What Does a Librarian Do Anyway? (Logistically Speaking)

So this week a co-worker of mine asked me if a librarian REALLY needs more than a 45 minute planning period like most teachers get.

I nearly died.

I explained that there was a reason I’m in grad school for 2 YEARS learning how to be a librarian. There is a lot that librarians have to do besides just teach and shelve books and shush kids. (We actually don’t do much shushing.)  I tried to list some of the things from off the top of my head, but it is hard to think of it all on the fly. So I went to Facebook. I follow a page called Future Ready Secondary Librarians. (Thanks for your help ladies and gentlemen!) I asked for their help in listing all the things that librarians do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Even so, I am sure I miss many things that a school librarian does. (please add comments) Some things they suggested I removed because I know that our district has other people to do that. We have separate technology people, although they are both in the library office, so if our tech person is out fixing someone’s computer the librarian usually steps up and does what she can to help. Our librarian does all this without an aide and only 2 periods with a  student helper. We are hoping to have more student helpers next semester.

So here goes…

Book Care 

  • reading book reviews
  • collection development
  • Researching current collection
  • promote new books (display)
  • Straighten shelves
  • Read and review the latest popular books
  • preview new books
  • clean shelves
  • shelve books
  • catalog books
  • inventory
  • book repair
  • Research new books (age appropriateness)
  • Meet with vendors,
  • Process new books
  • Maintain catalog (new books)
  • Update Marc Records
  • Process holds and Inter-library Loans
  • Weeding outdated books
  • Ordering (deciding what to order & create PO which is a lengthy multi-step process)
  • Magazines, journals – purchase, process, and keep an eye on…(look through to ensure all is appropriate before putting out that issue)
  • Marketing Display- Bulletin Boards (Monthly focus, new books, etc)

Lesson Planning

  • plan battle of the books, book tastings, etc
  • manage reading incentive programs
  • attend PLC meetings
  • Attend planning meetings
  • make photocopies
  • plan book fairs
  • plan author visit
  • create lists of resources for specific topics
  • Plan makerspaces (hours of prep)
  • meet with teachers to plan what lessons they need
  • plan those lessons (citation, genre study, etc. )

Technology

  • website construction
  • help students or teachers with technology issues
  • Train teachers on new technologies
  • Create research pathways
  • Curate technology collections
  • Teaching yourself new technologies
  • Fix equipment

Administration

  • trend analysis
  • Prepare mailings and shipments
  • financial tracking
  • Run reports (I haven’t even learned all this yet)
  • Overdue book lists
  • collect money for lost books
  • meet with vendors
  • read professional articles
  • Manage the budget
  • Statistics
  • Scheduling

Teach Lessons

  • Teach (obviously)
  • prep for passive library programs
  • lead book club (afterschool)
  • Programming – Makerspaces, Parent events, Literature night, Bookmark Competition, etc.

Passive Checkout (keeping the library open for students to come to get books)

  • check out books
  • give book advice to students
  • Other circulation duties
  • reference interviews
  • Clean furniture
  • Communicate and work with fellow librarians

That is all I have for now. Please comment on what I’ve missed.

One thought on “What Does a Librarian Do Anyway? (Logistically Speaking)

  1. I don’t think I saw:
    Process holds and Interlibrary Loans
    Prepare mailings and shipments
    Communicate and work with fellow librarians
    Statistics
    Programming – Makerspaces, Parent events, Literature night, Bookmark Competition, etc.
    Scheduling
    Fix equipment
    Clean furniture (I know, but I have too)
    Magazines, journals – purchase, process, and keep an eye on…(look through to ensure all is appropriate before putting out that issue)
    Display-everywhere and for whatever reasons you choose (Monthly focus, new books, etc)
    Weed
    Straighten shelves
    There are more, just not time to list it right now!

    Liked by 1 person

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