Another day in the life of a librarian

As I’ve said before, when something comes up twice in a short period of time, it’s appropriate to take notice of what the universe would like me to learn. Not sure what this one means, but it’s worth recording. This post also comes under the “never a typical day” category (wait, I don’t have that category — yet).

I’ve been here 8 months, and throughout this time we have not had enough technology staffing. There have been days when there are no scheduled technology staff and nothing has gone down (yeah!). In truth, I’ve been comforting that little worry in the back of my mind with the knowledge that I can hopefully handle anything, drawing on my past experience as an automation librarian.

So, last Friday when Pine City called and said their Internet was down and our PC guy was off, I looked around and discovered that the closest help at hand was at the end of my own arm. I hopped in the van and headed north and fairly quickly had them connecting to the Internet. I congratulated myself and was back in the office in just over an hour.

Today, when a similar help-desk call came in, this time from Wyoming, I had exactly the same help available (0). I was beginning to feel a little spooked. In my first 8 months I’ve not had any “Internet down” calls, and now I have 2 in less than a week. So, again I hop in the same van, head out on the same highway, but this time headed south. This time the problem was not so quickly apparent, but I wiggled and jiggled, and reset connections, and powered down and powered back up. And voila — all is well.

So, I’m feeling quite thankful that I’ve brought a wide range of experiences to draw on, and maybe the lesson of the universe is not to let any of my skills get rusty.

Oh yeah, the other part of this post is how atypical any day in this career field can be. While my raison d’etre is to provide leadership, I am often surprised by what I end up doing when I’m planning on doing something else. Besides being a de facto geek twice in the last week, on Saturday I got a crack at being the Bookmobile driver. What a gratifying experience — to bring the world of the library rolling down the street to a town full of waiting patrons. I wrote about this humbling experience on the library blog. And to memorialize that first Bookmobile trip – a photo:
Bookmobile in Onamia

Thank you Peace Officers

Today is Peace Officers’ Memorial Day as proclaimed by President George W. Bush*. May 11-17 is Police Week. 181 peace officers made the ultimate sacrifice in 2007, an increase of 20% over 2006 and one of the highest fatality figures in recent years.

Librarians are particularly thankful for the services provided by our local heroes. Because our business is to guarantee access and serve anyone who walks through the library doors, many of us have had the experience of feeling vulnerable or threatened at times. Standing instruction to all my library staff is . . . when in fear or doubt call the police. And they are always right there to stand between the library staff and possible danger.

Recently I had occasion to dial that police number when an individual was causing a problem outside the library’s front door and inhibiting entrances. It was a busy night for the city cops and evidently for the county deputies. Imagine my surprise when a Minnesota state trooper walked in to help us out. When I thanked him, he said they’re always ready to back each other up. Wow!

Thank you, Peace Officers from libraries.

Officer Down Memorial Page
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

*authorized by a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended (76 Stat. 676), and by Public Law 103-322, as amended (36 U.S.C. 136-137)