Last night was our first Trivia night with Bee’s Knees and the Versailles Chamber of Commerce. We filled 61 chairs and it was awesome! Brittany helped with set up, Kate helped with scoring and sheet pick up, and Shirley was my judge and right hand gal for the whole night. My staff is awesome! I have shared my day with you, this week, and the next, I am going to share what my staff does on a daily basis; and I promise you it is not reading all our newest novels.
Circulation duties apply to everyone. This starts with preparing the library for opening. Backup has to be checked, all the computers must be turned on, all materials must be checked in and shelved, overdue notices are run and mailed out, reserves are found, and any odd returns (missing disc, damaged materials, etc.) must be dealt with. Daily activities continue with constant check-ins and check-outs, odd returns, computer sign-ups, reference questions (from “do you have tax forms” to books needed for a class project), phone calls, faxes, scans, and copies for patrons, mail sorting, magazine entering, new material accessioning, plus weekly assigned shelf reading. Beyond this, each staff member has specific areas that they specialize in.
Shirley has been here the longest and we don’t know what will happen to the library when she retires. She takes care of all our library material ordering, which includes all the cases, book jackets, pockets, etc. needed to prepare our physical materials for checkout. She also orders all of our supplies needed for the janitorial maintenance of the library. She is our numbers gal, she counts our daily cash drawer and we fear her inquisition when we don’t balance, seriously a forgotten 50-cent entry brings the stare of death. She is up for any tasks and has the stamina of a superhero. Lately she has been helping me with our inventory. This involves shelf-reading, research for each title, and data entry for titles that need noting. It is brutal and makes me want to bang my head into the wall, not Shirley, like a machine, she leaves me in her dust. She also is tasked with cataloging our DVDs and CDs, plus she creates all our new material lists. One more note, the book jackets I mentioned, she is a ninja, with such speed they are done before you can bat an eye.
Jessica was my first hire as Director. I knocked it out of the park with this gal. She is my main cataloger, and has my similar illness for right angles and consistency. She is tasked with making our card catalog the best search engine it can be, which involves constant clean-up of authors, subject matter and old bibliography records. This task alone would keep her occupied for all eternity, but each day she must also enter all our new adult and young adult materials. We average close to 100-150 new items monthly, just in the adult section. She is my go to girl for accessioning, with her eye for detail, all the markings we make in new materials are done with robot like precision and her spine labels are a work of art. Lately she is working on making all the spine labels nice and accurate in our non-fiction juvenile and easy sections. This requires tape removal with a lovely spray referred to as the “death” spray. Jessica also plays a role on our Facebook page, she shares and acquires staff picks and also creates all the “what are you reading Wednesday” posts. Along with Kelly, she is also working on a cataloging policy for the library. It also, is a work of art, currently it is a small notepad with a rainbow of post-its in all 3 of our handwriting.
I have 7 staff members. Shirley, Jessica, Kate and Brittany are full-time, and Kelly, Sheree and Eric are my part-timers. I am running out of room and am currently worried that I will not get this done in just 2 bookworms. I will end this week by sharing about 2 of my part-timers; Sheree and Eric, both work one day a week, with Sheree also doing our Saturday rotation. Eric is my new guy (yep, we have a guy now!) and is currently learning all the craziness of just daily circulation duties. He is a fierce shelf-reader and I have recently included him into my inventory team. He has been tasked with our Juvenile non-fiction section that contains a gazillion books, all so thin, that spine labels are difficult to read; the least desired section by all members to deal with. Sheree is also part of the inventory team, she has been key in my continued development of collection management. She has patiently worked with me as I have struggled to find the “just right” way to do everything from inventory, to weeding and the best way to note core collections. Sheree is a retired librarian and continually shares her knowledge and experience with me as I pepper her with “how did you guys do this” on a weekly basis.
Well, that was a lot. I will continue with the rest of my staff next week and probably will add more to what I have already shared. The life of a librarian requires many hats and my staff wears them so well!