Library Day in the Life – Friday

Ah, Friday. blessed Friday. I am writing this post with a margarita to the left of me and a purring cat on the right (under my arm. typing is a challenge). What was most unusual about today is how much time I was able to focus on just one thing: collection development for the new branch opening day collection. This was a continuation of the selecting that I started last night, and let me tell you: this is FUN. Subjects I was looking for books on today:

  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Quilting
  • Beading (need some more here still)
  • Sewing
  • Some general craft-y ones
  • Drawing
  • A big chunk of the Peterson Field Guides

(yes, one of these things is not like the other)

Like I said, FUN. just browsing through lists on TitleSource and Amazon of popular stuff, getting recommendations from crafty people I know (thank you all!), checking our catalog.

Besides that, I did the familiar: email/Friendfeed/Twitter, worked a bit on patron request sleuthing in ILLiad (thanks again to my friends for helping me with a comics question there). I also stopped and chatted with our division director and arranged to meet with her early next week to take over the selection of the 700’s. That’s the arts and recreation section – all those craft books like what I was buying up above, plus art, sports, games, and, of course, lots of other stuff.  whee!  Read a couple issues of Entertainment Weekly (IT’S FOR MY JOB. I NEED TO STAY UP ON POP CULTURE.). Got a batch of new books for the Staff Library, so I need to get the blog updated (I do new posts for all the new books, since the Staff Library materials are not yet in our catalog. don’t ask.). But that’s something for next week.

Monday, I will start all over again. Hope you found it interesting. or at least, not *too* boring. 🙂


Library Day in the Life – Thursday

yikes! Usually I write my post as the day progresses, but that didn’t happen today.

Started the day like all the others, with email/Friendfeed/Twitterness. After that, I met with my supervisor for a bit so she could hand off a new project to me. yay! We have a queue in ILLiad that has all the requests that our ILL staff can’t find and need further investigation, and I will get to monitor it. This means I get to play detective. love it! So I spent a big chunk of my day in ILLiad – resolving a few things that were in the queue, and also processing a whole slew of requests for items we aren’t buying that we need to try to ILL.

Also related to those last requests, I readied up a cart of patron requests that we are buying and sent that to the Acquisitions dept. I have one last batch of patron requests for items found only in Amazon/other sources, and then my small backlog will be caught up. But really, I’ll never be caught up on patron requests.

We also still have an old-school paper form that patrons can fill out to request either specific materials or general subjects they’d like to see. They still filter through once in a while, and I reviewed one of those today, saying no to both. One was out of print and only available through used booksellers, the other super expensive and only owned by academic libraries.

That pretty much sums up my day, other than more email and routine stuff.

Oh! Off and on through the morning/early afternoon, I also checked in on the Handheld Librarian online conference, both through directly and through the backchannel on twitter. Heard some interesting things. Some provocative statements I don’t necessarily agree with about the future of libraries – which is okay, because it’s spurring conversation. And seeing questions from some of the librarians attending was a good reminder to me that not everyone is as techie as me and the people I surround myself with, so the basics of some of this tech stuff, like SMS, are still necessary.

And even though I have left work, it has followed me home tonight. I have a tab open for TitleSource and will be working on some selection for the opening day collection for the new branch while I play on the internet this evening. Always the multitasker.


Library Day in the Life – Wednesday

Have you ever had one of those mornings where you look at the clock and somehow hours have flown by and you’re not exactly sure how that could be possible? That’s how this morning was. I know I did the usual morning routine of email/Friendfeed/Twitter/etc. And I remember giving my boss my order of books from the Stuttering Foundation (they donate their materials to libraries. yay free books!). Then we had a discussion about getting contacted by authors who want their books in the library, and how… interesting that can be. Conversation spurred me to look at the bunch of emails I had on this very topic and decide what to do with them (yes to some, no to another). I know I did some other stuff… and took a walk outside in the glorious heat and humidity… the details, they escape me.

Went through this month’s First Look cart (selection of forthcoming books) from Baker & Taylor and added ones that sound interesting to my “to be ordered at some point” carts. Publishers love their fall biographies! oy.

After lunch, my afternoon was spent reviewing patron requests. As I mentioned before, I get a lot of patron requests in my areas. Have I mentioned what areas I have? no? oh, well let’s get that out of the way. We divide it up by Dewey Decimal Number:

200’s – Religion

600’s – Official category is Technology, I believe, but it covers a wide variety of areas – health/medicine, transportation, gardening, pets, cooking, sewing, parenting, business, construction…  I could go on for pages.

900’s – Geography and History

Biographies – I think this one is self-explanatory 🙂

(for the library geeks, I will have the 700’s within the next month or so, and probably the 500’s soon also. adult nonfiction will be mine!)

Anyhoo, my process for reviewing patron requests for books isn’t necessarily that different from what I do for books that are up for weeding. Some are easy to figure out – like if it’s a book by a popular author. For the rest, it’s a mix of criteria: checking Worldcat to see what other libraries own it, reading reviews (if there are any), seeing what else we have on that subject, cost, how much use I think it will get with the majority of our patrons. Then once I have decided I am going to purchase something, I have to figure out how many copies to order and (for now, at least) what branch(es) they will start at. Once I’ve done that, I send the orders off to our wonderful Acquisitions department, who gets everything ordered and the books magically appear here later.

