“So, what do you DO all day?”

While I am fortunate to have extremely supportive colleagues, every once in a while, someone makes a comment that reminds me not everyone knows exactly what we do in the Library. Particularly when we’re not doing something obvious like working with a class. And to be honest, days can fly by without me even realizing how we’re filling the hours.

So when the unimaginable recently happened ( I had a day that was completely clear on my schedule), I decided to track it to see how an unplanned day played out –

  • Worked the desk for the morning so my brave colleague could dig out & re-organize our supply cupboard:
    • Welcomed students new to library study (reviewed guidelines with them)
    • Assisted innumerable students resolve a new printer glitch
    • Assisted innumerable students set up new Noodletools accounts
    • Helped a student fine-tune her References written from scratch (and then helped her set up Noodletools for future use)
    • Provided reader’s advisory to an English teacher looking for books for her new reading initiative ‘First Chapter Fridays’ (love it!)
    • Scheduled a postponed summer reading book discussion
    • Tried to catch up on professional journals but was reminded how this never works while I’m on the desk
  • Did some book club planning with student leaders
  • Prepped for my next AP Research class
  • Met with 2 advisees (once about a course change; one feeling overwhelmed)
  • Prepped for some upcoming classes about accessing audiobooks
  • Went to school store to pick up school-crested gift for an author visit
  • Reviewed metered titles that had expired in Overdrive, selecting some for re-purchase
  • Submitted an order for Grade 9 Lit Circle books to a local bookstore
  • Met with our school environmental rep about updating training for student reps (based on my housemaster perspective)
  • Confirmed upcoming research visit to Queen’s University
  • Reviewed revised interview forms for Admissions (I sit on the committee)
  • Set up attendance roster for chapel choir attendance (I’m helping with management)
  • Submitted a reference for a former library steward who has applied for a volunteer position
  • Moved ‘update budget’ to another day for the 17th time (I really need to make this priority) and called it a day

This exercise reminded me of one of my best all-time experiences at my school. In advance of fundraising for our new Commons (including a library renovation), an Advancement director met with me to learn more about the library (so he could speak more knowledgeably when approaching potential donors). Not knowing where to start, I opened my planner and reviewed the past 2 weeks of activity. He was literally gobsmacked; “I had no idea”.

It was awesome.

 

 

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6 Responses to “So, what do you DO all day?”

  1. Christina Pommer says:

    As I read this, I have 4 minutes before the next student conference.
    Other tasks today-getting posters approved, filing Sophomore class budget information, scanning an article on research for our History department, laminating posters…I’m guessing that reading professional journals is waiting for another day here in Florida too!

    • Shelagh says:

      Maybe we could have a session at an upcoming conference where we all sit in a coffee house and catch up on reading journals!

  2. David Wee says:

    I LOVE your list!!!

    “Yesterday, afternoon was pretty chill so I hung out in my office, ate some bonbons, and did some recreational reading.” #SaidNoSchoolLibrarianEver Hahaha! Yesterday we had 4 blocks of 85 minute long HS classes, a 3rd grade class, read and rated NHS student applications, and put together the wire shelving on wheels that we’re prototyping as possible mobile shelving. We’ve got the best jobs ever, but sometimes I think, “They never mentioned this task when I was in library school…”

  3. Selene says:

    Shelagh,

    I love the title of this post, and it is so true! Thanks!

  4. Shannon S Acedo says:

    This is so useful, Shelagh! I need to make my own log — should probably do it once a week for a month– to get a look at “what i do all day”. I spend so much time ‘nose to nose’ with a problem or program that it’s hard to see the forest behind that particular tree. Thanks for the reminder that we all need to document what we do, for a bunch of good reasons.

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