So I participated in Hack Library School’s Day in the Life last week https://hacklibschool.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/hlsditl-round-2/
It’s a day to connect and exchange the lives of library school students across the US. Instead of updating my blog everyday (I’m jealous of those who had the time to), I decided to do a final round-up, although I tried to use the hash-tag on Twitter everyday at least once.
I’m a part-time public librarian for Chesterfield County Public Library, Chester branch. I arrived at work and worked my scheduled hours from 12:45pm-9:15pm. My Digital Preservation class has us divided into groups and our project draft assignment was due at 6pm that day, and somehow I was turned into the submitter. When I arrived at work, it’s always a matter of playing catch up with my email and I’m usually pretty busy with patrons up until about 3pm. I usually man the desk alone on Monday nights. I remember zoning out, since I was pretty worn out at that point.
I’ve recently taken over as the storytime librarian at our branch. In our system we don’t have “Childrens” or “Youth Services” librarians on the branch level, rather we’re considered more Generalist/ Reference Librarians so we all have different skills in various departments. The previous librarian was promoted to the vacant “Youth Services” position in Administration, so I took over because of my interest as well as experience in theater and stage. I hold storytime twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:30 am- 11:15 am. I use the same theme and music but may switch a book or two depending on the reception of the first group. So Tuesdays are my little “testers”. This week I held a Halloween storytime. I dressed up as a ladybug, which turns out to be the most popular costume for the infant-4-year-olds, as I counted about 6 altogether for both days. My books included:
Crankenstein by Samantha Berger
Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book by Stephen Savage
Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberely
I Don’t Care! Said the Bear by Colin West ( Not really Halloween-y but it talked about being scared)
For songs I played “Monster Mash” which turned out to be entirely too long for young kids, so I switched to “Addams Family” to have the kids snap or clap along to the beats. I also played “Dem Bones” to connect skeletons (Halloween) to anatomy learning (STEM).
I worked until 6pm at the library that day, after that I rushed to my family’s restaurant where I’m a manager as I received several frantic texts stating that we were crazy busy and my new server was being overwhelmed. That was a very long day.
I was exhausted from my previous long day, and tried to pump myself up for a second one. It’s become the norm, being unable to find a FT librarian position yet without my degree, to work at least 3-4 ,12-14 hour days a week. It’s draining. It’s exhausting. I’ve thought about having to hire someone just to do my laundry and my dishes since my boyfriend and I barely get to spend any time at home, and if I’m at home, I’m usually reading for class or sleeping.
I had another productive storytime and the kids left happy with the pumpkin puppets they made at the end. One girl and her mom even handed out suckers, which was super cute to do. I got off at 1:30pm, grabbed lunch at a Chinese Buffet (because food happens) and then found a corner on a sofa at the Central branch. I logged into a Early Childhood Resources webinar- but it just felt like DEMCO trying to sell items instead of advising librarians. I also had to do payroll for the restaurant, which I do every Wednesday. Then it was off to grab my pal, who works in Admin, and we attended the Chesterfield Young Professionals gathering. This was a group to discuss creation of a group housed on the county intranet to discuss some of the offers that Chesterfield could encourage the entrance of new young people since a big chunk of our staff will be of retiring age in the next years. I dropped my pal back at Admin and zoomed to work at the restaurant, which was thankfully slower than the night before.
I also applied for an internship at the Richmond location of the Federal Reserve in the Records Management department. I got a heads-up from a friend, and have thought about entering the RIM field as it relates to archives and pays SIGNIFICANTLY more. It’s just a matter of finding an “in”. I’ve taken a class on Records Management at Drexel, and with my systematic thinking, this could be a field that I could find myself excelling in.
Halloween. I didn’t dress up. I ended up not going to work. I simply crashed. I didn’t do homework. I didn’t cook. I just laid on my couch and watched Heroes. This was the outcome of working non-stop for almost two weeks with long hours. I completely crashed. I missed going into Admin for my extra hours from the IST department to work on scanning scrapbooks for our Digital Collections. I did, however, go to work at the restaurant for an hour and a half to relieve a server and wait for the next one to come after her second job. Then I left. I went home, and I sat.
I subbed at another branch, LaPrade, as they are short-staffed and pretty much down to one librarian running the show. This is the branch where I started my library career, and it always feels like coming home. I worked on helping to catch them up with processing new books and new juvenile kits by stamping dates, applying labels and displaying them.This was my last day as a “librarian” last week, but my work week wasn’t over. I ended my day by working at the restaurant.
I worked 14 hours. That’s a long-ass day. In a restaurant. My mom was out of town, so the morning I took her place by cooking beignets, peeling and slicing apples for fried apples, and I made Blueberry and Banana Nut muffins. I didn’t finish until about 11am. Then I ran some errands and went to the bank and 3 stores to pick up missing supplies for the day. When I got back, I hid in my office and watched Project Runway for a “break” (notice a lack of homework for the past week? yeah, me too). Then I played the roll of server for the night and closed up the front end of the restaurant alone. I made decent cash, which I spent buying drinks for my boyfriend and I after he got off work an hour after me.
This was yesterday but it feels like 3 days ago. My feet ached the moment I got up…I’ve been stomping around wearing worn out kitchen shoes which are in bad need of replacement. I acted as a server again, as I was short a person after firing one girl, having another out of town and my new one wasn’t ready for Sunday yet. J and I did a pretty good job together and we even kept a 23-person party from becoming a major catastrophe. After work I went to Fresh Market to pick up supplies for my weekly Sunday dinner. I fixed my boyfriend and myself Cajun NY Strip, sherried mushrooms and parsleyed red potatoes. I finally tried to do some homework but did as much as I could before passing out.
That was just a normal week in the life of a part-time librarian/ full time library student/ full time restaurant manager. One of these days, I won’t need a slash.