Time for some email and web stuff before I leave for the day. Now I am heading off into the heat to yoga class. which may end up being a bikram yoga class tonight. O_o


Library Day in the Life – Tuesday

My Tuesday began much like my Monday: checking email, Friendfeed, Twitter, and the like. Watched the video from the Colbert Report on libraries that I missed last night. giggled. re-watched Shatner reading the Palin speech. giggled more.

Tackled the in-basket for a while. took care of all the interoffice mail, sorted the never-ending stack of review journals and publisher catalogs, sent some other journals on their way.

Took a break to do my morning laps around the building. needed to thaw out anyway.

Made final decision on Writer’s Market. Took local history book from a branch to tech svc so it can be cataloged as reference (only copy left, can’t find anymore, as is usual for local history). More email.

Tackled more 900’s weeds until lunchtime. lots more stuff going bye-bye. set aside the book from 1965 as I’m not ready to part with it yet. Also interrupted with emails – book suggestions and request from author who wants more of her books in our libraries. <snark>so give us copies, if you want every branch to have them. we don’t have an endless supply of money</snark>

After a quick check of the email, I was still feeling the weeding groove, so I figured I should take advantage and loaded up another cart (only 8 boxes to go now!), which took most of the rest of the afternoon.

Spent the last hour doing email, some cart maintenance in TitleSource 3, and a bit of work in ILLiad. All of our patron requests go through our ILLiad interlibrary loan module, and currently, all materials requested that are 4 years old or newer are sent to collection development to see if we want to order them rather than ILL. One of my duties is to route the requests from our selectors that we have decided not to purchase so that they are either cancelled or moved along in the ILL process, depending on the status of the material. We do take patron requests pretty seriously here, but don’t order everything. It’s really interesting to see what people request, that is for sure. I have LOTS of patron requests in my areas. LOTS.

So today wasn’t very interesting – sorry about that! Hopefully I won’t continue to be quite so boring the rest of the week. 🙂


Library Day in the Life – Monday

So I have decided to participate in the Library Day in the Life project.  Thanks to Bobbi Newman for starting it all!

Take a peek into my collection development life. I am a Collection Development Librarian for a public library district with 13 branches. I am responsible for a big chunk of our adult nonfiction collection, so I do selection and collection maintenance in those areas. I am also responsible for our staff library and some other random fun stuff, as you’ll likely see.

I started my Monday by spending the first hour catching up on the email that had collected over the weekend (Good grief, mailing lists fill up my inbox) and checking out some RSS feeds/Friendfeed.  Took some time catching up with my co-workers and talking about the weather. Seriously. It’s going to be over 100 this week. in the Northwest. I will be in heaven. 🙂

Did some weeding of staff periodicals, then made a couple trips to the recycling bin. (reminder to self: keep warehouse activities to a minimum this week or get them done in the morning)

Tackled a cart of weeds in the endless quest for finishing the 900’s. When the branches weeded their 900’s, all the weeded books come to me and I make the final decision on what happens to them. For those who don’t know all things Dewey Decimal, the 900 DDC range covers geography and history.  Have I mentioned that I love weeding? No? ok. I LOVE WEEDING! Getting rid of outdated, unnecessary books, or finding a more appropriate home for a book that has been sitting on a shelf, collecting dust: I love it all.  My process for each weeded book, simplified:

  • Look at the content of the book, when it was published, see what else we have on this subject.
  • Review in our ILS – check circulation statistics, see how many other copies we own.
  • Sometimes I’ll also look it up in Worldcat to see what other libraries have it.
  • Decide: keep or discard?

Weeding is… interesting right now. We just recently started floating all of our materials between our branches, so we are definitely in a transition period. Instead of looking at individual branch collections, we really do have to view the entire collection as a whole. We also have a new branch opening at the end of the year, so we’re starting to gather materials for that opening day collection (the new branch is significantly larger than their current building, so the collection will be about eight times bigger than what they have now).

Well, that ate up a large chunk of the morning/afternoon, paired with a break for lunch. Mixed in there were a few interruptions, because, well, that’s just the way things are in a library. 🙂  Looking at Writer’s Market to decide if we want to cut the number of copies we order, and if so, how many.  Trying to figure out if older editions of The Gun Digest Book of Firearms Assembly/Disassembly are superseded by newer ones (verdict: unclear. need to visit the main library and compare).

By about 3 I was hitting the afternoon wall, so I venture out into the 97-ish degree heat (YAY!) to visit the trusty River Maiden for a coffee fix. When I got back, I dove into my budget reports, tweaking how much I can spend every month and make the money last until the end of the budget cycle. it’s a moving target.

Spent the last half hour or so checking email and going through the last few Shelf Awareness emails and reviewing the Media Heat sections for books in my areas that we don’t have yet. Gotta get the new cookbook from the Neelys ordered.

So goes my Monday. Time to head out into the heat again!