Library Day in the Life: Tuesday

I realized after reading other library day in the life posts that I neglected to explain what my job duties are. Right now my job is in transition from focusing primarily on technology training to coordinating the training, learning, and development of 550+ staff members. This change happened just a few weeks ago, so I am still in the process of developing a needs analysis–what does our staff need training in? But I’m also looking beyond that into what should our learning process look like? How do requests for new training get submitted and implemented? Who makes the final call on what gets done or not done, and how do we prioritize the needs?

When you think about staff development, what is the underlying goal? Instead of WIIFM (what’s in it for me) think about WIIFO (what’s in it for the organization)? Why does the library need my position?

The bottom line of any training or learning function is to improve the performance of the organization by improving the effectiveness of the employees. Yes there is value in lifelong learning. Yes we know that by providing staff with enrichment opportunities we will improve morale and decrease our turnover. But ultimately any position in any business has a bottom line. In the for-profit world training is often one of the first departments cut or reduced in tough economic times. Therefore in addition to providing added-value it is important to provide a bottom line value.

So on to my day…


  •  Woke up, showered, dressed, and ready to get out the door before anyone else in the house wakes up.


  • Make sure I have my yoga clothes and mat for class tonight. Can’t find my keys. Look everywhere. Finally found them on the hook by the back door rather than on the hook by the front door. I have no idea how they got there. Suspect a 4-year-old involved.


  • Morning commute with a stop at Chickfila. As always impressed by the consistent amazing customer service. Run through the mental list of things I need to do.


  • Arrive at work. Feed my fish.
  • Open work email and Gmail account.
  • Respond to a blog reader who is interested in becoming a children’s librarian or school media specialist.
  • Received several emails and comments from vendors regarding yesterday’s post about needing to find the right tool for time/email/calendar/project management.
  • Receive several emails about focus groups that I have placed on the training calendar but I am not coordinating so forwarded them to the appropriate people.
  • Rescheduled the location of a meeting next week due to a conflict with another meeting scheduled in the same place.
  • Emailed back and forth about dates for upcoming training and finally resorted to a phone call. (Sometimes the phone is the best option!)
  • Chat with Stephanie Zimmerman for a few minutes to see how her Outlook training is coming along.


  • Stopped by the Communications Department for a meet and greet to welcome the new Public Information Specialist.
  • Had a group discussion about time management and what people use. Most people present use paper lists. One person uses the Outlook task list. Interesting to hear how other people do things, but that is why you are reading this, right?


  • Look at my bag of yoga clothes and realize it’s the last day in the semester. Call East Carolina to find out what happened to my application to be readmitted (I had to take a few semesters off when I had Cameron.)
  • Found out that they need copies of my current transcripts to make sure I am in good standing.
  • Print out and complete the form to have my transcripts evaluated.
  • Receive a phone call from an employee who is having a problem but does not want to discuss it officially.
  • Send out an email reminder about a meeting next week.
  • Edit minutes from a meeting that happened last month. Create a list of action items and due dates. Email to the group.
  • Prepare for a team meeting that will take place later this week.
  • Receive a phone call from my husband that our nanny needs us to pick up the kids by 3pm Friday.
  • Call nanny to check in and she asks if she can be off on my husband’s next day off–which is next Wednesday. (This is the only good thing about him working weekends.)
  • Send an ecard to a coworker who is having a birthday. Happy birthday Kim!
  • Try to complete an application for a state library training program but the Web site is down.
  • Work on a draft of an email about a change in our training software.
  • Add names to a list of accounts to create for Wimba Classroom.
  • Registered for ASTD meeting on Thursday and emailed other people in our library who might be interested.


  • Meet a coworker in the lobby so we can go to lunch and a seminar on social media and marketing together.
  • While I’m waiting assist two customers at the Circulation Desk.
  • While I’m waiting get approached by an employee who needs training created for staff for a new procedure and system that their department wants to implement by the end of the month (in two weeks). Ask her to email me the details. This happened last month with two other departments and I had to work 12-hour days for a week to get it all done. Note to self to communicate with departments the need to plan ahead for training and not wait until the last minute. This reaffirms to me that I need a project management system so I can prioritize these requests and map out a time line.
  • Go to lunch and talk about…work.


  • Arrive early to this seminar and glad I brought my bag with me as they need ID to let us in the building.
  • 2-hour seminar given to staff at an area business on social networking and marketing. Very inspiring and informative. I took 8 pages of notes (which I’ll transcribe in a separate post).
  • Walk back to work.


  • Leave work to go to my yoga class. One of the few required courses left to finish my undergraduate degree.


