A day in the life, semester-style

Yesterday was a pretty normal day in my work life, and so I thought I’d continue the Day In a Librarian’s Life meme with semi-regular updates.

9:30: Arrived just in time for a Technical Services Team Leaders’ meeting with our Director.  Discussed our proposed projects for the coming year, and made decisions about priorities and directions.  Came away with 2 to-do items.

10:30-11: Finished up some time-sensitive Faculty Senate work, left a message for a SUNY Director I’ve been playing phone tag with, and sent a few quick emails.

11-11:30: Lunch with my husband and a friend at the dining hall.

11:30-12: Campus errands, dropping off summer displacement keys, stopping in at Duplicating, etc.

12-3: Reference desk.  Sampling of questions from my reference log:

  • “Do you have any fiction?” which really was “Do you have any Robert Jordan?” I sent him to PPL.
  • Stapler.
  • “Can you help me add a printer?” One of our laptops, nothing but the .pdf printer. Added the default. What happened to the image?
  • “Can I use the computers?” New food-service staff member, showed her how to log in with her CCA welcome letter. Very concerned about being in the way of students. Assured her that we should have plenty of computers (half currently empty) for her to do her work, but if it got busy and she felt she should leave, I’d help her save her work.
  • “What’s this error message?” Just the standard IE “warning: You’re leaving a secure page” message.
  • “Do you have more computers?” No, but the Levitt Lab is just across the quad.
  • “How do I make a table in Excel? It’s strangely hard in Word.” Yes, yes it is. Here’s how to put borders on cells.
  • “Do you have, like, scholarly articles?” Classic reference interview, there. He actually needs two “reliable sources” for a short paper whose topic is “Is Feminism Good for America?”.
  • “How do I get Professor E**’s old exams?” I dunno… did he say they were on reserve? “Yes.” Okay, then! Here’s how you get info on reserves.

3-3:30: Discovered leak in my office.  (Hello, Hurricane Ike!  Welcome to the far north; please stop raining on us.)  Reported to other members of the Disaster Team and building manager.  No leaks apparent in the stacks, though there were other staff-office leaks around our skylights.

3:30-5:30: Worked on finishing Education LibGuide, at least enough that it would be a useful teaching tool for a colleague’s evening session with a Special Education class.  Published and ‘good enough’ by the end of the day.

5:30-6: Made notes on what needed to be done on Tuesday, which is a rare unscheduled day.  No meetings, no obligations, just time to do work.  A wondrous thing.

And there it is.  That’s what many of my days actually look like, subbing various projects for the ones mentioned here.  Meetings, work time, meetings, work time, back and forth, on and off.   I’m not sure what I’d do if I had a more stable routine, to be honest.


  1. I feel comforted in the fact that my schedule is also as varied as yours. In fact, your day IS my day, with some small tweaks/twists. I really do think this is what people mean by multitasking, since as we all know we can’t really do too many things simultaneously. I think an important skill is being able to handle these short bursts of “working time” interspersed with reference, meetings (where you get more to do), etc. And it makes life interesting!


  2. Yup, looks very familiar to me too. As for the “good enough” LibGuides, all of my LibGuides are (just) good enough. I’ve been revising each semester, and in some cases more frequently (like if I use the same guide for more than one class and realize I left something big off!).


  3. “Is Feminism Good for America?” that’s a great big what on earth? topic. recently discussed on a feminist blog I read… seriously… Let me reword it: “Are Civil Rights Good for America?”


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