Day in the Life of a Librarian Collage1


Last week, I posted the first half of my day in an attempt to answer the age-old question: "What does a librarian do all day?" The day in question is April 20, 2016; we pick up shortly after my lunch break. 


  • After lunch, I took the materials I’d purchased at Deseret Book to our Tech Services department. They do all of the processing; putting the item on the catalog, giving it all of its stamps and stickers, and all of the other details that go into getting library materials ready for patrons to check out.
  • I updated my Excel spreadsheet tracking all of the books I’ve purchased for the LDS Fiction collection.


  • I got caught up on a few emails.
  • I updated my list of what I need to buy at Deseret Book the next time I go shopping. Some of the books I wanted to buy were not available quite yet.
  • I checked my library account and picked up my holds that were ready for me to take home.
  • I ran into a former co-worker from when I worked at the BYU Library (almost 8 years ago!) and talked with her for a few minutes.
  • I worked on scheduling Summer Reading visits with the middle and high schools in Provo.


  • I went out to the 1st floor reference desk for my last 2 hours of the day. When I come to the desk I always like to straighten it a little bit, putting the stapler and scratch paper holders back where they are easily reached by patrons and librarians alike.
  • I sent a book I’d placed on hold to Tech Services to be re-labeled. It needed the series information added to the spine label.
  • I shelved a Spanish Magazine that had wandered up to the 2nd floor earlier that morning.
  • I am the Serials team leader and have a team of 3 to process the magazines for the library. We check it in on the library catalog, give it the barcode and stickers needed, and then Tech Services adds the RFID tags, stamps, and tape needed before the magazine can go on the shelf. Carla and Erika recently did a blog post all about magazines. If you missed it, check it out here.
  • I had a big pile of magazines today, so it took a while to get through all of them! Of course, my main focus while at the reference desk is answers patrons questions, so that trumps whatever work I’ve brought to the desk with me.
  • When a patron asked about local bookstores, I pointed her in the direction of our Used Book Store and also gave her directions to Pioneer Book on Center Street in Provo.
  • I helped a patron submit a purchase suggestion.
  • I gave a patron a pair of scissors when he asked to borrow them for a moment.
  • I explained Freegal to a patron who saw the poster at our desk. I like to think of Freegal like the better version of iTunes; you get to keep the music you download forever, but you don’t have to pay for the download! You can download 3 songs per week and stream 3 hours of advertisement free music per day.
  • I helped several patrons make reservations for Book Club Sets and pulled a set from storage for a patron.
  • I signed up multiple groups for a study room and signed other groups out when their time was up.
  • I answered a phone call from a patron asking about checking out a Chromebook. We have 20 Chromebooks and they check out for 1 week. They are pretty popular, so you likely will need to place a hold for these.
  • I looked in the circulation room for a few items that had recently returned. The turnaround time for shelving items is pretty quick, but sometimes our patrons are even faster in looking for items that have been checked in!
  • I helped several patrons find their holds on our hold shelves.


  • I kept working on processing the magazines and checked my email once more for the day.
  • I helped a young patron find her mom. Sometimes parents get lost in the library!
  • One of our wonderful volunteers came in to help with a project so I got her started on the task.
  • I placed a book on hold for a patron, looked for some movies in the back room, and placed a few more holds.
  • I made another study room reservation. I answered a question about where to return books and how to pay a late fine.
  • I helped several patrons print from our computers.


  • Time to go home!

Provo Library Blog

Your daily stop for recommendations, reviews, and random facts about the Provo City Library. Look for new content every week day. 

Blog Contributors

Other Blogs

Library Staff Reviews 

Children's Book Reviews