  • Arrive at class, turn in my final paper, and find out there is no actual class tonight as the instructor has a pinched nerve in his neck. Relieved as this means I get to go home and see my kids before they go to bed (if the 4-year-old even goes to bed). This 8-weeks of Tuesday and Thursday night classes has been so hard on my family. On Tuesdays I leave before my kids wake up. I get home after they’ve gone to bed. The next morning I leave for work before they get up. So after Monday night they don’t see me until Wednesday night. I’m so thankful the rest of my classes can be taken online.


  • Commute home and traffic is extra bad because of the time and the route home from school.


  • Arrive home and I’m the first one here. I have the house to myself. Total silence. Relaxing.
  • I eat some veggies left over from the party and check my email.


  • Husband arrives home with the kids. 7pm is the 1-year-old’s bedtime and she still needs to be fed and changed. She’s tired and grumpy.
  • After Cameron devours two bananas and starts throwing cheerios at me I decide to give her a bottle of milk to settle her down. Enjoy the 10 minutes we spend gazing into each others eyes and feel sad that she will soon be too old to take a bottle in a month or so.


  • Wrangle Cameron into her pajamas. Give up on trying to snap any snaps. Put her in her crib and she screams for 30 seconds then falls asleep.


  • Go downstairs and open a wine cooler left over from the party. Find my husband negotiating with our son about when he will eat his dinner. Ian refuses to eat his PB&J so I put it in the fridge. The two go outside to play soccer. I have a few minutes of peace.


  • Start a load of laundry.
  • My son wants to know if he can say, “holy cow.” I tell him it’s probably ok at home but not at “school” (what we call his nanny’s house). Ian says “holy cow” about 50 times before we have to intervene and tell him it’s not ok to say it all the time.


  • Husband takes son upstairs to go to bed. Son suddenly decides he wants to eat dinner. He comes downstairs and tries to negotiate juice or milk rather than his sandwich.
  • Now he wants to know what words he is not allowed to say. I tell him I’ll have to think about it.


  • Son has eaten his sandwich, had milk, and goes upstairs to bed. My husband takes his laptop upstairs and lays down on the floor in his room. Ian will not go to sleep if one of us is not in the room.
  • I am downstairs writing this post.


  • I am almost finished with this post and need to go put the clothes in the dryer. I also need to figure out where my husband put the mail so I can pay the bills, iron, eat dinner, read daily sheets from the nanny for both kids and see if she needs extra clothes or supplies.
  • Look over my task list that I created yesterday. I completed about half the items on the list today. Mental pat on the back. Need to add items to the list so I can sleep tonight.
  • Trying to imagine what the night would have been like had my 2-hour yoga class not been canceled.

Library Day in the Life: Monday

Last week I posted about the Library Day in the Life meme where we are blogging about what we do all day in our various library positions. In addition to blogging about my work at the library I am including my work as a mom. Why? Because I think it helps other moms know that they are not alone in the challenges of working full time outside the home and for those who are thinking about having children, it helps to let you know what you are getting in to. 🙂

7:00 am

  • Managed to drag myself out of bed, and had a really hard time this morning. Yesterday we celebrated my daughter’s first birthday and that was exhausting.
  • IMG_0957

  • If you’ve been following me on twitter and Friend Feed you know that I had 1/2 of a root canal last Wednesday (I get the next half this Friday) so I’ve been on pain medication for a few days now. I’m also still having morning sickness…at least it is not all day sickness. No I’m not pregnant, but I don’t know that I will ever feel fully recovered from my last pregnancy.
  • Spent a few minutes with my son–getting him some milk and putting on a Diego DVD. Daughter and husband still asleep and when he gets up he’ll take them to our nanny’s house. (My husband works 12-9 on Mondays.)


  • Leave for work. Commute very light when school is out.


  • Arrive at work. Here’s a picture of my office:
  • Read, respond, and process email. I only have 24 unread messages. But I have 249 read messages that need to be dealt with. I follow the GTD methodology and try not to use my inbox as a task list. The problem is I am so busy that I never get a chance to process all of the old email. I get a little derailed by a particular email and decide a phone call rather than a reply is in order.
  • Feed my fish.


  • Log into Peoplesoft and enter information about each library location we have, the meeting rooms available, and the capacity of the rooms. This takes a while because there are multiple forms with subforms so I can’t just tab through.


  • Prepare for a 10am meeting and check my mailbox. Yay I got reimbursed for my ALA expenses already. Thank you finance staff, and now I can pay my nanny on time this week.


