The everyday life of a children’s librarian

Something a lot of people wonder about libraries is what on earth library staff members do; I mean, all there is to do is check out books, right? Well, no (this is akin to people thinking that my mother, who’s a priest, does nothing but show up to church on Sunday and preach). And actually, checking out books is not part of the duties of post librarians who work in mid-size to large libraries–it’s a different story in a small library. So what do we do all day? Well, different things. One of the lovely things about being a librarian is that no day is exactly like any other, and most days are full of many different things to do. So here’s a Friday a few weeks back, just in case you’ve ever wondered what we do!

9:00: arrive.
9:05-9:10: participate in staff circle time, where we share what’s going on that others might need to know about.
9:15-9:30: pack props and select books for outreach I’m doing later.
9:30-10:00: answer email, make sure I’m on top of my phone messages, talk with colleagues about CAD training we’re running later this month.
10:00-10:20: Go through a publishers catalogue to make sure we have all the new, hot books on order already (and we do; I rock!)
10:20-10:35: Coffee break
10:35-11:00: Drive to my outreach, to the children’s classes at the Welcome Immigrant Centre (to those of you who are not Canadians, this is a federally-funded centre which offers language classes, job search help, recreational classes and many other kinds of help to newly arrived immigrants, and also child care so that the parents can take the classes and so on)
11:00-11:45: Storytime with a class of 8 children, none of whom have been in North America for more than six months; they are awesome, and it’s truly delightful to share “The Wheels on the Bus” or some other well-worn classic with someone who has never heard it before.
11:45-1:00: Lunch and travel back to the library (and spend ten minutes finding a legal parking spot!)
1:00-3:00: on the Children’s and YA Info desk, giving help to anyone who needs it, reading professional journals and blogs and planning my summer programs if no one needs help.
3:00: Off to our program room, where I will plug in our 3D printer and start printing off some sample items for an upcoming program, then go through the craft supplies and see what we need that we don’t have for summer programs.                                           3:30: Meet with manager to discuss various things.
4:15: Afternoon break
4:30: Read local papers (part of my job duties) to keep on top of local issues.
4:45: Make sure the staff who are closing are doing okay–sometimes it needs lots of people to get everyone out on time!
5:00: Head home.

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