A Day in the Life of a Youth Services Librarian

I always enjoy reading Abby the Librarian’s A Day in the Life of a Children’s Librarian posts, so I thought I would give one a try.    This is what yesterday looked like, broken down by the half hour.  I may have left a couple of things out, but I did my best to keep track of what I did all day.  Here we go:

8:00-8:30:  Arrive at work, shelve a few books and look through the mending bin.  Check the books that were mended yesterday (most of them needed to be re-mended).  Mend the books and place them back in the bin to dry.

8:30-9:00:  In anticipation for the incoming books for book club, rearrange some space on the book club shelves downstairs with the help of a coworker.  Now, all of the books that we will use in the next few months are readily accessible and the others are hiding behind the puppet theater.

9:00-9:30:  Go over the new schedule for Laptime.  Write the new song (“Charlie Over the Water”) on the whiteboard so everyone can follow along.  Re-read the books I will read to the kids (Pond Babies by Cathryn Falwell and Llama, Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney).

9:30-10:00:  Check email.  Google “Teen Summer Reading Programs” to find out how other libraries determine the grand prize winner.  Compile a list of favorite policies to go over later with YS Department.

10:00-10:30:  Laptime!  The changes to the schedule seem to go well.  The toddlers are receptive to listening to two books instead of just one.  Today’s big hit is definitely the bubbles 🙂

10:30-10:45:  Continue research on Teen SRPs.

10:45-11:00:  Break.  Reply to comments on the blog and update my gravatar.

11:00-11:30:  Grab copies of Saffy’s Angel for this afternoon’s book club.  Visit Cathryn Falwell’s website to look at her downloads for kids.  Check email.

11:30-12:00:  Cover large pieces of cardboard to use for a poetry project during book club.  Get the rest of the materials ready for this afternoon’s meeting.

12:00-1:00:  Lunch.  Hang out with Dad while I eat lunch and then head to Mike’s for atomic fireballs.  Run into Shawn on the way back to work.

1:00-1:30:  Make copies of tax forms for a patron.  Make copies of Saffy’s Angel discussion questions for The Reading Pros.  Check books out, check books in, answer the phone, answer questions, etc.

1:30-2:00:  Grab everything I need for book club and put it in the kitchen (which is right off the meeting room).  Go upstairs and get four copies of each new book (Wonderstruck, Love that Dog, Small as an Elephant, and What the World Eats).

2:00-2:30:  Book club!  My favorite part of the day.  The kids show up (13 of them today) and they play an epic game of Giants, Wizards, and Elves (similar to Rock, Paper, Scissors) that turns into Rock, Paper, Scissors when no one can remember the rules to the other version.  This game is lots of fun to play with a group, but it can get loud very quickly.  Meanwhile, I kept myself busy by cutting our Jackson Pollock inspired painting into 16 equal squares (so we could each take a piece home).

Cover of "The Dragons Are Singing Tonight...

Cover of The Dragons Are Singing Tonight

2:30-3:00:  We sit down and talk about The Dragons are Singing Tonight by Jack Prelutsky.  With a large group like this one, I just ask them to tell us their favorite part about the book and their least favorite part.  This way, everyone gets to share at least one opinion.  The book is a popular one…a common complaint was the book was “too short.”  I get the snack ready while the kids start on our project of the day:  two giant group poems.  One has the words “Reading is…” at the top and the other begins “Dragons are…” (suggested by a Reading Pro, and it was apropos, considering our book today).  We eat snacks while we work (pink lemonade, graham crackers with Nutella, and pretzels).

3:00-3:30:  We make an effort to clean up the table.  After much debate, we devise a method to determine who gets to choose a piece of the painting first (the people who actually made the painting should choose before those who did not participate).  I explain to the kids that we were able to buy new books next year thanks to a grant, and they literally cheer when I show them the books.  We have a fabulous time posing for pictures with the books:

Some kids were too busy reading to pose:

3:30-4:00:  Clean up and say goodbye to the kids.  Put everything back in the storage room and put the new books back upstairs.

4:00-4:30:  Download pictures from the camera and make folders on the desktop for them.    Chat with a coworker about an unusually large book donation that came in this morning.  See the bag of atomic fireballs I bought earlier at Mike’s that I was supposed to give to the kids.  Kick self.  Write the book club members an email to say “next time you stop in, ask for a dragon related treat.”  I also include a link to one of my favorite poems that I meant to share during the meeting.

4:30-5:00:  Finish up on the computer with a couple of emails and make sure the pictures are labeled correctly.  Turn off everything in the staff lounge and go upstairs.  Take name tag off, and head for home!

Do you have a “day in the life” post on your blog?  I would love to get a link in the comments 🙂



Filed under a day in the life, book club, library life, mending, The Reading Pros

2 responses to “A Day in the Life of a Youth Services Librarian

  1. That sounds like a very active day. Do you have organized sessions every day of the week?

    • Yes during vacations (April break is right around the corner for us) but during the normal school year, no, not every day.

      Fridays can be busy for me because I sometimes have a morning and an afternoon program. But it’s a fun kind of busy 🙂

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