Day 3: Wednesday
Today was the Assistant Librarian’s day off so it was my job to man the main office all day. I arrived at work at around 9am as usual and opened up the office and then I walked around the library and counted how many students were in – we do this four times a day in order to keep a statistical record of library usage. Unsurprisingly, there were very few students in at the ungodly hour of 9am 🙂
After counting, I cleared the tables of books and emptied the book bin of returns, and then I updated some student library records with books which had been entered into the borrowing book – the borrowing book is there so that the students can borrow books manually if they have forgotten their library card and can’t use the self-issue machine. The reason that we have the book is because our library has no security system – everything is based on trust. The idea is that they can use the borrowing book if they do forget their card, rather than just taking the book without recording that they have taken it, as this is how books go missing. Unfortunately, we do still have an unacceptably high number of missing books, but hopefully in the future there will be some funding to implement a proper security system in the library.
There was a fair bit of shelving to do so I did this next, and when I came back down to the office I had a phone-call from the Librarian. Unfortunately she was unwell and unable to make it into work, which meant that I was in sole charge of the library today. I had a busy few minutes phoning people to let them know that the Librarian wouldn’t be attending various meetings today, and then I went to speak to the maintenance people about the arrangements for meeting and escorting the architect who was coming to examine the library roof at 3pm today. There is some building and re-wiring work planned for the library in the near future, so there have been quite a few visits from the architect recently to take photographs of the library interior and to examine building plans in the archive.
Since I was already up and about, I paid a visit to Conferences and made the room booking and catering arrangements for the graduate trainee visit which is happening in March – all the other graduate trainees from different libraries will be coming to visit my college and I will be giving them a tour of the library here. I am planning to swot up a bit on the history of the library before this in order to make the tour as informative as possible!
When I got back to the office I decided to unpack a mysterious box, which had arrived in the post and which contained some of our books with no note to say who they were from. Scanning them into the system revealed that they had been returned by a student who wouldn’t be coming back this year, so I marked them off and re-shelved them.
Finally at around 11am I settled down to work on my minutes, which were my main task for much of the rest of the morning. I had a couple of student enquiries – problems with scanning library cards or locating book barcodes so nothing too taxing – and then it was time for lunch!
In the afternoon the architect came – there were actually four of them, walking around the library and gesturing to various aspects of it and taking photographs; I decided to let the maintenance man look after them and not to follow them out on to the roof 😉
More minute-writing ensued after they had left, and then towards the end of the day I emptied the returns bin again, re-shelved the books and restocked the printers with paper, before locking up the office and heading home – hopefully today represents successful lone management of the library! 🙂