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Library Day in the Life Round 4: Wednesday

I am taking part in the Library Day in the Life this week. I am currently working as an information assistant at a London law firm. The eagle-eyed reader may notice that these posts were written last week – I am on holiday at the moment, celebrating the end of my MSc in Library and Information Studies, so decided to write these early so I could still take part. I thought lots of posts talking about my holiday this week would probably just annoy people!

Wednesday 20th January

Got in about 5 minutes late this morning, as some kind of chaos on the tube meant I had to get the slow overground

Turnips and swede

L-R: turnips; swede. Clearly not the same thing. Image courtesy of Flickr user No Middle Name

train instead. On the bright side, spending my morning commute above ground for a change meant that I could take part in some entertaining morning Twittering – I learned the difference between a turnip and a swede, and discovered that a surprising amount of people had conversations about vegetables last night. Who says Twitter isn’t useful?!

Got to work, opened the post, checked in the journals, and replied to a few emails from the SLA web committee list regarding the broken-but-now-fixed Twitterfeed and what blog software we should be using. I volunteered to set up a dummy site on WordPress for us to play with and get a feel for what it could do.

Spent the rest of the morning putting together the Legal News Updater. There was a lot to go in it today so I didn’t finish until nearly midday. Went through my email alerts and RSS feeds, added another course to the BIALL events listings, then went to lunch at 12.30.

Spent my lunch break reading through a contract my sister’s wedding photographer had asked her to sign (I used to be a wedding photographer before I was a librarian, and she wanted to know if there was anything out of the ordinary in the contract), blogging yesterday’s day in the life, and replying to some tweets and blog comments on library advocacy outside the echo chamber.

Another enquiry shift in the afternoon. Had a simple but time-consuming enquiry to deal with first off – someone needed to know what orders had been made under a particular section of an Act; and if any articles had been written about the section itself, or the point of law it concerned. The first part was quick but the second took me some time. I did find quite a lot written about it though, so I think the lawyer went away happy.

Needed a screen break after that so I spent about half an hour going through the stuff that had piled up in my in-tray over the last few months and doing some shelving. Came back from that and spent another half an hour on the missing books list.

Had a bit of training on our LMS in the afternoon, learning how to set up a check in record for loose leafs and serials. It’s pretty straightforward but there are a few fiddly bits I probably wouldn’t have figured out on my own.

Took another look at Twitter to see if any interesting posts about library advocacy had popped up – we’re using the hashtag #echolib to track them. Replied to a comment on my blog post about the same issue.

Had another half-hour attack on the missing books list – and finished checking all the titles! Now I just need to talk to the senior information officer (who is in charge of cataloguing and acquisitions) about what we do with them.

By then it was 5pm and I tentatively voiced the opinion that it had been really quiet on enquiries all afternoon… And immediately, 2 emails dropped into the library inbox and the phone started ringing. D’oh! The phone call was actually a quick ‘n easy one – someone just needed us to order some market wordings for them. The emails both looked like they’d take some time but only the first specified it was urgent, so I replied to the second one and told her we might not get to her query before close. Luckily, she didn’t need the information until tomorrow afternoon.

The urgent query was about the progress of a Bill through the Scottish Parliament – not helped by the email being completely garbled, mentioning 2 different Bills and an Act without specifying which one he actually needed to track. I did some digging and neither of the Bills he’d mentioned were on the Scottish Parliament website, and the Act was actually an English one. Confused, I replied explaining what I’d found regarding those three titles, and pointing him to an entirely separate Bill which he hadn’t mentioned at all but seemed to be in the right area. Turns out that was actually the one he’d been looking for – score one for the ninja librarian! I found him the information he was after, and headed home for an evening of some well-earned relaxing, blogging and leftover haggis.


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