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Second Generation Librarian.

Today is technically the first day of Library Day in the Life Round 5. But, since I’ve already been at work for two days, I thought I’d fill the Internet in on my “Monday” and “Tuesday.” Also, this provides a good explanation for my unintelligible blogs and tweets towards Thursday and Friday of this week. (Psst! It’s because I’ll have been at work for seven days…)

Saturday in the Life: The Day of Good Intentions or The day where e-mail happened.

9:00: I get to work expecting a delicious day off-desk during which I will surely achieve all of the prep-work for the end of the month reports, etc.

10:00: Summer Reading Club reporting hours begin. I say hello to the volunteers and go back to e-mail.

10:00: A lovely young woman shows up for a proctoring appointment. Good news: I totally know what she’s talking about! Bad news: Between her virtual educators and the library, someone has managed to think a “9” is a “4” (or vice-versa) so, here she is, ready to take and exam on the 24th instead of the 29th. The study room we usually use for proctoring has been booked all day, so I put her in my manager’s office since she’s not here and it’s a really nice office. I type in the password for her online exam and she’s off!

10:20: Volunteers are bored. So, I give them project to do, then of course, that’s when people show up to report. Volunteers are un-bored.

10:30: Sit down at my email again, remember that the chess instructor needs yet another white board because the dry-erase surface on the big white board on the wall has somehow lost its capacity to … er… dry erase. Basically, it’s borked. Carry another white board upstairs. Bump into a lot of things.

10:40: E-mail.

11:15: Proctoring person says her exam crashed. I log her back in.

11:30: Prepare registration materials for all classes running in the next week…

The afternoon was really a blur. I don’t even remember what I ate for lunch. Basically, I got through my e-mail and that was my major triumph of the day. Buh. “Oh well,” I thought (foolishly), “there’s always Sunday!”

What did happen on Sunday? I should give you a little background. Shortly before I was hired, Markham Public Library created a new kind of classification system. It’s called Customer Centered Classification, or C3™ for short. It basically limits the call numbers to four fields, and arranges the books by subject headings which are, we hope, more intuitive for customers to find. The arrangement facilitates browsing and the shorter call numbers is supposed to make it easier to find, shelve, and shelf-read the books. It even won an award this year. Before anyone asks me questions, I should mention that I don’t work with C3™ since my branch hasn’t been converted yet. We’re still living in the days of Dewey, which is fine by me since I don’t know Dewey very well, yet, and it’d be nice to learn before we switch to the new system.

I mention all this because my main activity on Sunday was to conduct some testing with Dewey using some volunteers from the Teen Advisory Group. I can’t really get into the nature of the tests, but at 9:59 am, I realized that I needed to select about 90 more random titles for volunteers to work with. This involved pulling all of the books, writing down their titles and call numbers and re-shelving them. And the volunteers were due at 11:00. I’m happy to say that I can re-shelve 90 books in 20 minutes never having worked as a page, but by the time we were ready to begin, it was 11:20. I did bring them Timbits, so I was mostly forgiven. As I’ve mentioned – I can’t describe the tests, but I will say that after I told the volunteers what they would be doing, they looked a little bleak. “This, uh, sounded much more fun in the e-mail.” one of them said.

Flash forward to 2:30 p.m. The volunteers have left, shakily agreeing to take part in the second part of this test. I sit down to type up their response sheets and I realize – I’ve forgotten to have them do the last part of the test. Ah, well. They didn’t have it in them to get up on the Dewey Decimal System for 4 hours straight, anyway and really neither did I.

2:30 pm: Oh right, lunch. I should mention that Sunday was the Deli Duel, where several awesome local delis faced off to win the title of best smoked meat sandwich. Several of my friends attended to eat various sammiches. I was… not there. 🙁 I had cold pizza.

3:00 p.m.: I now find I’ve lost the will to do any actual, thinking work. So, I turn to my crafts for storytime, which I had originally been saving for the volunteers on Monday. I am making snake puppets. After tracing about 35 of them, I realized they look distinctly sperm-like. Hopefully the parents won’t be offended…

5:00 p.m.: Stumble out of the building, into my car and make it home in time for the 6:20 show of Inception. Which was spectacular.

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