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Monday 24 January 2011

Library Day in the Life January 2011

My bus gets me to work quarter of an hour early, and I spend the extra time catching up with colleagues and reading a bit more of my commute novel. We start at 8:30 at the moment – summer hours – and I catch up with the e-mails that have come in over the weekend.

Actually, my routine at the moment isn't the same as usual. (Although for one reason or another it's probably been a year since anything recognisable as “usual".) For about a month I've been wrestling with some mild RSI so when I sit at my keyboard I put on my wrist braces and I don't do any any type of work for more than an hour at a time. And I'm dictating this post with the voice recognition software I have on my home laptop.

So at nine o'clock I go and do our retrievals which someone else would normally do. These are the books that our users have requested from the areas upstairs being renovated after the earthquake. Earlier this summer the stacks were covered in black plastic, but that's been taken down now, so I don't need the torch any more.

At 9:30 I walk across campus to another branch where I can work on the front desk, which is busier than ours. I do my stretches on the way. It's still fairly quiet this morning, mostly students borrowing textbooks.

After an hour I walk back, and arrive in time for an impromptu meeting with a new supervisor and a tour of construction progress (even before the earthquake we were planning to renovate the entire ground floor. All except two small spaces at the back of the building which we've been working in over the summer while they've gutted the rest of the floor – our temporary main entrance is normally a fire escape).

I do the retrievals again, scan some blogs, and then it's time for lunch. I take my book out into the sun and by some miracle don't get sunburnt in the glorious weather.

Checking my twitter alerts, I notice a news article about the library, which I forward onto our Facebook page. Then I go back to the other branch, where we get engineering students asking about earthquake damage and a phone call with an Endnote query from a desperate student with a deadline.

II getback in time for afternoon tea, then retrievals again, and then join my colleagues with a trolley full of books that have thrown up errors in the RFID conversion process (another project going on above our heads at the moment) to determine what's causing the error in each one and whether we should be keeping each item. Most of them are terribly old, and half aren't even on the catalogue. One of my colleagues comments that we come alive when weeding, and it's funny because it's true. Between this, and issuing books to the occasional borrower who manages to find us, we fill the time to 5 o'clock, and home.

Oh, and I've made it through the day without any twinges of discomfort from my wrists. :-)