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Library Day in the Life Round 8: Friday

This blog post is part of Library Day in the Life. I am writing about my job as a business research librarian for a UK law firm.

Friday started badly – I was supposed to be in for 8, but a delayed train meant that I got to the office nearly ten minutes late. Usually that wouldn’t cause too many problems, but as I was on the rota to do the daily markets current awareness update, which has to be sent out by 9am, it meant I lost quite a lot of time! Added the initial late running, once I got into the office my computer didn’t want to play – took forever to boot up, then Word crashed several times as I was trying to open the template document to start putting the alert together. Once I had managed to get into the template, I discovered that the FT website was also having problems – a massive spanner in the works as most of the news and data for the update comes from the FT! Eventually though everything started working as it should, and I managed to get the alert sent out only a little more than 5 minutes late.

After breathing a sigh of relief, and stopping for a cup of tea to calm my nerves, I got on with my weekly pharma industry update. Once I’d added the last of this week’s news, I sent it off to a couple of people in the client care team to check – as this alert goes to a client, everything needs to be perfect before I send it, so it’s good to get a second opinion from the lawyers in the team that actually work with the client.

Yesterday afternoon just before I left, I’d been allocated a couple of pieces of research that came in via the helpdesk. I came in this morning to a couple of emails from the market teams I support also asking for help on a few things, so suddenly my workload looked a lot heavier than it did yesterday! I spent half an hour phoning round the various people who’d asked for things, confirming requirements and deadlines so I could plan what to do when. All the deadlines seemed to be for early next week, so I decided I needed to spend the rest of the day working on these requests, to see what I could get out of the way early. I had hoped to carve out some time today to work on chartership stuff, but unfortunately that didn’t look like it was going to be an option! Will have to work on chartership stuff this weekend instead.

After updating my new tasks on SupportWorks, I went to finish off the property target profile I’d been working on all week. This was running at over 20 pages, so the first thing I had to do was read through the whole thing and see what could be condensed, summarised or cut out. Our lawyers don’t have that much time to spend reading through lengthy reports! I’d structured it so it should be easy to scan through and pick up individual sections of interest, but I still wanted it to be a bit more concise. I managed to cut a few pages out, then wrote a one-page executive summary to put in at the start, highlighting the key points of interest.

This took me up to lunchtime. Went out for lunch today with the rest of the IS team – headed to the Adelphi (which is lovely), for a fish finger sandwich. Yum! We don’t go out for lunch as a team that often, but it’s always good fun when we do.

Back to the office, I gave my property target report a final proof-read, then sent it off to the two partners who are investigating this target. Made a note in my calendar to get in contact with them at the end of next week to see how they’re getting on. Spent a bit of time answering some emails and tidying up my inbox, then got on with one of the pieces of research I’d been allocated last night. This looked like it would be fairly straightforward – just a company factsheet on a potential client. Unfortunately, they turned out to be a private company, operating in the Middle East and registered in the Cayman Islands, so there was next to no publicly available information on them! I spent an hour scraping up what information I could – not much, but I did find a couple of interesting bits and pieces that will hopefully be useful – and sent it off.

By this time I’d heard back about my pharma industry update – no changes to make, so I just had to format the email and send it off to the client. After I’d done that I only had about half an hour left to go. It didn’t seem worth starting anything big, so I spent my time reading through some current awareness emails and alerts that had come in through the day. Flagged a few to come back to on Monday, then headed off to the gym at the end of the day.

Vital statistics:

Cups of tea: 2

Emails left in inbox at end of day: 7

Items ticked off to-do list: 4


I’ve quite enjoyed doing Library Day in the Life this week – it’s been useful for me to articulate what exactly it is that I spend my time on! It hasn’t really been a typical week for me though – it’s been unusually quiet, actually. Normally, it would be unheard of for me to spend almost an entire week working on one company profile – I just don’t have the much time ordinarily! It is quite nice to be able to spend that much time on one project though, as it lets me complete the work to a much higher quality.

Hope this has been at least vaguely interesting for anyone reading! I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone else’s posts this week, great to see what librarians in other sectors do. Looking forward to the next round!

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