So here is a snapshot of what my day was like yesterday at the library. I thought you could use a inside look into the glamorous life of a librarian, so here it goes:
8 a.m.: Alarm goes off, press snooze
8:15 a.m.: Secondary alarm goes off, I ignore it until it turns off on its own
8:30 a.m.: Alarm goes off again, and I finally roll out of bed because, yes, now I’m late getting up
10:00 a.m.: Clock in for work, and strap on my ever so fashionable hand brace to help me with my repetitive motion hand injury. Yes, library work is dangerous! Who would have thought checking out books, and shelving them, would cause my carpal bone to become inflamed, get a fatigued muscle in my arm, and to have nerve constriction in both of my arms? Nothing a month and a half of physical therapy and a brace that totally immobilizes my right hand couldn’t fix. But if I overwork it I still have flareups, like right now. But hey, I think all my coworkers envy my coolness, and want a brace like mine! 😉
10:00 a.m.-12 p.m.: Empty book bins and check-in books, shelve said books, help people at desk, and take RFID tags out of withdrawn books with an x-acto knife. A tad bit hard to operate with my hand encased in a fabric and metal immobilizer. Don’t worry though after months of wearing this brace I can write easily, and do most things, just a little more awkwardly then if my hand were naked.
12 p.m.-12:30 p.m.: My half hour lunch break. Drive home which is basically useless because by the time I get home I have about 10 minutes to relax. I really should stay at work so I can enjoy a longer break, but I’m not very good at taking my own advice.
12:30-2:00 p.m.: Help people at the desk, continue to remove RFID tags from withdrawn books, and check in and shelve books. And of course I end up looking like a kindergartener because I get the green permanent marker we use to mark the books as withdrawn all over my hands. No matter how hard I try this, it always, always happens. It’s not like I write on myself on purpose or anything, I promise!
2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: Me and my boss moved the libraries some 300+ DVD’s from one side of the AV section to the other. I grabbed giant chunks of DVD’s over and over again, placed them on a cart, and grabbed giant chunks again to put them back on the shelf. Take these actions and repeat multiple times, which, do you think this is good for sore wrists and hands? No. And rather than be smart and say “Uncle!” I pressed on through like Super Woman. One word: Stupid. Another: Moronic. Also, being the ditz that I am (especially this week because I am so tired) I missed a bottom shelf when putting DVD’s on them, so now they are all off a shelf because we discovered it too late. Luckily we have more shifting to do, so no worries. Sigh of relief on my part.
3:30-5p.m.: Enter every staff member’s nightmare: Friday after school rush, (the only worse thing is having both schools out.) On Friday, madness ensues, people fight their way through the DVD isles picking movies for the weekend (and since we just moved them, it was honestly quite fun and enjoyable to see people get confused about where they were. Mean of me yes, but I still think it’s funny!) There are mobs of children all around, and they all come to the desk asking for a computer or the X-box. We get kids completely out of breath, running from school to get first dibs on a particular computer, and they honestly slump over the counter and wheeze at me “computer, please.” (please may be optional.) Our afternoon library staff runs around until we can happily give that 5 minute warning page, so we can be closed by 5 p.m.
5:15 p.m.: Now this was a special Friday treat. It was our “shelf reading party.” In case you don’t know, shelf reading is when you go through all the books and make sure they are organized correctly either alphabetically by author and title, or numerically by Dewey classification and author. So basically it is mind numbing, eye crossing work, especially if you do it for a long time. I think calling this a party is a lie. Probably the only reason they could call it a party was because it included Pizza Ranch, and we had board members come too, so a total of 12 people. By this time my legs are ready to give out I’m so tired, so I volunteer for one of the most un-fun sections, the juvenile easy reader non-fiction, just because I can sit down. I could care less that it was one of the most challenging places to shelf read. I felt grateful that my section I was reading was next to where two of my favorite coworkers where working. So we chatted a little making it less of a chore. By 7:30 we had all had enough. I ended up leaving at 8 because I helped clean up a little, but there where still dedicated library workers there shelf reading. I just wanted to be at home in bed. Needless to say I didn’t read when I got home.
So that was my day in a nutshell. Believe me working at a library is not a boring, or an easy job where you just get to go in and check in and out materials for patrons, shelve, and do other projects. Exciting things happen too. Take for example the time I was there when the air conditioning unit went out, was smoking, and set off the fire alarm. Only me and my elderly coworker were there. I had to evacuate the building by my self, not knowing really what to do, and then called my boss. And, oh yeah, what about that other time a car drove into the building. No heavy damage sustained though. Just another day at the library.