Library Day in the Life – Monday

Well, here’s my first post in Round 6 of the Library Day in the Life project. I work as a Liaison Librarian at Macquarie University Library in Sydney, Australia. We’re in the middle of our summer break here, so things aren’t as busy as they will be when semester starts in February. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of things to do in the library, even when there aren’t many students around.

My day starts at 7:45am with a check of my email, and reviewing my calendar to refresh my memory as to what’s ahead of me this week. I then head off to be part of an interview panel for a job within the library, which goes for a couple of hours.

After this I grab a coffee and check the posts from a couple of listservs that I subscribe to. I read through a blog post that someone’s mentioend on the list – Trial by Twitter, which looks at how the increased use of social media has allowed for more rapid discussions, comments and critiquing of published journal articles. How will this affect the traditional peer-review and publication process?

My next task is to send a welcome letter from the library to two new academic staff members. Over the last 12 months or so the Liaison Librarians have tried to be more proactive in contacting new academic staff and researchers, and one of my colleagues produces a list every couple of months which lists the new appointments from each Faculty. We send them a letter outlining the services we offer and letting them know who to contact if they have any questions about the library.

For a while my phone runs hot, as I receive calls from students who are have some questions about the upcoming database and EndNote training that we’re running. One of them is having difficulty enrolling online, and the other isn’t able to attend the scheduled training and wants to know what her options are. I pass the first student’s details to our training unit staff and they enrol her, and the second will contact us with some dates that she’s available to come in for an individual consultation.

At the end of last year the library purchased a couple of large database backfiles, which means we can discard our print holdings of the titles which are covered by the databases. I double-check our holdings and pass the details on to the staff who look after serials and the catalogue. Seeing that we’re moving into a new building soon, there’s no point in taking material with us if we don’t have to.

The next thing I do is review an alert that I’ve set up with one of our vendors which emails me a list of new books in a particular subject area each week. I go through the list and do a bit of culling, and then send the revised list to the academic library liaison within the department. They forward it to their colleagues so that they can order anything for the library collection which looks relevant.

By now it’s 1:15pm, so I head off to lunch. From 2pm until 4pm I’m rostered to the Information Desk. I don’t receive many questions, and most of the ones I do get are directional or referral type requests e.g. how do I print, is there a scanner in the library, how do I join the library. I use the time to review the paperwork for a new program of study for next year that’s being put forward by one of the departments within the Faculty of Science. For each new unit or program, the Liaison Librarians for that department need to review the proposal and see what the impact will be on the library e.g. do we need to order more books/journals/databases in the subject area, will there be an impact on our Reserve/eReserve collection, do we need to provide training to the students? This process allows us to plan ahead for new units and programs, rather than being told about them at the last minute.

At 4pm I head home. Today was a fairly typical day for this time of year. I wonder what the rest of the week will bring?

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About Andrew

I'm a health librarian in Sydney, Australia, who also happens to be a geocacher.

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