My Library Day in the Life: 2011

The Library Day in the Life of Daniel Messer aka Bibrarian…

Sometimes known as Cyberpunk Librarian.

Occasionally referred to as that motherf#%!ing son of a &!%@$.

05:00 – Woke up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy. No wait, no that’s not right. I can’t do it. Making fun of Ke$ha is like making fun of a clown… who is also making fun of Ke$ha. It’s like, double redundancy or something. Anyway, I wake up at five almost every morning. When I have to work, I’m an early riser. I don’t mind that and, besides, getting up early gives me time to eat a leisurely breakfast, take my time while browsing my webcomics, and catch up on Google+ and what not. I hate hurrying, and I especially hate rushing around in the morning.

So I ate Corn Pops and flipped through stuff on my Droid X.

05:50 – Finally worked up the gumption to go make myself some coffee. I have the greatest coffee maker in the world. See, it’s got this little tiny area that you have to pour the water into and, as you do that, the water pours down the side of the coffee pot and it gets all over the counter and usually winds up on the floor. You have to fill it twice really, because you need to go back a second time to get more water to replace the stuff that spilled.

Oh did I say I have the greatest coffee maker in the world? I was freaking lying like a politician in the midst of a teenage sex scandal. I’d shoot it, but there are laws against discharging firearms in the city.

06:00 – My wife wanders downstairs and I say “Good morning, sweetie!” But, in deference to a few million years of evolution, I didn’t try to groom her. I went upstairs a few minutes later, did some bloggish type stuff for a few minutes and started the shower. I grabbed my clothes and laid them out. In the book Pattern Recognition by William Gibson, the main character wears the same kind of outfit every day. Her name is Cayce Pollard and her friend calls her standard clothing style “CPUs” or Cayce Pollard Units. I have a DMU which consists of cargo pants (usually tan, sometimes black), a single colour t-shirt, and sandals. My only jewelry is my wedding ring and a bi pride anklet and bracelet, both of which I made.

I launched Spotify on my Tabatha and fired up the Messer Chups. (Tabatha is my laptop computer. Messer Chups, formerly known as Messer fur Frau Muller, are a sort of off kilter surf rock band from Russia. They’re amazing.)

Before

06:02 – Hopped in the shower. Need to shave my head and face today because both are getting scraggly. As a barefoot runner who happens to do most of his running in Arizona (since that’s where I live), I really don’t like having hair on my head. The air cools me far better without it. So today’s shower took a little longer because, if you’ve seen the size of my skull (Roughly the same proportions to my body as Hello Kitty’s skull is to hers.) then you know it’s going to take some time to shave it.

After

6:20 – Out of the shower and dressing. The Best Girl in the USSR is playing on Spotify. I love that song so I turn it up. I surf around Reddit for a while and then start packing up my stuff. I’m a nerd, and I work in a library. I rarely leave the house with fewer that two books. Along with that, I usually take Tabatha. Finally, at…

07:25 – I leave the house, hop in the car, flip on NPR and drive to work.

07:35 – Flip off NPR because political scum pisses me off. Finish the drive in silence.

07:45 – Arrive at the library, park, and get my stuff out of the car. I head inside, scanning my ID card to get me in the building. It’s quiet, almost like a library. But then again, we’re not open yet. As I wander in it dawns on me, my boss is on vacation and the Adult Services Supervisor is still recovering from surgery. I’m the branch manager. Huh, go me.

07:50 – There are 19 damn pages of requests to pull. Jeez. Even for a Monday that’s a lot. Oh and look, the outside book drop is overflowing. Time to get busy. I’m in check in, so I start feeding our self check in and sorting machine while a Page tidies up the check in room and starts emptying the bins.

08:00 – Page goes to get the outside bin and it’s going to take a few minutes, so I sit down and check out Google+. I’d posted a video on there about how planets would look if the Earth orbited them at the same distance as the moon. It garnered some discussion and it occurred to me that, if the Earth orbited Jupiter, it might be within the Roche limit and be destroyed by gravitation tides. So I pull out my TI-89, and flip through a quick calculation after looking up the densities of the two planets. Nope, the Earth would be safe from the Roche limit at the moon’s distance. (Yes, I carry around a scientific graphic calculator, usually in the same bag as Tabatha. It comes in handy more often than you might think.)

(If you’re interested, the Roche limit of a Jupiter/Earth system would be 54,740 km assuming that Jupiter is the primary… because Jupiter would be the primary.)

The Jovian radiation would be an entirely other matter.

08:45 – Most of the items from the outside drop are checked in. Just going through clean up and setting up route outs and requests for processing. Off to my desk!

09:00 – Paid the water bill for our water cooler.

09:15 – Fired up interlibrary loan stuff. I want to get this done and out of the way and, if I need to ship, I want to get it ready before our courier picks up.

