Round 6 of library day in the life (LDITL)! Oh my! So, for the past three years a group of fearless librarians have been documenting their days for a week at a time and the next round starts on Monday. The justifications behind it have been presented and Annoyed Librarian has made his snide remarks (I firmly believe AL is a man and probably Stephen Abrams.)
Personally I like the project. Sure, it is navel gazing, but every profession does that once in a while, even political scientists (Hello, Mr. Perestroika). We have heard the reasons. Yes, someone interested in the profession could read a post and say “That’s is exactly what I want to do do!” Yes, it provides for reflection on daily work, which is something we don’t do enough anyway. Yes, my interns and other LIS graduate students can see what madness they getting into. And yes, it provides a window into the profession for those wondering about the value of libraries.
For me, the striking thing about LDITL is that we aren’t ever really doing the same jobs. Entries have common themes usually: technology, collections, instruction (both group and one-on-one), professional work. But if you were to put my posts up against a technician you’d probably think we had different professions altogether. First, you don’t want me anywhere near cataloging rules (or rules in general). Second, the daily work is pretty different. I spend most of my day running from meetings to instruction sessions to remote office hours to having impromptu research consultations in the middle of the library lobby (or the line of the coffee shop). I have to fight to find times to sit in my office uninterrupted (actually that is called working from home).
I’m not saying this is a better approach. The technician probably gets way more to do’s checked off her list on average and therefore can demonstrate Productivity much easier than I can. But, the daily job is just not the same and this is what is interesting about LDITL. I call myself a librarian, but what I do in my daily work does not necessarily resemble the librarian beside me. Factor in my focus on numeric data, stats, and the government and the world becomes even more different. I’m sure this is true in many professions, but librarianship is stereotyped more than most (“NO! I do not shelve books!). So, LDITL is way for us “librarians” to document the differences.
The one thing I would like to see coming from LDITL is some sort of curation of the posts. Now that we have hit the sixth round I’m worried that the voices from the past are going to be overlooked. I got hooked on this because of Lauren Pressley’s thoughtful posts from the first round and I had tons of fun reading Dennis Nangle’s hilarious and prolific tweets from rounds 4 & 5. Bobbie Newman’s wiki helps to keep the posts together, but I had in mind an online archive with a representation of voices featured on a rotation and then links into the older posts. Different types of librarianship could be highlighted by choosing some key/funny/representative posts: Hey! here’s instruction in libraries or Hey! here’s cataloging in libraries or Hey! here’s writing in the library profession. Maybe it is the “traditional” librarian coming out, but it could be an interesting project. Any other visions for on how it could be done? Thoughts on how to use the LDITL posts?
Oh, and btw, you may see a bunch of LDITL posts coming from this spot on the internets over the next week. Word of warning…