A Week in the Life of a Librarian

I often get asked by people if they should become a librarian. I literally have no idea if that risk (grad school and the subsequent leaving the workforce, taking on student debt etc) is right for everyone. I then offered to write down what a week in my life is like as a librarian. My title is Adult Services Supervisor at a city with about 45,000 people in Texas that is growing rapidly, as many cities in Texas are. There are ten full-time employees where I work, with four degreed librarians.

My position is a combination of regular adult services librarian and Circ supervisor. I am responsible for purchasing all Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction, Spanish, DVDs, and audiobooks as well as programming for Adults. In addition, I have spearheaded many new publicity initiatives such as creating a monthly calendar and newsletter and consistently posting to social media (facebook and instagram) as well as running ads for our programming. I am in charge of adult volunteers, but we have not had a ton since the pandemic (I was hired in Nov. 2020 for a librarian that was retiring.).

(note-since library positions are typically serving the public, we will often have hours outside of the normal 9-5 days, unless you are Admin or Tech Services. My library is open Mon-Sat and we rotate. We have two groups and they switch working Saturdays and one “late” night (8pm), so the week we work Saturday, we have another day that week off. I have every other Monday off so my schedule will be Monday – through Friday one week, and Tuesday through Saturday the next, giving me a three-day weekend and a one-day weekend)

This is a bit more stream of conscious than I originally thought it would be


Come in at 9AM grab coffee and print off the late notices (these are items that are a week, two weeks or three weeks late, we print a notice that we send via snail mail to patrons, I call people that are on their final notice)

Search for the new late notices that only have one item get those ready to go out in the mail as we open the door and talk to staff about our weekends. call people who are on their final late notice (3 weeks late) and ask them personally to bring in items

go to the back and make my to-do list for the day

Spent about an hour creating slides for a presentation I have to give about the library next week to a local group while my boss is out of town

spend 45 minutes driving around town putting up flyers for September programs (most likely Starbucks will not put it up on their community board only filled with Starbucks news, I have only seen something not Starbucks related once, and it was Shen Yun iykyk)

took a break and ate pipcorn and watched tiktoks

I have desk time for an hour before lunch; answered some computer questions, helped teach some people to print and issued three library cards

LUNCH at 2 – go home (four-minute commute) play with my pup, watch jeopardy, meditate

back from lunch – Pomodoro time!

spent about an hour cataloging books from a donation from a local bookstore and will give it to an assistant to finish processing

I go up to the front desk to give afternoon breaks (fun note; someone came in in spurs)

Time for a break and then read a little Ask A Manager

By the time I look up, it’s time to close the building. About 15 minutes before closing, I walk around and make sure everyone knows we’re closing, count the til and lock up.


I come in and open the building up for patrons. I get the til ready for the day and print and search the late notices. After making sure the front desk is set, I head to the back office, to look at my schedule and to do list.

Talked with my boss a little bit about an estate sale and city zoning laws. Then spent about an hour cataloging some donations books and then it’s time to be on the desk for two hours. Didn’t get my morning break but it’s pretty slow.

So while on the desk, I am trying to do a large DVD order because we are nearing the end of the fiscal year and I have been pretty stingy with my media budget. Because I am in a smaller city, DVDs still circ well here. I have to do this while hearing a toddler fussing in the kids area. I have shot the mom a mild scorning look and she doesn’t do anything. The holidays are coming up, so I am googling best Halloween and Christmas movies, seeing if they are in our catalog, and then checking to see if Midwest tape has them in stock so I can get them in the building before Oct. 1. I may resort to buying the Binge Boxes I have had my eye on. The toddler that has been crying this entire time has left the building. (with a parent, obviously)

I do end up ordering a lot of Binge Boxes that I wanted earlier in the year, but opt-out on some of the pricier Binge Boxes. I download the MARC records, upload them to our catalog and put in the order.

A creepy guy with a mask who looks like a proud boy runs in and nervously paces the back of the building. Then an attractive gentleman comes in to turn a book in. We start talking about the book and asks me for a recommendation. THIS NEVER HAPPENS and we immediately get busy as I was trying to recommend Severance. I see someone has taken Severance and hasn’t returned it and now I’m bummed again. I add another copy to an Ingram cart. The guy has wandered off as I grab a copy of Circe.