09:30 – A co-worker pops in from the Check In Room. “Did you know that no one is scheduled on check in this hour?” No, of course I don’t. Go back to check in.

10:00 – Handled check in like a boss. Everything done, cleaned, emptied, processed, and ready for the next person. I need some Arizona iced tea from the vending machine.

10:03 – WHEN DID THEY STOP PUTTING ICED TEA IN THE VENDING MACHINE?! SON OF A…

10:05 – Consoling myself with Diet Coke.

10:30 – Finished up a post about our library podcast and posted it to our new podcast website. It’s all about our upcoming shows. Oh, I should probably tell the staff that the new site is up and (mostly) live.

10:45 – Send out the email telling the staff that the new site is up and (mostly) live.

11:00 – And now, the beginning of a two hour front desk shift. The courier shows up soon after and we get our first cart of requests to process. Looks like we’ll have about four or five carts of requests. No worries, there are three people at the desk and we’ll handle them.

11:05 – 12:00 – Processing requests and getting them ready to shelve on the public request pick shelves. Helping various people with their various library needs and wants.

12:05 – Oh look… The little toilet in the family restroom is clogged. I go get the plunger from the janitor’s closet and get it fixed up to where it’ll flush, but not well. Need to check on that later.

(Yes, I’ll fix toilets. In my time at this branch alone I’ve fixed toilets, cleaned bathrooms, removed human waste, cleaned up vomit, and more. My father cleaned public libraries for over 25 years. You show me something that disgusts me, and I’ll give you a medal. Also, anyone who says that this isn’t my job is obviously deluded to how the world actually functions.)

12:45 – Fifteen minutes to lunch time and a beloved patron comes in to get some scratch paper. Why does he need scratch paper? Because as he was backing out of a parking space, he hit the car next to him. I feel so damn bad for him. He’s a wonderful gentleman and he’s doing the right thing. At least no one is hurt.

13:00 – Backed up toilets, car accidents, and a couple of persnickety patrons. I may have a ham sandwich in the fridge in the staff room, but I gotta get outta here. Besides, I want French fries. Thankfully, there’s a McDonald’s across the parking lot and down the street just a bit.

13:05 – Walked to McDonalds and ordered food. Brought along two books, Zen Speaks by Cai Zhizhong and a book on digital filmmaking. I wind up reading (and finishing the rest of) Zen Speaks. Seriously, if you’re into Chinese thought, history, and philosophy – get your hands on some books by Cai Zhizhong. They’re comics about those various subjects and they’re absolutely delightful!

13:45 – Back to the library early. Updated and edited an advertising image for our new podcast site. People may trash the GIMP (and god knows I’m one of them) but last time I used Photoshop, I was probably getting $89 worth of a $600+ bit of software. I’m a digital artist and really, the GIMP does what I need it to do. It also costs less, as in it’s free. So now I get $89 worth of a free programme. It works out pretty well. Sent the image to our web mistress who will put it on the big screen TVs in our branches. We use those to advertise various things and they work pretty well for that. They’re eye catching and they’re placed where customers can easily see them, so they get the word out on various library activities and new materials.

14:00 – 15:00 – Working on ILL stuff. Nothing much to say here, just TCB.

15:00 – Out to the desk for a final two hours. Hopefully this time will be more sedate than this morning.

15:15 – Ah yes, this is much better.

15:35 – Got some change for a parent so they could get their kiddo a snack from the machine. It wasn’t taking dollar bills, and she didn’t have enough change for a dollar, so I kicked in twenty cents. She was very thankful and that’s nice and everything. Me, I will make twenty cents again reasonably quickly, so it’s no big deal. She has a happy kid and I have a happy customer. Well worth twenty cents.

16:15 – Occasionally we have to school a newly minted adult (their birthday was yesterday) that, if you want things from government agencies, like libraries, you have to prove who you are and where you live. Bring proof or we can’t do much to get you a card.

16:51 – OOOooooookay… so my barcode scanner just scanned three barcodes 0844, 7244, and 0844. Problem is, there’s nothing around it to scan. That was bizarre.

17:00 – Off the desk. Time to count my money, make sure everything balances, and get out of here. Not going home straight away. My wife is picking me up so we can attend my little girl’s preschool open house!

2 comments

  1. Dan being the geeky nerd you are, why don’t you get a scientific calculator app for your phone? One less battery object to deal with.

    No tea? Now that’s barbaric.

    Oh and those freaky ghost scans from barcodes were porbably Elvis checking out some CD’s. He’s way into music you know.

  2. Oh, sir…

    It’s very simple. I can get an app for the iPad that will make it act like a piano and I can play chords and notes and even record a song or two.

    That app doesn’t even come close to making the iPad into a Baldwin grand piano. 🙂

    Sure, I have a scientific calculator app for my phone, because the standard calculator app leaves something to be desired. However, there’s just something that so right about working complex equations on a TI-89!

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