A Day at the Library

Circulation staff are kept busy answering questions about library services and policies, troubleshooting computer and printing problems, and directing patrons to various resources in the library and across campus. In addition to the full-time library staff, it takes a team of 30 circulation students to keep the library running smoothly!  We’ve asked some of our circulation staff and student workers what an average work day would be like for them.

Opening (by Charity Braceros-Simon)
Circulation students arrive 15 minutes before the library officially opens. We go through the building to turn on the computers, printers and other equipment so that they are ready for patrons to use. We also go through and make sure that supplies such as paper and staples are stocked. All of the materials that have been placed in the book drop overnight are checked in and sorted for reshelving. Finally, the bulk of the morning is spent processing Summit materials. We check in and sort all of the MOHL items that are being returned to us. We also receive the materials that Willamette students and faculty have requested from other libraries and place them on the hold shelf for check out.

Weekends (by Karla Gutierrez Hernandez)
On Friday and Saturday, there are often only a few students using the library. It is mostly quiet on both floors, but walking around to take a headcount encourages student workers to check and see if anything needs to be shelved or cleaned. It is also when we check for any issues with security or equipment. Weekend shifts are a good time to catch up on any shelf reading, organize our work space at the circulation desk, and restock our office supplies. Student managers inform student assistants if there are any special projects that need to be completed, such as taking down or putting up new displays. Making these shifts enjoyable and productive is all about finding balance by dividing the tasks among staff and allowing some down time.

Closing (by Shannon Lee)
Working the closing shift at the Mark O. Hatfield Library is a very similar process to tucking a child into bed. First, we send home all of the library’s friends with the promise that they may come back tomorrow for more learning and fun. Next, though we don’t use toothbrushes, we help the library stay clean by clearing the whiteboards and picking up any stray books. We then tuck the library into bed, pushing in the chairs and making sure there is no garbage around to give the library nightmares. One simply cannot forget to read the library an exciting bedtime story about taking the final gate count and unlocking the book drop. Finally, we turn off the lights, lock the doors, and say a soft goodnight to our dearest library.