Then a lady calls and asks about the road construction happening around us. She literally talks for five minutes non-stop about this will inconvenience her going to her vet and doctor, but she has no question. Most people just want to be heard. I’m no psychic, so I am of no use to her as she wants to know how long the construction will last. This is my first hour on the desk. I do a lap around the inside of the building, my fitbit is happy.

Ok, attractive gentleman (AG) has come back to discuss Severance which I wanted to discuss before we got busy. As I was about to tell him about Severance being never returned, he said that he already looked it up and saw that and I love that so much because this person has gumption! I don’t see that often and it’s one of my favorite traits. He also says he didn’t want to bother me because we were busy. I suggested Circe and he said he already listened to the audiobook (as did I!) and we both agree that we loved it. We chat a little more and then I walk away awkwardly because I couldn’t find a way to end the conversation. I want to state again that THIS. NEVER. HAPPENS.

Made some social media posts. AG is still wandering the stacks.

AG comes back and asks for spooky recommendations. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. We talk a little, as he walks away, I look at his birthdate. Fifteen years younger than me. Damn. I hope he enjoys the Bachmann books I recommended.

Then a mom comes in and wants to find a book for her fifteen-year-old son. She is concerned about content so I point her to common sense media and realize all teen books are about suicide now and I am depressed. Most of the time, we are not recommending books to people. That’s not the majority of this job. I go to lunch.

I’m back on my BS from lunch and a large box of books has arrived from our supplier. I receive the ones that can go out now and separate the ones with street dates. I give the processing to someone out at the front desk to finish. Then I spent some time on a library forum explaining how to do a popular program. This took a little bit of time.

took a break

I like to end my day with something fun if I can so I did a deep dive into popular adult crafts that could be offered at the library. I have about twenty tabs open. leave early for the day


Come in early to make up for yesterday, have a little chat about some new policies with my boss. Coffee, notices open the drawer for the day. It’s like Groundhog Day. Right before opening we get a call from someone asking for a supervisor (she did this a few times last week) I repeat the same thing I said to her last week and when she asked, I let her know that she did not need a supervisor to get a card. She says for the fourth time that she will come in today, but I have heard that before.

Triage my to-do list, which got a couple of new things since talking to my boss.

Chatted with a coworker for a while about the forgotten Uniqlo Wake Up App and the film Singing in the Rain, then she helped me set up the meeting room and we went through my presentation.

Then I start going through a million tabs on adult crafts. I get taken away with a circulation problem that needs fixing but I spend about 30 minutes looking at crafts after.

Filled some book requests.

Took my break and went to get a skin cancer check sponsored by the City I work for. (This is more naked than I have been at work and definitely more naked than I planned to be for the day). Then I have to run to Wal Mart for iced tea for a program for next week. I have no idea what kind of tea to get so I hope everyone likes Gold Peak. I check their book section and tried to look for the game section, but I was running out of time, so I headed back to work.

I am on the desk from 11-1 Nothing too notable. It was quiet so I worked on a sign for our new drive-thru and talked with a volunteer about what we need from her.


Back from lunch and a coworker asks if I want to try pour painting since they still have it set up for a kid’s program. An hour and a half later, I have three paintings that I will hang in my bedroom.

I then go back to my cube to do some ordering and eat strawberries. I have a list of sites I have bookmarked that I check weekly for Collection Development and then I look at Ingram’s HINT list.


(This is honestly another day. I went on vacation for a bit. In fact, it’s a completely different fiscal year)

I come in and do the notices, but there is a problem with the printer, so I was out at the desk for MUCH longer than I expected helping a little with the printer. At the end of the ordeal, I asked my coworkers how many librarians does it take to print a page?

I had a program the night before and it ran to about 7:45 so we didn’t clean up last night because we closed at 8 and I was the only supervisor on that night. (The program was well-attended, but facebook made it seem like we would be inundated ((we have been before)), so I was not psyched to get only 15 people, but for an adult program, that’s pretty ok.) We had a different program in our meeting room at noon, so I had to clean up the meeting room with an assistant).

