Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ask a Librarian: What's the First Week of Classes Like?

A lot of people ask me if my schedule and routine changes much during the summer compared with the fall. The answer for me is yes, but not for the reasons they assume. They seem to think the summer is this relaxing time, where I have the chance to recharge and approach the school year fresh. In actuality, the summer is usually my busiest time--mainly because I'm scrambling around trying to update and upgrade all the technology before classes start. For me, it's a relief when fall comes, because that means that I'm done with the upgrading, for better or worse.

Of course, if you asked my coworkers down in Access Services (where books get checked out) which is busier, I think you'd get a much different answer, as they scramble around trying to give out new bar codes and teach students how to use the library correctly. And in reference, things really kick up around the middle and end of each semester, as research papers come due. In acquisitions, April and May go crazy, as everyone tries to order books at once, before budgets disappear.

So the answer would be, "It depends." Many people just don't realize how many different things go on in a library, and how workload varies widely, depending on the task at hand. Even in a small academic library such as Mantor, we all have to specialize to make sure things run smoothly.

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