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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


A Year in the Life, Week 24: Things to Do When ...

A Year in the Life: Journaling for Self-Discovery - Sheila Bender

Disclaimer: I had many lovely coworkers when I worked in the library. But I've never been one to enjoy small talk, and that's pretty much the only kind you can have when a customer will interrupt one or both of you every couple minutes. Also, at the library where I worked, we were forbidden to use the library computers for "non-work" browsing.


Things to do when sitting at the front desk in a library.


At some point, you may find yourself sitting at the front desk in a library. I have found myself in this position many times. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to amuse yourself.


If you aren't helping a customer, you can find a cart of books and put them in order alphabetically or according to the Dewey decimal system. Take your time doing this. Pull out and further investigate anything of interest. If your library allows staff to "poach" items before they go back on the shelf, consider putting aside the ones you want to check out at the end of your shift.


Alternately, you can use the library catalog to make and organize lists of everything you want to eventually check out. You can place holds for yourself and build lists of potential holds for your loved ones. You can obsessively check the catalog for new items.


You can also check your email -- work email only -- and read everything, even those totally irrelevant to your position, clicking on every link.


Spend some time on the library website, too. Sign up for programs. Study readers advisory links and explore databases. Read a copy of Bookpage.


You can also watch people. In particular, ogle parents and babies, while you deeply ponder the strength of your longing or aversion.


Check and fill out your timesheet. Look at the schedules for the next few months to see how often you have to work with your least favorite coworkers.


When all else fails, make small talk with colleagues.