Then I spent the next hour sending in orders for the month of October (the beginning of the fiscal year!) My carts were pretty much ready to go but I have a list of things I go through so I just needed to send in the orders and keep track of my new budget year! I should be getting a ton of books soon.

Then I am on the desk for an hour. I sign up someone for a card but overall it’s a pretty uneventful hour. Off to lunch.

I’m back and have to make goody bags for next week’s program. An assistant helps me and we watch the movie we are showing next week. We’re ready to close up the library for the evening.


I again come in and do the notices but for some reason decide to start deep cleaning the meeting room. This literally took 3 and a half hours with a couple of helpers.

On the way back from lunch, I spend about an hour at the hellscape that is Walmart getting organizing bins, popcorn and a random assortment of weird stuff. Our amazon page suggestions are very strange. I am now looking for a commercial-grade popcorn popper at a reasonable price to replace our current one which was free.

Interactive Film Screenings

I have been doing these for a while and they are normally pretty popular. They take a little bit of prep work, but patrons are usually very happy at these screenings. In case you aren’t familiar, interactive film screenings are programs where a movie is shown and the audience is given a script to participate in the show. For instance, in the Princess Bride, you can boo every time to you see Prince Humperdink or blow bubbles whenever “love” is mentioned.

A few of my favorites have been Elf, Willy Wonka and Harry Potter. I have done The Princess Bride twice and while the crowds weren’t as large, the enthusiasm was not in short supply! I’ll have some of my scripts linked below, as well as a link to scripts other libraries have used. I personally like to create my own scripts because I find that most other scripts have you perform one action, one time, which I don’t feel is fun for the audience. I like to find repeating elements in a film and use them over and over. For example, in Elf, you are going to see a lot of snow and yellow cabs (in fact you will see a lot of snow in ANY Christmas move, you will see a lot of yellow cabs in ANY movie set in NYC), so I had the audience blow bubbles whenever they saw snow and blow their noisemaker when they saw a cab. Pretty simple, right?

Other notes; NEVER give the kids something they can use as a sword and have them act out violence, they will continue to use the swords way past the scene. Tweens are the ones who get in the most trouble at these things; their parents think it’s safe to sit on a different row than their kids, and you are the one left trying to stop siblings from murdering each other with a glowstick. Kids also just like yelling “boo” at the bad guy, and to be quite honest, it’s fun!

I have also started incorporating water guns and silly string into the screenings and kids have really enjoyed that. Confetti is usually thrown at these events, so make sure you have an understanding director and a bribe for the janitorial staff.

The props are placed into a brown lunch bag and sometimes I can buy stickers to seal the bags and create a nice presentation. I plan for about 60 and always run out. I try to only let kids ages school age and older have a prop bag because it’s generally lost on younger kids. This also helps make sure that little ones don’t get ahold of an allergen when there is candy involved. I usually just fill the bags assembly line style. I always try to have the bags assembled about a week before to make sure I have all the supplies I need and have time to order more if needed. I add a script to each prop bag as well as putting a poster copy on the wall on each side of the screen.

Here are my scripts;

Princess Bride

Willy Wonka


Harry Potter and the Sourcerer’s Stone (not listed but we added spraying the audience with water guns during the storm and silly string when they met the Devil’s Snare.


Rocky Horror Picture Show

A Christmas Story

Here is a small database of scripts you can choose from.

Fun Facts You Learn When Moving to Texoma

  1. Stoplights are completely optional.
  2. There are approximately 3 hair salons and coffee bars for every person in Sherman.
  3. 9 out of 10 people you meet in Grayson County are Master Gardeners.
  4. For some reason, people in Sherman think it’s better than Denison.
  5. Only 10% of the population works full time. The rest are in front of me at the drive-thru at Walgreens.
  6. The Walgreens will be closed 25% of the time.
  7. Nautilus only has classes for people who don’t work.
  8. People only meet at church.
  9. The people with the worst behaved dogs will have them off-leash at Herman Baker.
  10. 90% of people here own one or more of the following; a wedding venue, horse ranch, or boutique.