Public Library: A Day in the Life

Hello! I’m Heather Love Beverley, and I’m a Children’s Librarian for a large public library district in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. This is my day- Welcome!

10:45am-11am: Today’s a late start day for me- I work one evening a week, and today’s my day!  I have a late morning meeting first thing, so I arrive 15 minutes before the start to do a quick check of my email. I’m glad I do, because I discover that a second meeting I had planned for the day- set to start immediately after my first!- has been canceled and moved to another day.

11am-12:30pm: Had a very productive monthly department meeting!

12:30pm-1:45pm:  Since my second meeting was canceled, I am able to catch up on all of my email since I only had a chance to quickly glance over things previously.  I sift through my email, take care of a few schedule requests (I manage the department schedule), and have a chance to read a few articles that were sent my way: 20 Books Parents Loved as Kids and Can’t Wait to Share with Their Own ; The 25 Books Every Kid Should Have on Their Bookshelf; Americans Still Love Libraries ; and Hacking 101 (about creating secure passwords!). After that, I have some time to do some quick tweaks on a training guide I’m writing for a new service/product we’ll be implementing soon in my department.

1:45pm-2:10pm: In the car! When I chronicled a day in my working life last year, I went between my library’s two location, spending the day at both. Today is no different from last year! I’ve started my day at one location, and I am ending it at the other. It’s a pleasant ride in the rain to our second location (and I think it was raining last year, too!).

2:10pm-2:30pm: Arrived at the library’s second location, and started getting ready for my afternoon adventure- Homework Café! Our second location is right across from our district’s elementary and middle school, so two days a week we offer a Homework Café, with snacks and homework help on hand.

2:30pm-4:30pm: Homework Café! We have about 50 kids stop by today. It’s a fun and successful afternoon!

4:30pm-5pm: Break time! I have a little break before I get ready for my desk shift. Someone brought in some treats, so it’s an especially yummy break (Libraries always have the most awesome bakers on staff!).

5pm-9pm: Reference Time! This four hour desk shift goes fast. I answered a wide variety of reference and reader’s advisory questions. There’s a biography assignment for some of our local students, so I spend a lot of time showing patrons where our biographies are and introducing them to some of our Biography databases (Biography in Context is a particular favorite). Among the reference and reader’s advisory questions, I also help troubleshoot computer problems, assist with printing, and show a few patrons how to use our scanner and fax machine.

In between helping patrons, I work on small tasks: I finalize the desk schedule for my department for the following month; I set up a few Twitter and Facebook posts for the Library’s account about upcoming programs; arrange, and continue doing some research on putting together a Lego WeDo and Mindstorms program for the library; and finalize a storytime presentation for the following morning.

9pm-9:15pm: The library’s closed! We spend 15 minutes turning off computers, straighten things up, and setting things up for the next morning. By 9:15, the library staff is heading out the door, enjoying a warm spring night, and wondering what fun tomorrow will bring!

Thanks for sharing my day with me!


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