Industry: Higher Education
Salary/Benefits: $60,000 with options to purchase health/dental/vision insurance; retirement plan in state pension fund or 401k with 6.5% match.
Employer Type: Public university regional campus
Employer Size: 100 employees at our regional location
How Long in Current Position: 4 months
Highest Level of Education: Master of Library Science
Path to This Job: I’ve worked exclusively in libraries since college and went right to library school from undergrad. I worked in a public library for several years before switching to an academic. I love the process of providing information to people and helping them find what they need. Every day is a little different and you never know what you’re going to be asked.
A typical day at work:
7:30-8:45am: Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast. I’m fortunate to have a very short commute.
9:00am: Arrive at work. I usually spend the first hour catching up on emails and listservs, looking at automatic reports than ran overnight, and troubleshooting any problems there. Usually I can resolve these myself, but sometimes I need to ask the systems librarian for help. If he can’t fix it, we escalate it to support from our vendor.
10:00am: I work on any new books that have come in and need to be cataloged, or whatever long term project I’m working on.
11:00am: My department meets once a week in this time slot. If it’s not a meeting day, I keep working on my projects. They range from really mundane catalog cleanups to very complicated serials edition issues. Academic publishing is a whole different beast from what I encountered working in a public library, and I still have a lot to learn, so this can take a while.
12:00pm: Lunch. I always bring my lunch from home. I usually eat at my desk, and then go for a walk outside while listening to a podcast. If the weather is bad, I sometimes walk through the stacks, but there are almost always students working and I don’t like feeling like I’m distracting them. Sometimes I just read in my office instead.
1:00pm: I usually meet with one of the senior members of my department so we can work on particularly gnarly problems together. She has been working here longer than I’ve been alive, so she’s a bottomless source of knowledge and institutional memory. She’s been gradually turning more and more over to me in preparation for her retirement, so this time is super valuable for me to pick her brain while she’s still working here.
3:00pm: There is usually follow-up work I can do on my own after meeting with my senior colleague, or prep work to be done before our next department meeting. I also look over my schedule and to-do list for the rest of the week and make sure I’m ready for what’s coming up next.
READERS, SUBMIT YOUR DAY: The Career Files Submission Form
If you enjoyed this day in the life of a librarian, check out our other day in the life posts here