Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Three Rings

Not to rule them all. Three rings as in circus.

This morning has been spent in looking at all kinds of reports: self-check machine circulating reports, daily circ reports, hold reports, time sheet reports, ad infinitum.

A patron requested a book that we don't have any longer and I was able to get a quick turnaround on an order for her. I had a phone call about a lost set of keys with a library card on the ring and was able to contact the patron who had lost the keys and let her know where they were.

I found a second life for about 40 copies of a book I thought I had to weed and I'm very grateful for that. I didn't want all of them to wind up in landfill and now they are going to a good home.

Our staff meeting today was very successful until it was interrupted by a parking snafu. Everyone on staff as well as some visiting staff members learned the difference between collection agencies, credit reporting bureaus, and bankruptcies.

Housekeeping items included reviewing laptop problems, adjusting timesheets, and learning how to use a new staff Instant Messenger program. I also started a discussion with a co-worker about the future of e-readers in the Library. We've rainchecked it to continue at another time.

And now, it's off to work the desk until closing tonight. I will try to compose a blog post for a friend, contact possible speakers for a series of programs, catch up on emails, and outline a plan for roving customer service for front line staff.

This is the stuff they didn't teach you in library school.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Twofer Tuesday

It seemed like everything happened in pairs today. Double the interruptions, double the meetings, double the wackness.

Today I prepped for an early morning meeting that I hadn't prepped for yesterday and it went a little longer than expected. I confirmed plans for an OPAL presentation I will be giving at another library system and begged and pleaded with friends, colleagues, and complete strangers for names of folks who know more than a passing bit about the Bronte sisters.

I listen a lot at my job. When you listen a lot, you hear a lot of interesting things. I listened to a friend tell me how nutty things are in his department and then I listened to another friend tell me how loony things are in her department. I listened to a friend tell me how kooky things were in his department when he was there. I am convinced I work in a gigantic fun house of psychiatric wonders and anxieties.

I handled some bounced email and updated some collection agency accounts for a patron who should not have been contacted. I read about the new Kindlesque device Apple is trying to roll out and consulted with a staff member about a volunteer who may be able to assist us with our computer classes.

The nicest thing that happened today? While I was covering a break for another staff member, a patron called to tell me how wonderful this staff member had been to her. She gushed on and on and it was a delight to listen to her wax ecstatic about this staffer. Who is everything she said he is.

At the end of the day I watched our beautiful Library get ready for a program that would be hosting 500 people. This is old hat for us and all the staff handle it like the consummate pros they are.

But I was just too tired to stick around for this one.

Monday, July 27, 2009

To do equals mostly to done

There are a few things left on the above, but for the most part, the day went as planned.

While I was preparing the daily cash register amounts for today and next weekend, I received an update from a staff member about a patron who has been providing instructions to fellow bbs members about how to steal books from a library.

Another staff member showed me an item that a patron brought into the library that he had not checked out. He was merely returning it for another patron who had also not checked out said item but had a habit of wandering into the first man's place of business and leaving behind library materials. The first man is gracious enough to recognize the rightful owner and return the property to the Library.

As usual, there are small glitches with the circulating laptops. Laptop 11 is missing a key on the keyboard, the all import |\ key. Laptop 2 can't circulate without a charger, laptop 1 is still in for repairs and laptop 5 is just being ornery.

I prepped for a meeting with a friend at the local paper regarding the book group we co-facilitate/organize. The best part of this meeting was having lunch in the pub across the street. The worst part was realizing we couldn't have a beer with lunch. We hammered out reading selections for the next year with some kibutzing from a fellow diner and feel we have a solid list that will appeal to men, women, seniors, teens, and folks who just think talking about reading is fun.

I updated two ongoing lists of Street Fiction with new titles and reviewed and posted the schedule for next week. The staff meeting for Wednesday is planned and ready with one correction to a document that will be presented by another staff member. I will only have to provide cookies and take attendance.

I still have to prepare for tomorrow's meeting and start drafting a training plan for a meeting next week. But on the whole, today has been okay and tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

As the World Circs

In preparation for the Library Day in the Life blog project that begins tomorrow, I thought I'd get a head start. Like I normally do before my work week begins.

On Sunday nights, I empty out the messenger bag. I throw all the lunch containers in the dishwasher, pick out all the paperclips, spare change, and bits of paper that have fallen to the bottom. I arrange everything neatly, plug in all electronics (cell phone, laptop) to recharge batteries, and review calendar. I make a mental list of what needs to be done this week and try to remind myself that there will be at least five fires that will require my attention before the end of tomorrow. I may have a plan, but it will be derailed.

It took me three years to get right with that. It's always good to have a list of what needs to be done, but it's even better to understand that there will be unexpected and unnamed complications that will hinder the progress. A successful work week, for me, depends primarily on how I handle the disruptions and interruptions as they arise, since I won't be able to plan for them or schedule them.

But right now, on the list of Monday's things to do:
1. Gather materials for a meeting on Tuesday morning
2. Prepare for a meeting at the Kansas City Star
3. Review and post next week's schedule. Send email informing of any anomalies in next week's schedule.
4. Make changes in next month's schedule.
5. Review and approve last week's time sheets.
6. Confirm coverage so staff can attend monthly department meeting.
7. Plan and promote next meetings of two book groups.
8. Write customer service plan for self-service initiative.
9. Post to Library blog.
10. Pull files on three staff members and begin preparations for annual reviews.
11. Pick up August bus pass.
12. Prepare cash register banks for three public service desks.

I better make sure I do number 11. It's the most important on the list. Will pop back in tomorrow with an updated list of things to do, what really got done, what didn't get done, and what the road blocks were.

Anyone but me notice that shelving and reading didn't make the list of things to do?