Monday, September 9, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Children's Librarian

Every once in a while, I share a day in my library life here on the blog. I love getting to read what other librarians' days are like, with full recognition that no two days are ever the same in this profession. Case in point: my Thursday of last week.

8:50 a.m. - Arrive at the municipal building one town over in advance of a training. Chat with colleagues from other library branches before the training begins.

9:00 a.m. - Performance Evaluations training. Several staff members from several of our library branches, as well as from other county and city departments, participated in this three-hour training that included strategies and advice for conducting effective, legal performance evaluations. I think trainings like this are particularly helpful, especially when working in a collaborative workplace where many employees consider themselves friends with supervisors. It's always good to get some reminders on keeping performance evaluations objective and productive.

12:00 p.m. - Brief meeting with my branch manager and circulation supervisor.

1:00 p.m. - Early Literacy Task Force meeting over lunch. This Task Force consists of three children's librarians, each of us from different branches. We meet regularly to coordinate early literacy initiatives for the entire library district, including trainings. Our agenda for the meeting included planning a winter training on childhood brain development; making plans for proceeding with year 2 of our Early Literacy Play Kits; ideas for library-branded ECRR2 signage; and discussion about hosting an all-county playdate next summer. We also brought the newly-hired Extension Services Specialist for the district up to speed on what we do.

2:30 p.m. - Head over to the library branch that will host an author event I've coordinated.

3:00 p.m. - Since I have time before needing to get up to the room for the author event, I head to the children's services office to check my e-mail and messages. Since this isn't my branch or normal workspace, I do my work on my iPad. I also chat with a colleague about goings-on at this library in both the children's and teen programming arenas.

4:00 p.m. - I head upstairs to the large event space and start to get odds and ends prepared for the evening's author visit with Peter Brown. I spend some time verifying his bio and awards, then I write the introduction I'll give to start the event.

5:40 p.m. - Folks start to arrive for the author event, and I help direct them toward the table to purchase books. I also talk with folks about other upcoming author events.

6:00 p.m. - It's go time for Peter Brown's author event! Peter Brown is one of my favorite children's author/illustrators to work with. His presentation is always engaging for audiences of any age, he happily talks with kids while signing books, and he's overall pretty low-key about visiting libraries. His presentation, which tied into his just-released picture book, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, got lots of laughs and questions from the audience of 113 people.

6:45 p.m. - It's my job to keep the signing line moving, having books open to title pages and post-its for personalization in clear view when I slide them to Peter. I also pass out some cool Mr. Tiger tattoos that Peter brought with him. (Also, if you are wondering, Why the hat? It's become something of a tradition for me to wear something relating to one of Peter's characters when he visits. That hat is a bit proper, a bit wild.)

7:30 p.m. - The final book signed, it's time for Peter Brown to head to the airport so he can be in his next city for his next event the next day. It's hugs and handshakes all around, and then a few library staffers and I stay to finish cleaning up the event space.

7:40 p.m. - I head home after a long day full of a variety of fun, productive, and insightful activities. Note that I didn't even step foot in my own branch library for the entire day. Rest assured, my desk reflected my absence the next day, with plenty of piles to indicate I'd been missed.

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