A day in the life….

October 26, 2012

If you haven’t seen the Library Day in the Life Project, you should check it out.  It gives you a good idea of what goes on in libraries every day.

In that spirit, I am going to describe a typical day for me (both personal and professional.) Many days are like what is described below:

5:30: Get up–I like to have a couple of cups of coffee, read the headlines, and do the USA Today Crossword puzzles.

6:30: Get my son’s breakfast ready, pack his lunch and get his stuff by the door, unload the dishwasher.

6:50-7:00: Wake up kid. About 3-4 days per week, either go out for a 25 min. run, or do yoga or Pilates until around 7:30.

7:30: Get in the shower and get ready to head to work.  Remind child 4-5 times to brush hair, teeth, get shoes on, etc.  He goes out for bus around 8:00.

8:00: Get kid to bus–with kiss and hug!  Make breakfast for myself, and grab snack for later at work.

8:30-leave for work

9:00–work starts!  Depending on the day, I am either in my cube or on the Reference Desk.  Yesterday, I worked the desk from 9-11 a.m.  Had an IM chat about how to cite an encyclopedia entry.  Had another chat asking if the “torturing center” was open today–I wisely assumed they meant “tutoring center” and sent the link and phone number.  They were happy and laughed about the spelling error.  Helped some students find books—it is past mid-term and many students are gearing up to finish finding their resources and start their papers.  Often, students are a bit shy approaching the desk, but I find that if you give them confidence that their problems can be solved without too much anxiety, they are much more open! 

Questions can be quite involved, and often students need guidance in narrowing down what they want to write.  Many just need you to talk with them, and talk things through with them.

On other days, we have staff meetings.  I also recently had my classroom teaching and reference desk work evaluated for my position, and just had a meeting with my supervisors on my performance with those.  Fortunately, I did really well and felt good about their confidence in me and my abilities.  I think when you truly like what you do and the students/faculty you work for, it shows. 

11:00–quick 15 min. break so I am not starving by the time I get home, then a check of my email.  I also try to keep up with the library profession by reading some RSS feeds each day, and passing along anything interesting to colleagues.  Still logged on to the IM chat, so I may answer one of those at my desk, too.

12:00–a colleague is out sick, so I fill in to teach a College101 (first year experience) class.  I get the room set up, write the important information on the board, and get the handouts ready.  The teacher is already there for the 12:30 class, so I introduce myself and chat a bit with him and the students as they come in.

12:30-1–present the databases and library catalog, as well as the COL101 LibGuide to the students via projection.  They can also follow along and ask questions as we go (although they are a quiet class and there aren’t any!)

1-1:30-Hands-on time in class!  I have more questions here, and I answer them as I walk around.  I also gather their IDs for their library cards and take care of that so that the students can access the resources from off campus.

1:30-leave to come home and arrive about 1:50.

2-4:00-Go through mail, get kid a snack for after school, watch a cooking show or two.  I sometimes go through other personal emails, as I am Chair of the SLA Professional Development Council and a Library Trustee.  In about a week, I will have to send out an agenda for the next meeting.  Sometimes I spend time reading, or doing a crossword, or checking Facebook.  I will sometimes take a look at Pinterest or other “new” technologies and explore their possibilities for the library setting (see previous posts.)

Sometimes I write this blog!

4:00-child comes home–we go over how the day was, and what homework there is to be done.

4:30-5:30-start dinner–most of the time, something homemade but simple–clam chowder, stroganaoff, quiche, breakfast for dinner, tacos, etc.  I like to cook and plan several meals for the week, so this goes pretty quickly.

5:30-6-eat, clean up dishes. 

6:30-Get child to practice his bass and take his shower. 

7:00-read, usually something fun, but often I have a “professional” book going at the same time.  Right now, I am ready “Return of Sherlock Holmes” on my iPad, Boyle’s “The Women” in print, and “A Haystack Full of Needles” on my iPad. 

8:00-Spend time with child and/or husband, watching TV or reading with kid.  He usually goes to bed between 8:30-9:00.

By 9:00, I am beat!  I will watch some TV and fall asleep. 

Most days I feel that the day was fruitful and overall it was a job well done on all levels.  I try to give thanks for the day, for my family and friends, and see the day as a gift.  I hope that I do it justice by helping others and being grateful.

What is your typical day?


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