To start, a dialogue:
NEW PERSON/STRANGER: So, what do you do?
ANNA: I’m a librarian.
NEW PERSON/STRANGER: Oh cool! So you just get paid to sit around all day and read, right?
ANNA: Umm, not quite. Let me tell you . . .
(Scene fades out to black while ANNA elaborates over the course of a number of minutes to NEW PERSON/STRANGER on all the things she does as a librarian.)
I really do get asked this question a lot and I don’t know if many people really know what a librarian does all day. In summary, what a librarian does all day is a lot. But to be more specific, here’s what I have done over the course of a day:
10-11:30 – Get coffee, chat with Sharon re: piano/voice lessons, make the handwritten to do list I need everyday, check the mail box, check email, check Facebook and delete the “teen” who liked the Fcebook page who “lives” in India and also happens to be topless (gross), make about 700 copies, sort those copies into groups of around 25 to 28 to take to the schools, try not to mess up the counting because you have to start over, make sure you can remember how to drive to the schools.
11:30-1 – Assemble candy bags for bribes in the car, drive to four of the six schools to distribute the May flyers, try to schmooze with the school secretaries. (Note: school secretaries are busy and have to deal with kids all day so sometimes they are grumpy. I’ve decided to give them chocolate.)
1-2 – Email some of the school librarians about visiting classrooms for summer reading presentations (this took a while as there was a lot of back and forth…), create a QR code for the Nevins YA Facebook page, look through a craft book for ideas for teen crafts, check Pinterest for summer reading ideas.
2-2:30. Lunch! This is pretty much the only time that I have to read during the day. Sometimes I look through a librarian book at my desk for a few minutes, but there’s not too much time.
2:30- 3:15 – Go to Best Buy to get some newly released movies that we would have to wait like 6 months for through our distributor, get some video games, ask for the Scott Pilgrim v. the World XBOX game – which you totally know exists – and get a blank stare from the Best Buy girl. Go back to the library triumphant with Harry Potter movies for $5! Hurray!
3:15 – 4: Check up on what books ordered in March/April has come in yet, start to make a folder for the pictures to post on Facebook, photocopy the Best Buy receipt, tally up the current YA – AV budget and double check the book budget, make sure the books you bought last week made it onto the “books bought” list, try to work on booktalking summaries for summer reading presentations at the middle schools.
4-6: Work at the Circulation desk, which includes checking in and out books, getting holds for people, putting items on hold for people, booking museum passes, handing out museum passes, answering the phone to do all of those things, giving directions in the library, making sure the YA displays for New books and monthly displays are stocked, answering questions about books and YA books, and generally all around dealing with people, try to look friendly and nonthreatening so teens wanna talk to me . . .
6: Go home while listening to a summer reading book on audio. Oh! Here’s another work “reading” time.
So that’s it, folks! There’s a lot to do.
3 thoughts on “I read the news today, oh boy”
Now I know what to do with that Barnes & Noble gift card! I will send it to you and you can shop for your library – a donation from me (via my boss!) It may not be much, but you can order something online while in your jammies to be delivered to the libs! I love it when a plan comes together! (ps – you can get something for yourself too, or instead, if you want)
I love this post for so many reasons. My mother used to be a librarian and I don’t think she got the chance to sit down much, never mind read. It also makes me think of the question I always get as a teacher: “Oh, so you have summers off?” No, let me show you my summer: it consists of 4 weeks of teaching summer school, at least 1 week of graduate classes and trying to spend time with my husband (also a teacher) who is teaching at a different summer program and writing his masters thesis. I don’t mind not having summer free, but I hate the assumption.
When I worked as a high school assistant librarian, we started buying our books from Amazon. They were so much faster and cheaper than buying from the distributor. It sounds like you’re doing a great job, working hard and having a good time doing it. Hopefully that trend continues!
Emily, yes, it’s just a weird thing that people assume that we just read all day. The Library does so much more than books, too, so it’s strange to me to realize that’s what people think!