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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

A Day in the Life of a Library Director

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, June 07, 2009

“A day in the life of a library director” will probably not be the subject of a movie.

 

Someone asked me what I did all day, and it was difficult to provide a clear answer.

 

Of course, as a librarian, I had to research the question to provide an answer, so here are things that I recorded for a day on the job.

 

At the Main Library, we just finished renovating the front porch floor, and that took planning, coordinating, and decision-making.

 

The job changed the step at the door threshold, got rid of the slippery red tile from the 1970s, and eliminated a growing crack in the porch surface.

 

One sidewalk was also replaced, eliminating the two steps at the side of the library with a small ramp.

 

While this does not make the Main Library accessible, it does eliminate the new to hand carry the lawn mower and snow blower up to the terrace.

 

I received approval that day for the library’s new Technology Plan from the State Library of Ohio, a requirement for E-Rate funds.

 

That plan must be developed and sent for approval every two years.

 

The new server at our computer center is operational, and I spent time checking to see that parameters and instructions were correct for the upgrade.

 

Two books were returned in the library book drop that day; they belonged to a Pittsburgh area library and were due back to the library in 1982.

 

Later, one of our books lost in 1988 found its way home.

 

If you haven’t finished reading a book in 21 years, you aren’t likely to ever finish reading it.

 

I handled several damaged library items.  We average about 800 items a year that are chewed by a dog, dropped in the bathtub, or slipped into a mud puddle.

 

If you returned the destroyed item, regardless of its condition, we will give you a discount on paying for the item.

 

Most people are really upset when they damage a library book, and we try to be accommodating.

 

In the mail, I received the newsletter from the “Sooner State Theater Organ Society,” as I had provided them information about the former Capitol Theater and its pipe organ, now owned by that Tulsa group.

 

The newsletter told of several upcoming events featuring the organ in concert with silent movies, its original purpose in our local theater.

 

In one day, I had five calls from sales people trying to sell the library books and a variety of “stuff.”

 

With the economy, everyone is trying to sell anything.  My e-mail had three times as many promotions for new books of every description and detail.

 

The bulk of my afternoon was spent reviewing contracts for circuits to provide Internet access for our library system.

 

We are part of the State Telecommunications Network through the Ohio Public Library Information Network, and contracts come due July 1.

 

Intermixed with the day were calls from branches, and a couple of staff coming to my office with those “Guess what” issues and questions.

 

And that’s what I enjoy about my job; every day is different, every day is challenging, and every day we provide library service to the public.