at the library in the not too far off future.