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Life at the Library

Posted on: April 9, 2018

A Day at the Library: Kristin Jones, Park Grove Library

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Kristin Jones is a librarian at Park Grove Library in Cottage Grove. She’s been working for Washington County Library since 2008. Before becoming a librarian, Kristin worked as a clerk and an assistant librarian.  

It’s 9 a.m. on a Monday, and before I head out the door, my 3.5 year old suggests that I “check the calendar for a Paw Patrol book.” I tell him that I will be sure to check the catalog.

I start my day at 9:15 a.m. by cramming my stuff into my locker and saying good morning to Anne, our children’s librarian. I roll my trusty mini cart/desk-on-wheels to the Information Desk where I will be available for patrons until noon.

Kristin Jones at the Park Grove Library Information DeskI begin by logging into the computer, check the meeting room schedule to see when it’s booked, and start checking my emails. A couple emails catch my eye right away… I need to update the calendar handouts – we’re adding a class about Google Documents in April, and I Love Board Games!, a game night for adults, will be held in the common area in May. I’m excited to see that we were able to book an art program for adults in August!

It’s 9:30 a.m. and we’re officially open! Patrons begin trickling in.

One of our regular patrons waves as she heads to the computers. I suspect she’ll be in and out a couple times today. Occasionally, she brings us cupcakes on the weekend and I think I spotted some carrot cupcakes in the break room. That is so sweet of her (pun totally intended)!  I add “eat cupcake” to my mental to-do list. 

A mom and her two kids stop at the desk to tell me they found the hidden gorilla in the kids’ space. I let them pick out a sticker or a stamp for their detective efforts. They’re also looking for Franklin books, so we request a few from another library. Mom strikes up a conversation about our new future building and asks when that will begin (2019!). I let her know that the library will be holding new building project meetings for the community and invite her to attend.

A woman stops by the desk looking for the newest Ellen Hart book that she read about in the newspaper over the weekend. I find that A Whisper of Bones is Hart’s most current book, so we put in a request. I also grab a couple Hart books off of our Minnesota Fiction display, and the woman leaves with one of them.

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Toddler Storytime, led by Anne, will begin at 10:30 a.m., so the kids’ space is buzzing with caregivers and kiddos. On the other side of the library, a woman is making photocopies, a few people are using the computers, and a patron has settled into our small meeting room/quiet space for a lengthy day of studying.

By 11 a.m. I have helped someone scan their documents from our copy machine, requested some titles from another library system through MnLink, and answered questions about adding a book to the collection, finding tax forms, registering for an upcoming event, cancelling a hold request, and volunteering opportunities. 

At 12 p.m. Jessi, our library supervisor, comes out to the desk to relieve me of my post. I push my desk/cart to a workstation in the back and log into a computer to finish replying to a couple of emails before heading to lunch. A visit to the grocery store is in order since I failed to pack a lunch for today and I have no idea what we’re having for dinner tonight. 

Work Station and mini cartIt’s 1:30 p.m. and I reflect on that tasty salad I made at the salad bar. Is it still considered a salad if non-salad items like cheese and candied pecans greatly outweigh the greens? We’ll go with YES, because I don’t have time to research that very valid reference question this afternoon. After daydreaming about the salad, I finish updating my 2018 goals for my upcoming personal evaluation and send them to Jessi.

As the planner/instructor for Let’s Make Stuff, a monthly creative class for adults, I have an ongoing list of duties that usually need attention. Today, I need to finish putting together the supply request for April’s class in which we will make keychains from hand-dyed wood beads.  

While shopping for supplies online (usually from Amazon), I try to keep in mind quantities, cost, and audience appeal. What colors of dye should I purchase? Are they less expensive elsewhere? Should we just use round beads or get the polygon wood beads? I go for the polygons beads. 

Once the supply request is finished up, I send it to Jessi to start the chain of approval and ordering. I’ll be looking forward to receiving this package of supplies and plan to make a sample keychain once they arrive. Now that the supply request has been sent, I will be able to focus on May’s project – Suncatchers!

At 4 p.m., I head back out to the Information Desk for the last part of my day. I help print more calendar handouts and computer guest passes, and replenish the Minnesota Fiction book display. I also need to have a quick conversation with our lively youth patrons regarding noise level and respecting each other’s space.

At 5:45 p.m. it’s time to call it a day – this one really flew by! I enjoy the variety of projects and social interactions that each day presents, and today did not disappoint. I log off the computer, grab my bag and coat, grab two (yes, I found two!) Paw Patrol books and say farewell.

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