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Mr. Mustache, another librarian blog

I am a reference librarian with experience in both the public and state government fields. I am doing this on a whim, sort of like the mustache I grew when I was 19 and still have in my 50's.

Location: New Jersey, United States

I am a state worker and a librarian.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The beginning of the day

When I was a Freshman at Rutgers, sometimes the instructors would come in late. The students sometimes wondered when they could safely leave the classroom. I was told that it depended on the status of the instructor. You gave a TA five minutes, an assistant professor ten minutes and a full professor fifteen minutes before bolting for the door.

In the library world a similar order of appearance is maintained as people congregate inside of and outside of a public library. The patrons who want to use the Internet are there twenty minutes before you open the door. The older patrons who want to check their stocks in the newspapers are there ten minutes before you open. At five minutes before opening, the volunteers arrive. If they are lucky they will be rescued from the hordes by the custodian who will allow them to pass through the door, like a celebrity at a hip nightclub. The paraprofessionals arrive at the circulation desk at two minutes before the library opens.

Junior professional staff arrive five minutes after the library opens. They rush to their office and take off their coats. Now they are at the Reference desk. Since the library has been opened for five minutes, there is a queue of patrons who want to use the Internet or do a reserve. The senior professional staff arrives at about ten minutes after the library opens. Department heads get in by twenty minutes after the library opens. The director comes in about half an hour after the library opens.

This system works well all around. The secret is to get to the library and have your coat off when your supervisor arrives. That way it looks like you got there on time even if you didn’t. Always be nice to the paraprofessionals at the circulation and periodicals desk. They carry the secret of who came in late with them and that little smile they greet you with when you come in betrays their knowledge of your little tricks. The people who were there before you and got other jobs did the same thing.


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