Blogger Abby Johnson

A Day in the Life of a Children’s Librarian

One thing I love about being a children’s librarian is that we’re always doing something different; no two days are the same! So here’s just one day in the life of a children’s librarian, but if you want to know what being a librarian is like, you’re going to have to see more than one day! Check out the Library Day in the Life Project or Day-in-the-Life posts at The Show Me Librarian, Green Bean Teen Queen, Reading Everywhere, YALSA Blog, Field Acquisitions,  Mel’s Desk, and my own blog Abby the Librarian for more days in the life! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2012

8:45am – I arrive at work, put stuff away, and take a quick tour of the department to make sure that computers are on and rogue books are on shelving cart. A staff member called in sick today, so I make a quick change to the reference desk schedule.

9:00am – I pull some books to take to the Success by 6 meeting this afternoon. It’s been awhile since I attended, so I want to make sure to show off some of the new additions to our collection. I also pull a couple of diverse holiday books to showcase that collection and copies of our program calendars to pass out.

9:15am – I briefly go over the materials for today’s baby storytime. We did the same storytime yesterday afternoon, so it’s all already set up. Since we repeat a lot of what we do and I’ve got the routine down after nearly 3 years of offering it, I only have to read through the books, make sure I’ve got all my props and felts, and make sure I know the words to the rhymes.

9:25am – I start going through piles of stuff that have accumulated on my desk. I’m a piler! But I always get to a point where I have to go through the piles and sort them out. I decide what books I’m actually going to use for my January STEM program, take a pile of books over to circulation to check out, and organize papers (and, honestly, boxes of stuff that’s been sitting way too long!).

10:00am – It’s time for Mother Goose on the Loose (click through to see a basic outline for the program)! I had 15 very active under-2’s and the room was a million degrees (I knew I shouldn’t have worn these boots!). Today we read 5 Busy Ducklings and sang “I’m a Little Teapot” and “Jingle Bells” along with our repeated songs and rhymes.

10:40am – Mother Goose is over, so it’s time to clean up the toys and get the room reset for Toddler Time, which is coming up next. We split up the weekly repeated programs, so another librarian does Toddler Time.

10:50am – Everything cleaned up, I reshelve the leftover display books and check in with my desk staff to make sure she doesn’t need a break. Then I head back to my cool, cool office to check email.

11:10am – I break for lunch. I brought lunch today, so I eat in the staff room and read Jane Lynch’s autobiography while I eat (I’m also reading children’s and YA books, but celebrity bios are a guilty pleasure of mine.)

11:50am – Back from lunch, I chat with my evening shift librarian who just came in. We chat about baby storytime and then I show one of my librarians some multicultural books she might want to use for some upcoming storytimes.

12:15pm – I leave for the Success by 6 meeting. Success by 6 is a volunteer group associated with Metro United Way. We have representatives from throughout the county and we work on early childhood initiatives to ensure that every child in the community is ready to succeed at school by age 6.

12:30-1:45pm – At the Success by 6 meeting, we talk about childhood obesity and what we as a committee might be able to do to combat it and get information out to parents. We greet a new member and I share information about the library programs we have coming up and agree to have someone from my department present at a parent class on literacy in the spring.

1:45pm – I head back to the library, and several of my library friends are here today, so it’s very nice to see them! I say hi and chat a bit while taking care of the books I bought out to Sb6.

2:10pm – I’m back in the office, continuing to sort through piles. I check email and see that the ENYA (Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults) shortlists have been announced.

2:25pm – I sit out at the reference desk for a little bit and chat with our librarian who’s planning some preschool dance parties this winter. We talk about including a message about keeping fit and being healthy (inspired by today’s Success by 6 discussion).

2:45pm – I grab my book bag and head out to local elementary school for our monthly Afterschool program.

3:00 – 3:40pm – I arrive at school, greeted by many hugs, which is always awesome. We read Merry Un-Christmas and Hippospotamus and then the kids are just too squirrelly to read any more, so we do our craft (scratch art candy canes).

3:40pm – I head back to the library. Now it’s pouring rain and I’m glad I have boots on!!

3:55pm – I’m back at library and I put stuff away and log the books I read to the group. We keep a binder logging the books and writing notes to let others in the department know how the books are going over and how the groups are in case someone has to cover for someone else. We also write down any special requests the kids make and we try to honor them and bring the books they want to hear.

4:05pm – I check email and spend 15 minutes trying to add replacement copies of a book to a cart in Baker & Taylor because Title Source 3 is not playing nice with Chrome today.

4:20pm – I decide lunch feels like a long time ago, so I head down to the staff lounge to take a little break and grab a snack.

4:40pm – Back from break, I continue working on cleaning up office. I take a book to be fixed down to our Technical Services department and drop off a professional development certificate to our human resources manager. Then I spend some time making a new weeding slip for people to use when they’re weeding books and email the slip and new policy out to my staff.

5:15pm – Time to go home!


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