Do you ever wonder what goes on at the library all day and night? Sure you can see students busy working around the clock. But what else is going on? What is happening behind the scenes to keep lights on, computers humming, and all those other things that have to happen to keep the library ready for all you industrious scholars?
We will start bright and early on our peek behind the scenes. At 5:30 A.M. our facilities support unit manager arrives. She checks with the guards to gather reports about what happened overnight, checks the nightly report from the evening supervisor, then does a circuit of cleaning out the day use lockers. She checks the facilities to make sure lights and HVAC are working, no alarms went off that were not addressed, checks to ensure that areas that are alarmed are still safe and sound, and generally makes sure that all is right with the building. She also checks with the evening shift of custodians who have been busy cleaning the building overnight, everything from vacuuming, to washing desks, to cleaning carpets.
By 7:30 A.M. Circulation staff start arriving. They check all the drop boxes and check in returned books. They take any lost and found items that were left overnight to Library Facilities and Support Services (valuable items go to Campus Security). Circulation staff are also busy getting set up for the day by running reports that notify patrons of overdue material coming due, hold requests ready for pickup, and the dreaded overdue notice. They also run the pull reports – those items you ask us to pull so you can pick them up or have them delivered to you through Eisenhower Express. We usually have 100-300 items to pull each day. The expired hold shelf is cleared and reports for lost and missing items are dealt with. The staff also reconcile billing and check the updated patron records. Lots of stuff to do to get ready for another busy day.
By 8:00 A.M. the rest of the library staff start trickling in and, for most of the staff, the day begins. Usually, there are not too many students around at this time of the day, but we see the regulars as we get our coffee and do our morning routines. Every morning you can see staff clearing formulas, chemical structures, requests for dates, and what not off the idea walls in the BLC, moving chairs and tables back to their proper places, and picking up things left behind after a long, hard night of studying. Stacks managers are busy reshelving books.
By 9:00 A.M. life in the Library starts to pick up and it is almost in full swing. More staff have arrived, the Circulation desk has been open for an hour, the Information Desk students arrive and open, the AV desk is opening, the Commercial Binding Office is open and ready to take your masterpiece dissertations.
From 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. the library is humming along. Homewood House Museum and the Evergreen Museum and Library opened at 11:00. Librarians are teaching classes (we teach over 300 classes a year). Instructional technologists from the CER are meeting with faculty to discuss digital course enhancements, managing the Technology Fellowship Program, collaborating with faculty on grant projects, and offering structured opportunities for faculty to learn about cutting edge educational innovations.
Stay tuned to learn what happens throughout the rest of the day!