I worked last weekend. If you, too, are one of the Chosen Librarians who occasionally (or regularly) has to work a Saturday, you may be familiar with the Twitter hashtag #SaturdayLibrarian. @FakeLibraryStats jokes that “85% of the #SaturdayLibrarian[s] say ‘Is it over yet?'”
For me, Saturday shifts were hard to embrace. Not only are we headed to work when everyone else (it seems) is sleeping in, getting a head start on errands, or meeting friends for brunch, but it can be so hard to get stuff done on Saturdays when I’m usually on the reference desk all day. We often have a smaller crew on weekends, so we have less people to help deal with issues. It can be super busy or it can be super quiet, both crowd levels coming with their own special challenges.
I had to turn my thinking upside down about Saturday shifts. I threw out any notion of completing projects on Saturdays and realized that Saturdays give me a unique opportunity to serve my patrons by concentrating solely on customer service. This is particularly precious to me since my role as department head does not allow for me to spend a great deal of time on desk helping patrons throughout the week. Weekend shifts give me the chance to touch base with patrons, keep my readers’ advisory and reference skills in use, and make sure everyone has an excellent experience at the library. And if I have time to check things off my to-do list, I consider it a bonus!
If given the option, I would still choose sleeping in and going to brunch, but ever since I changed my thinking, Saturdays at the library are not so bad. And if your Saturdays are still a challenge, well, you can always commiserate with your fellow librarians on Twitter. We are listening. #SaturdayLibrarian
— Abby Johnson, Children’s Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN