Friday, July 31, 2009

Day in the Life of a Librarian Project

Here is my small contribution to the A Day in the Life of a Librarian blog project that I mentioned earlier this week.

As part of the project, librarians share stories about what a "typical" day at work looks like.

Of course, no day is typical. Here is what a day in the middle of the week looked like:

8:35 AM:left home and cycled to work along the historic Rideau Canal in Ottawa. Saw a wild rabbit and a pair of cardinals in some bushes near the Somerset St. footbridge

8:50: grabbed a coffee at the Supreme Court of Canada cafeteria, elevator up to 3rd floor where Library is located

8:55: opened e-mail in my office to see if there were any emergencies

9:00: opened the reference desk and started a 2-hour reference shift:
  • entered overnight returns in the circulation system
  • started processing our new library titles list
  • walked over to our ILL person because someone returned a book from another library: was it an ILL, or did someone make a mistake and drop off a public library book?
  • sent out an e-mail about addition of Oxford Reference Online to our collection of e-resources
  • took a phone call from external client who explained that she was missing a few pages from a document we faxed her - tracked down colleague who sent the fax
  • someone showed up at the desk for help in tracking down very recent periodicals: went to technical services to find out if we had received issues in question, went down to the judges' library (people do misplace things), checked in various offices
  • took a call from external client who wanted to know about the Canadian Judicial Council
  • took call from someone interested in finding speeches by one of our former judges about the role of the Court
  • through all this, tried to find time to flip through my backlog of issues of the periodical European Current Law - ended up having no time to even start looking through the first issue of many in the pile

11:00 AM: went back to my office

  • tuned into (Belgian public radio) - they have the best jazz and classical programs, trust me
  • worked on the next issue of our internal bulletin on interesting law-related web resources. Found potentially interesting material on dead links in judicial opinions, proposed Google Book Search settlement, new research guides on religious law and international family law, and various reports from law commissions from around the world

12:00: break for lunch

afternoon (1:00PM onward):

  • continued working on internal bulletin on important judgments from foreign courts for July 2009 - added material from Australian High Court, House of Lords (including a judgment about who owns the copyright to Procol Harum's 1967 song Whiter Shade of Pale - very cool!), European Court of Human Rights
  • added new articles to our internal database on commentary relating to Supreme Court of Canada decisions
  • visited cataloguers' offices to see what new material is coming into the library
  • scanned listserv items from Canadian Association of Law Libraries - item about disappearance of Irwin Law books from Quicklaw caught my eye - arggghhh! This means I will have to correct something like 20 of our legal research guides because they all mention Irwin Law material that used to be available via Quicklaw
  • had a conversation with one of my higher-ups about ongoing Canadian government copyright reform hearings and impact on libraries
  • called away from my office to help someone search in the American Law Reports. I explained that one should always start in the ALRs' very good index for subject searching. Then I realized we are in the middle of a major collection move and that most of our US material (including the ALR index volumes) are in boxes for a few more days. Oops, we will have to spend some $$$ searching e-versions of ALRs

5:15PM: left the building, cycled to Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library to pick up item on reserve, then headed home via Laurier St. Bridge to Rideau Canal. Lots of dogs near the canal, no bunny rabbits this time.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:09 pm


Blogger Bobbi Newman said...

Thanks for particpating in the project, its great to see people from different countries and different types of libraries participating!

10:11 am  
Blogger Angela Rand said...

Michael I enjoyed ur post. It made me realize that my first glances at email in the morning involves looking for fires to put out before I start the work of being a librarian proper. U seem to have a very interesting job. Thanks for sharing.

10:58 am  

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