T is for Training Librarian

When I was in Library School, I loved reading “day in the life” posts about librarianship. And when I was interviewing for my current position, I was desperate to know what a “training librarian” actually did! So for my T day, I’m going to go over a day in my life as a Training Librarian. Perhaps someday a will-be librarian will stumble across it, and it will prove useful. =D

This is a broad overview of what my day was like last Friday:

9:30 – Start my day with a staff meeting. I attend a large majority of the staff meetings in our library, where I go over various memos and training sessions, both as refreshers for staff, and introductions to new services. I attend this meeting both as trainer and as a staff member who works at the branch 1-2 times a week. For my training session, I talk about a new service the library is offering, a change to our borrowing policy, and a memo from our department about our website.

11:30 – Staff meeting is over, so I head home for an early lunch, and take out the dog!

12:40 – Arrive at our downtown location for my afternoon. First thing I do upon arrival at my office is check my emails…12 new messages from the previous night. I read each message, reply to some, and sort the others. Next, I begin the installation of an online database our library is now working with. I’ve completed 18 hours of training for this database thus far (more to come this week!) but I have not actually seen it yet, so this is an exciting installation!

1:20 – Finish the installation and play around in the database, looking up member records and trying some of the features. I am specifically interested in one feature of the database right now, since I will be documenting procedures for other staff on how to use it. I read through two manuals and get my bearings with the process, and make a note to follow-up with one particular staff member about the procedures next week.

2:00 – Our circulation staff are being asked more and more to help patrons on the public computers, but their level of confidence with using computers is quite varied from person to person. We are putting together sessions on topics ranging from basic internet usage, to email, social media, Word, and general computer troubleshooting. I work on the session agendas in preparation for a meeting next week to discuss getting the sessions started!

3:00 – Break. My office is directly across the hall from the staff room, so my department is in charge of making coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon. I don’t usually make the coffee, but tea-making is split between me and my supervisor, and today it’s my turn!

3:15 – Check emails, send a few messages to some of the other branches, and review an upcoming eBooks workshop we are having in a few weeks, to see who is registered so far.

3:30 – Once a month our website changes its main page and a bunch of little “ideas” we have floating around the site. I will be in charge of the changeover for May, and I have not before done this. I read over the process, and makes sure I am clear on the details.

4:00 – I am going to be doing a presentation on Social Media for Church Librarians in a couple of weeks(!) at a conference in our city. It’s an interesting process because I don’t know anything about the life of a Church Librarian, but the group is enthusiastic, so I am looking forward to it. I go over the presentation, and make presenter’s notes for myself. I make some changes to the handout.

4:45 – Book one of our staff computers for the next week, for testing purposes. Also charge up the smartphone devices that live in my office, to make sure they don’t die from inactivity.

5:00 – Catch up on our staff intranet, and read through my usual book/library websites.

5:25 – On Friday’s we close at 5:30, which means everyone needs to be out of their offices a little early. Head downstairs and wait for the all clear before heading home for the weekend!

So that’s it! Now, to say this is typical of my day is a bit of a stretch. Some days I’m in meetings all day. Some days I am playing on tablets and helping patrons downstairs with eBook questions. Some days I’m writing procedure documents and uploading PDFs to the website. Some days I’m travelling to every branch in the city, testing out a device or speaking with staff. And some days I work as the Information Services Librarian at the high-school/public library branch, answering questions, booking teachers into the seminar room, helping patrons log onto computers, pulling holds, and recommending books! It’s a hugely varied job, which I really enjoy.

3 Responses so far.

  1. DayDreamer says:
    That's pretty varied. I used to want to be a librarian, back in the day where it seemed all they did was put books back on the shelves and stamp out your borrowed books by hand. It's all computerisation now, but it does sound fun.
  2. You didn't have a lot of time to daydream, did you? Librarians earn their salaries!
  3. T. Drecker says:
    That was interesting! I didn't realize a librarian had so much to do. Thanks for opening my eyes.

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