A Day in the Life of a Solo Librarian

 Like many solo librarians, I think about the amount of time I spend on “library” tasks compared with the amount of time I spent working on other tasks for the school. These might be revising educational scope-and-sequence planning, supervising students as they eat cookies, comforting a crying child, or filling the copier with paper. This is probably exacerbated at smaller independent schools where everyone plays multiple roles, and it definitely keeps life interesting. So yesterday I set a reminder on my phone and took photos every hour on the hour. If nothing else, I recommend this because it made me realize how frequently I switch tasks and how much I’m still missing from this brief display. It also led to some laughs from my colleagues and some productive conversations about “what exactly I do all day.”

n-8a8am-Printing labels for Fountas and Pinnell and desperately searching through cabinets for more white Avery 5472 labels. While multiple colors were plentiful, white was not. This also turned out to be true in Capital’s online catalog, so the Business Office and I searched together to figure out how they were categorized and get them ordered.  Guess what’s on my agenda again later today?

n-9a9am-Helping a student prepare quotation analysis on the theme of sacrifice in The Kite Runner. Bonus points because she planned ahead and made an appointment the day before!

n-10a10am-Senior speeches in our gorgeous Chapel. The 3 students speaking yesterday came to our school in recent years from the Czech Republic, China, and Botswana, and all shared tips about experiencing a new culture as a teenager. There was an overarching theme that food bridges cultural gaps.

n-11a11am-Preparing for my Academic Team’s Thursday evening competition by updating the computer system and testing the buzzers. (Sidenote-I spend a tremendous amount of time on Academic Team coaching. I hadn’t realized quite how many little tasks there are: printing out directions to meets, collecting money, copying questions, organizing rosters, etc. I mainly think about our practice schedule, but there is a lot behind the scenes.) Crossing my fingers for another win soon!

n-12p12pm-Photography teacher is on a field trip with her advanced students, so watching the Photo One students in the library as they offer feedback on the photographs that their Canadian penpals shared with them.

n-1p1pm-Why is the library the most popular place on campus during lunch? There are just as many students on the other side of the “L.” Quick count after this picture showed 39 students, about 5 of whom were actively studying.

n-2pm2pm-Working with the Center for Academic Success, the English Department, and the Division Director to set up a student Writing Center. This has been a goal of mine for two years, and the momentum is finally in our favor to get this off the ground.

n-3pa3pm-If you find yourself in Florida tomorrow at 9:40am, there will be a full “Thanksgiving feast” taking place with my advisory. They are good at remembering their dishes—if I put out physical and electronic reminders. It will be a truly global Thanksgiving, with rotisserie chicken, Haitian rice, dumplings, macaroni and cheese and more.

n-3pb3pm(Part Two)-Lest you think my day is spent thinking about food, I returned from the students’ cubbies to set up the projector for the faculty meeting and found this puddle in the library. The glamour of the position…

n-4p4pm-Faculty meeting in the library on past and upcoming professional development opportunities and information on exam proctoring.

n-5p 5pm-Home and on the treadmill for my Zen time. Do I read The Week, US Weekly, or check Facebook? 30 minutes is time enough for all three, right?

n-6p6pm-Teacher book club. This month’s book was The Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende, which everyone enjoyed (a rarity) and which led to thought-provoking conversations about our own romantic histories in our intergenerational group.

n-9pb 9pm-I thought I was going to relax and read Born to Run, but I kept thinking about a request for today’s Academic Council meeting for our thoughts on our guiding principles and trends in education that are affecting us. Since my house is actually a lot quieter than the school library, it was a good chance to get my thoughts together.

There’s your vicarious view into one day in the life of a solo librarian. I actually like the idea of trying this again for myself and seeing what I’m doing at specified time intervals throughout the day. It would be a interesting way for me to document how I’m keeping busy even on days when there are fewer classes scheduled. Anyone want to join me?

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3 Responses to A Day in the Life of a Solo Librarian

  1. Allison Williams says:

    I’m exhausted just reading about your day!

  2. David Wee says:

    Is it too early to put in a reservation for next years feast? Reservation for one, please! 🙂

    • Christina Pommer says:

      Ha! What’s funny is it turns out this is “famous” amongst the senior class because we all sit by the internal windows feasting and wave at people passing by in the hallways. So first one additional advisory (my husband’s—since he is chaperoning a field trip out of town) shows up. Then 1/2 of another. Then 2 members from a third….
      Good thing I’m starting new with freshmen next year!

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