So, today was the first day of work (since becoming a librarian) that one of my family members or non-library friends would have looked at what I’d been doing and recognized it as library work. Interestingly, it was also the first day of work (since becoming a librarian) that I really felt like I wasn’t being my typical librarian self, and maybe felt a little like I wouldn’t want to do this particular task day in and day out.
What were we doing, you might ask? I’ll show you!
As you know, I don’t normally talk about details from work here, but I am in this case for two reasons.
(1) Roz has managed this massive project and made it easy for us to come in and do the moving quickly. I can’t imagine the amount of work she put into preparing for this.
(2) I found it interesting that this type of work was such a challenge for me. I realize that this type of work used to be much more common in physical inventories, and I know that the people in technical services have to pay a lot of attention to these types of details, but it was a real challenge for me! Every time I organized a stack of journals, I’d have to double check them to make sure I didn’t transpose numbers and get them out of order. I checked and double checked publication dates to make sure that I didn’t reverse them. I felt like I was moving in slow motion compared to my “normal” work. I’m blaming it on being a systems thinker. And this experience, I think, was healthy. It makes me appreciate my main responsibilities (as if I don’t already love learning about new tech, working with students and faculty, teaching, and getting to buy materials) as well as reflect on how much libraries have changed.
The best part? At the end of the day there was a physical thing to look at, that you can point at and say, “that’s what we did today.” For a job that is often intangible, that can be a fun reward.