Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Children's Librarian

I have long loved Abby the Librarian's "Day in the Life" posts, which share the details of what she does on a random day in her job. I loved reading them back when I was still in library school--they helped me to get a sense of the crazy awesomeness I was getting myself into. I know that it can be helpful for current and future librarians to see what their colleagues do, so I am shamelessly copying Abby and writing about a day in my life as children's librarian at my branch. The following events took place on Monday of this week.

10:30 a.m. - Visit a local daycare for an outreach story time visit. Since the outreach visit started my day, I had packed my Story Time bag before leaving the branch on Friday afternoon. I grabbed a few extra books by some favorite authors, as this particular daycare can be a rough crowd as far as attention spans are concerned. I also brought my ukulele for some song time. That instrument is quickly becoming one of my favorite librarian accessories.

11:15 a.m. - Return to the branch and check in with staff who have been working since the library opened. Chat includes library news as well as details of everyone's weekends.

11:30 a.m. - Walk around the children's area of the library. I'm always a fan of doing a walk-through to see how things are going in the children's area, but I've been making more frequent visits since we implemented our new neighborhoods organization scheme. Customers have nothing but positive things to say about the change--it looks like we've really helped make their browsing easier.

11:45 a.m. - Do some work from my desk, including catching up on e-mails. I e-mailed some documents from my Preschool Science program series to a librarian who saw last week's ALSC Blog post; gave our district-wide volunteer head some feedback on our volunteer process; and finalized the event listings for our December-February children's programs at the branch.

12:45 p.m. - Put together a new shelving unit for our big books, which we have plans to catalog and make available for circulation in the coming months.

1:00 p.m. - On the reference desk. Our reference shifts are usually four hours long. In addition to responding to customers' reference requests during my shift, I also supervised a volunteer as she worked on display and withdrawal tasks; confirmed our November program visits from a group with therapy dogs; and put in some work on my I Spy board (another brilliant idea of Abby's).

5:00 p.m. - Dinner. I usually spend my breaks looking through Twitter and library blogs on my Google Reader. (Is anyone surprised?)

5:30 p.m. - Set up for our monthly Lego Club program. Our branch pages help get the room set up for the program, with two long tables, chairs, and a table for displaying our final creations. I make sure Legos are evenly distributed in the buckets, cut some paper for name placards, and set out markers. The pages also set out all the theme-related books a volunteer had pulled for the program.

6:00 p.m. - Lego Club! This is my first return to Lego Club after a hiatus of a few months, during which time a coworker ran the program. I chose the theme of Robots. (Full post, with photos, to come later this week...)

7:00 p.m. - Clean up after Lego Club. A colleague brought his sons to the program, and we chat about some outreach and early literacy things while I straighten up.

7:15 p.m. - Finish up my day back in my office. I enter program attendance statistics from the day, double check what is going on the rest of the week, and read the e-mails that had come in since dinner. I also check out a stack of books for my Cybils reading.

7:30 p.m. - Go home.


  1. I am constantly amazed by public librarians. Your job makes MY job look like I do nothing all day, and that's saying a lot!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Amy! I love hearing about other librarians' days. :D And I'll be looking forward to your Lego Club post... we're doing a Lego Day over Winter Break and we'll be starting Lego Club in January. I just got the emails that my Legos have shipped from Amazon. :D

  3. I love these posts. People don't realize what we do.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.