Day in the Life of a Librarian Collage1

Have you ever wondered what librarians do all day? Well here is an inside look at what I do day to day. Working with the public ensures that no two days are alike and that’s one of the things I like best about being a librarian. So while there is no “typical” day, this represents what an average day looks like for me. The day in question was April 20, 2016; this post will be posted in two parts, so be sure to check back next week to see how I spent the rest of my day!

(Pssst….notice that I didn’t get paid to sit and read quietly at any point during the day!)


  • I went to the Wellness Screening for Provo City Employees held at the Rec Center. I had my BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol checked. I’m healthy, yay!
  • I opened the 2nd floor desk by turning on the lights, counting the money into the cash register, and checking in and shelving the daily newspapers.  I re-shelved some of the current magazines that had been read yesterday, put some review journals in my co-workers mailboxes so they can select books to be purchased for the library, logged into the computers at the reference desk, and turned on the copy machine.


  • I made sure we had enough paper in the copy machine and our printers, straightened up the reference desk, logged into Mosio(the program we use to answer your questions when you click on “Ask a Librarian” button on our website), stocked the scratch paper holders at the catalog stations and helped a co-worker locate a flyer for an upcoming program.
  • I helped a patron on the phone who asked about a book on Yellowstone.
  • I put a book on display in the Oversize area, checked my email, and chatted with a few of our regular patrons.
  • I worked on adding some series information to our website.


  • I put new phone lists at the desk and worked on magazine claims and deletions.
  • A patron asked at the desk about Steve Jobs’ biography on CD. I directed him to the Book on CD area on the 1st floor.
  • A patron asked if we had a vending machine at the library…the answer is no.
  • I did a walkthrough of the 2nd floor picking up stray papers and books and straightened a few bookshelves.
  • I helped a co-worker get some colored paper for some signs she is making in the Children’s area.
  • I answered a question about our lab instruction time.
  • I helped a patron submit an Interlibrary Loan request and answered a question she had about items she had placed on hold.


  • I chatted with my boss Carla about a few questions I had regarding magazines and such.
  • I went to our Administrative offices to pick up the Sam’s Club card so I could run a few errands for the library.
  • I stopped at Sam’s Club to purchase candy for our upcoming school visits to promote the Summer Reading Program.
  • I picked up a framed picture from Michaels Craft Store that will be given to a librarian who has recently retired.


  • I went to Deseret Book to buy books and a book on CD to add to our collection. Most of the materials we purchase for the library come from a library vendor, Baker and Taylor. However, some things aren’t available through that resource. I purchase for the LDS Fiction collection and most of what I get for that collection comes from Deseret Book and other local publishers.
  • After I returned from my shopping expedition, I copied and turned in the receipts for the items I’d just purchased.
  • I straightened the Teen Book Display on the 1st floor. This month in celebration of National Poetry Month, it is filled with novels written in verse.

And that takes me to lunch! Look forward to part two to see how I spent the rest of my day! Did anything surprise you about my day so far? Is this what your mental picture of a librarian’s day looks like? I’d love to hear in the comments what you thought librarians did every day before reading this post and if your perspective has changed.

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