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Day In the Life of a Librarian

Day in the Life posts are inspired by Abby the Librarian's Day in the Life series. Many people wonder what it is librarians do all day! (No, we don't get to read books on the desk all day!) Since I've taken my position as Youth Services Manager it seems like my days are even more filled with meetings and scheduling and trainings. Here's a Day in the Life of a Youth Services Manager.

8:30-Arrive at work, turn on computers, wipe down keyboards and headsets, check schedule to see what we have planned for the day

8:40-9:00-Straighten up department, pick up books, take leftover DVD and CD cases up front, clean up Early Literacy Station Toy Centers (My library has Early Literacy Stations that have 9 rotating toy bins with toys like puzzles, plush food, word flashcards, plush mailbox, etc. Each toy goes along with our new Early Literacy Skills. We also have a puppet stage.)

9:00-9:10-Put simple craft out since there are no December storytimes to ease the pain of no storytimes

9:10-10:00-Work on January schedule and have many moments of stress and thoughts of “oh my goodness, how am I going to figure this out?”, followed by “no wait-that makes more sense, I did it!!” Celebrate by doing a happy dance in chair.

10:00-10:30-Cover children’s desk while employees take break, answer patron questions like “No, there are no storytimes in December, we take the month off. But here’s our storytime schedule for January and February and here’s our Winter Programming Guide.” And “All our Holiday books are on display on the front table or on this cart by the children’s desk. No, Polar Express is all checked out and there are 6 people on hold for it. Would you like to be on the waiting list?” Check e-mail.

10:30-10:45-Morning break-check mailbox, discover a book or two (always exciting!), die-cut requests from other branches, and a few toddler tubs to return (we have “toddler tubs” that other branches can borrow for storytime that we share as a system, but house at my branch).

10:45-11:30-Come back from break and return toddler tubs, Straighten up department (again), check shelves and carts for returned Holiday books to add to the display, clean up scraps of craft, help patrons find books and answer questions, talk to some kids putting on a puppet show and watch a few minutes of their performance of The Three Little Pigs (our current puppet stash-this is always one of the best parts of the job!), slyly put toys away when children are leaving so the trucks don’t play racecar in the department anymore (we have circulating toys as well, which always end up getting played with in the department and can be a bit hectic!), clean up farmer’s market food toys from the Early Literacy Station because it has mysterious wet spots on it.

11:30-1:00-Cover desk while employees go on lunch. Answer patron questions such as “Where are The Magic Tree House books” (Under Osborne in J Fiction) and “Do you have any Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books” (nothing in today, but would you like to see some other books that are similar?)

1:00-1:45-Lunch! Enjoy chatting with co-workers from other departments and catching up. This is also prime reading time. I love walking into the break room and seeing all my co-workers with a book in hand!

1:45-2:00-Take DVD and CD cases and any holds to the front desk. Retrieve Children’s Department holds for weeding list and withdraw books. Check e-mail and respond to any important messages.

2:00-4:00-Summer Reading Program Meeting to discuss next year’s Summer Reading Program (yes, in December!!) Committee comes up with a few changes that I will need to report back to my staff.

4:00-5:00-Check e-mail, send a note to staff about changes for Summer Reading Program, look over January schedule one more time before sending it out to staff, straighten up desk and workroom, prep any tasks for tomorrow.

5:00-Say hello to evening staff member, catch up on anything I need to tell her and wish her a good evening. Off to home!


  1. It always amazes me how varied the days are. Even when I'm doing a job similar to someone else, we still have totally different days. And it's kind of an endless cleaning process in children's isn't it??

  2. Sarah-Yes! Endless cleaning project is right! Plus, I'm OCD about the shelves being straightened and books being picked up, which means I'm always picking up. And no two days are the same which is one thing I love about my job!

  3. I miss living in Springfield and going to your library!

  4. I love it! I too am always asked what I do all day as Head of Circulation at my library. I'm inspired to track my day tomorrow. It'll be a bit "off" due to the holiday but fun none-the-less.

  5. Nice agenda! I love your blog very appealing to the eye.

  6. Just had an administrator say to me today: "People think you just read all day, not that I'm one of those people."

    Yep, spent the entire day rushing from task to task, student to student, and every time I'd switch to something new I'd say to my day sub "This is me not working"

    P.S. Note the "day sub": they cut my assistant out of the budget and instead pay a sub to sit in the library all day?! Yep, helpful don't you think...So cost effective...

    This post hit a sensitive spot today. Librarians are an undervalued job people!

  7. I get to see a little bit of the day in a life of a librarian now that I'm volunteering for a couple of hours a week. It is amazing the many varied tasks that I see the librarians doing.

    And just as an aside, there were some new patrons in the library today and they were shocked at how wonderful it is for a small town (way better than their last library evidently). You could hear them walking around the place saying, "Look at this! Can you believe they have this movie? And this book?" And so on, all through the library. It warmed my heart. :)


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