  • Meeting with other library staff involved in a project I am working on.
  • Meeting was supposed to be one hour but ended up lasting just over two hours. We got a lot covered and I feel good about the direction we are heading in.


  • Lunch with a friend/coworker.


  • Check email again. This ends up taking two hours because each email requires more steps than just a response. For example: updating training calendar, helping a staff member with a Word problem, forwarding and recomposing emails to be included in an all staff memo about training opportunities, updating calendar with new appointments.


  •  Close my email and decide to get work done on transferring notes from flip charts to Word so I can send out minutes from a meeting. As I start working on this I think about all the other tasks and assignments that need to be done for this team and decide to research project management software. I try some free web-based tools but the good ones seem to want money up front. I download and install a free trial of Microsoft Project, but then realize each project lives in a separate file. I need a master planner of all projects so I can group similar task. Finally decide to try using a Firefox addin for GMail that helps process mail using GTD.The extension does not work on my PC. I realize the time and give up until I get home.


  • Make a few phone calls to update key people on the outcome of the earlier meeting.
  • Make a to do list for Tuesday.
  • Feed my fish again.
  • Update my calendar.
  • Sync my smart phone with Outlook.
  • Sync my iPod so I can listen to new podcasts on the way home.
  • Check email again and research ways for staff at multiple locations to share and collaborate on training documents.


  • Drive home. Very little traffic. Realize I don’t have my cable to connect my iPod to the car stereo. Almost fell asleep on the drive home. Determined to get quality sleep tonight.


  • Arrive at my nanny’s house to pick up my two children. I forgot my checkbook so I can’t pay her until tomorrow. Her daughter smacks my daughter and I wonder what will happen when my daughter is old enough to smack back.


  • Arrive home. My son wants to open the rest of my daughter’s presents. They both open them. Two of the dolls she received giggle and it makes her laugh harder than I have ever heard her laugh.
  • As they play with the new toys I fall asleep in the chair.


  • Wake up and decide I need to feed my kids. My son, four, refuses to eat anything. My daughter eats a handful of cheerios, some chicken, and fruit.


  • Bath and bedtime for kids.
  • My daughter goes right to sleep.
  • Try to play trains with my son but he wants his Daddy so we go downstairs to call him at work.


  • My son’s bedtime is at 8 and he still refuses to eat. I make him a PB&J anyway. Turn on the Wonder Pets DVD, and try to get some work done on the computer.
  • Write a blog post about ALA.
  • Remember that tomorrow is my last yoga class and I have a paper due. Begin writing a one-page essay about the benefits I have received from yoga.
  • Start writing this post.
  • Bounce between blog post and yoga paper while occassionally checking gmail, FriendFeed, and Flickr.
  • Realize how much of my day is consumed by email.
  • Too tired to play the Wii game my husband brought home to try out (quality control).

Notice I did not get any cleaning done. My husband will have to clean up the mess from dinner when he gets home. That’s our deal when he works nights.

If you want to join in the fun visit the LibraryDayInTheLife wiki for info. This is open to any library staff and you can start/finish any time.

A Day in the Life of…(You)

This afternoon I had the first half of a root canal done. When the assistant read my patient information sheet and saw the word “library” I heard the phrases that I’ve heard countless times before , “It must be so great to work at the library. It must be so quiet. You must get to read so many books.”

Check on the first one. The library is the best place in the world to work. Quiet? She admitted she has not been to the library in a few years. Reading? I can’t even tell you the last fiction book I read, and I don’t know many staff who actually have time to read on the job.

Even my son thinks mommy and daddy go to work and read books all day. I’ve heard before that books are our brand, but it is so not what we are all about anymore.

Yesterday Bobbi Newman wrote a post on her site Librarian by Day with the idea of what if we could all write posts detailing a day or week in the life of a librarian. Not only is this a great way for us to see what our colleagues are doing and how they spend their days but it’s a great way for students who are interested in the library profession to see what we really do.

A few of us picked up on this via FriendFeed and Twitter and the idea has taken off.

If you are interested in sharing your day/week in the life:

  1. Add your name to the list at the Library Day in the Life Wiki. The invitation code is: library.
  2. Add your name, your job title (so we can see what you do at a glance) and a link to your blog.
  3. Next week* start blogging.
  4. Tag your posts with librarydayinthelife.
  5. Later you can go back and edit the wiki to change your blog link to a link to your tagged posts, e.g.

* The dates are a suggestion so we can have a communal feel to this endeavor. If the dates don’t work for you, you can start any time. I’m hoping that this will continue as an ongoing project for the library community.

Hats off to Bobbi for the great idea!