A Day in the Life of a Librarian, Part 2

by Holly G.

To read Part 1, click here.

For those of you still wondering what a librarian does all day, here is Part 2 of my day on June 27, 2017.

5:01 – I arrive back at the library after my dinner break for my closing shift in Circulation. After clocking in, I start working my first hourly assignment.

Backroom.jpg5:02-6:00 – This hour I am what we call a Floater, so I float between the backroom and the front desk. In the backroom I help check in books and media. At the front desk, we answer phone calls, assist patrons who need staff help at the circulation desk, and shelve holds. Some of the other things I do this hour include running credit cards for lost books, contacting patrons about lost and found items, and emptying the book drop.

Book drop.jpg6:01-7:05 – This hour I move to the front desk, where I get to be in charge of all your checkout needs! I also get to sit down and read work emails if it’s quiet enough, which is so nice. During this hour I issued a library card, took payment for book sale items, renewed items over the phone and in person, renewed the nonresident account of a library patron from Vineyard, folded bills lengthwise so the CircIt machines would accept them, and exchanged dollar coins for bills. Because the librarian didn’t answer the phone in fiction, I had to run downstairs to retrieve a book for a patron.

Front desk

7:06-7:22 – I am scheduled to take my 15 minute break at the beginning of this hour! This is pretty much my favorite part of a shift. One of my coworkers brought in pineapple salsa and chips so I grabbed some and since i forgot my book *sad face* I watched half an episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on my phone, which was still pretty nice.


7:23-8:02 – After my break, I was assigned to work in the office. As part of the Exceptions team at the library, I am one of only seven librarians trained to call patrons about incomplete return and damaged items and place overdue blocks. Tonight I called patrons owing more than $50 in lost materials and patrons with items 30 days or more overdue. We leave many phone messages and emails if patrons don’t answer, but tonight I caught a patron on the phone and ran a credit card for a lost item. Although it can be unpleasant to speak to patrons about damaged items, I love working in the office because I enjoy working at a computer and completing task-oriented projects. Plus I can listen to music or an audiobook as I place suspended blocks on library accounts.

Damaged calls.jpg

8:03-8:40 – This hour I was assigned to the backroom, which is my second favorite assignment. This means that I get to either check in books or media, empty the book drop, write up sorting carts ready to go to their area, and answer the backroom phone, which is usually librarians needing help locating a book that may be on a sorting cart. Unless we are slammed at the front desk, I can also work uninterrupted while listening to music if I choose.

Tonight I check music CDs, audiobooks, and DVDs for completeness (all the discs are in the case), damage, matching barcodes between discs and cases, and hub DVDs.

Media checkin

8:40-8:50 – After all those checks, I finally get to place the items on the pad to check in (they turn green just like out front) and sort them onto their respective carts.

8:50-9:00 – Part of my job as backroom the last hour we are open is to make sure all the holds on the hold cart get shelved. Since we were busy this evening I shelve a full hold cart.

Hold shelf with holds

9:01-9:10 – Right at 9:00 we turn off the lights at the front entrance, flip the open sign to closed, and turn off the automatic doors. After that we can start shutting down staff and patron computers and locking cabinet doors.

Closed entrance.jpg

9:11 – Once we talk to all the librarians in the different areas to make sure there are no more patrons in the building, we lock the doors at the main entrance of the library.

9:12 – After making sure the book drop pads are placed on the floor so the drive-thru book drop won’t clog over night and shutting down the backroom computers, I make sure my coworkers aren’t having problems balancing the till. Since the backroom is ready to be left for the night, I can leave now. My coworkers will finish closing up the library before they leave.


9:15 – I finally clock out and leave for the day!

So that was my day—a little long but it had lots of variety, which keeps my job interesting. Did anything surprise you? I hope I have debunked any librarian myths of sitting quietly and reading a book!


One response to “A Day in the Life of a Librarian, Part 2

  1. Pingback: My Favorite Blog Posts of 2017 | Just Browsing·

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