Anyone who has worked in a library will know that one of the most frustrating things is telling people what you do for a living, and hearing the response “I bet you sit around reading books all day.” Uh, no. Chris and I spent some time the other day making ourselves giggle by coming up with alternatives – “Oh, you work in a bar, do you just get drunk all day?” I mean, sure, we’d love to sit around reading all day but we’re far too busy being counsellors, advisors, IT troubleshooters, storytellers, homework helpers, problem solvers, researchers and just general all round helpful people providing information, advice and guidance. There’s always something going on; knit & natter groups, storytime, computers classes, health drop-ins, social groups, reading groups. Not to mention all the people who come just because it’s a free and safe place to sit.
So here’s what my week has been like so far.
Monday we held a Wellbeing in Later Life drop-in, for elderly people to find out about organisations in the local area that can help them to be independent for longer in later life. Now I’m not an events planner, but I took up the task of making this happen – I invited all the organisations and planned the day, and my colleague sorted the publicity and helped me to man our library stall. We had a good number of organisations there including Age UK, local volunteering schemes and the council Wellbeing team. The Fire Service were also in attendance, signing people up for free smoke detector fittings and checks (cue lots of excitement as they rushed out on a call halfway through.) Then later on, while covering the late evening, we had an incident with a very drunk and distressed customer, cue the other two emergency services. I’ll admit it was the first time I’ve called an ambulance at work but it definitely wasn’t the first time I’ve needed to call the police. Nor will it be the last I’m sure.
Tuesday was scary. I had to stand in front of a lecture theatre and train some of my colleagues in the Public Library Universal Information Offer – totally out of my comfort zone. Actually it wasn’t that bad, and my hands had even stopped shaking after the first ten minutes. I did the first session of the day, so was able to relax a little bit after that.
Wednesday I met with our Facilities boss to do the annual Fire Risk Assessment for all three buildings, and for her to check all my Health & Safety paperwork was in order.
Thursday I interviewed a potential volunteer and then covered the Summer Reading Game for a couple of hours (so cute).
And finally, Friday I had a whole day to catch up in my office, no interruptions, to wade through the week’s worth of emails. So I was able to swan off for a weekend away after a solid day of ticking things off my to do list. Hooray!
On a different note, I’ve ticked off another two tasks on my 101 list this week – organising an event for work and completing my month long snooze ban successfully. So I’m of to congratulate myself with a weekend of family, beer festival, Sunday roast and friends.