A Day in the Life of Library Technician #1
Meet Jane Steinback. She is Library Technician and runs the school library at Curtin Primary. She answered our questions about her role and what a typical day looks like for her.
What do you love best about your job?
I love finding just the right book to help a child be excited to read
What three words that best describe you?
Happy, knowledgeable and supportive
What would you do if you had more time?
Well my shelving would be up to date and my library would look amazing and all those books waiting to be covered would be.
What do you spend most of your time doing?
Returning and borrowing and helping students find books. Shelving and straightening the shelves and putting the books in the wrong place back where they belong…bane of all library staff.
What tasks are the next biggest spenders of your time?
Shelving and processing books. Classes
What do you fill in the rest of the time with?
Finding resources for teachers and Book club
What are some things that you only do occasionally?
Lately it has been processing and repairing books. I have a pile of repairs I need to do. I hate book makers who cheaply bind their books and they fall apart….Captain Underpants books are the worst and one of the most popular.
What is the coolest project you have worked on or the coolest thing about your work/day?
I love getting the kids excited about the Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge. It has become a real competition in our school as we take the top 3 or 4 readers with us to the awards. These are the students who read more than the 30 required, I have had students read more than 200 books. After the awards we stop at Paperchain and each winner gets to choose a book to the value of $30 to take home and keep.
What’s the best thing that has happened to you in your role?
I love helping other schools and use my knowledge to assist them. I have gotten really good at helping on the phone even on my days off. It is nice to know that my skills are appreciated.
What made you want to be a Library Technician?
I started working in a school library, when my youngest child was in preschool, as a parent volunteer. I found I really enjoyed it so did my Certificate 3 in Information technology Library Skills. My Mum was a teacher and a librarian, and I spent school holidays typing catalogue cards and covering books in plastic. Thank goodness for Oliver, which is our library cataloguing system, which makes things so much easier. I have always been a reader and have discovered some brilliant series and books. I usually read all the novels before putting them out so I can talk to students about them.
What is one thing you would really like someone to know about your job?
It is easy and repetitive to a certain point but it is the other things and the knowledge I have gained that makes me excellent at what I do, like knowing my collection and where to find the information so students and teachers can have the resource they need
Jane also shared a typical day:
8:15am: Answer emails, field requests for books, loan books to students.
I start at 8:30am. I turn all the computers on and check my emails.
I return any books and sort the trolley for shelving.
9am – 9:50 I usually have a class come in to exchange books. I often get them to help me put books on the shelves if they are older students. I also select a newish picture book for the teacher to read to the students. Even the Year 6s love a good picture book.
9:50 – 10:50 More classes, more shelving and 2 days a week I go and work with students in the classroom. I am enjoying this change to my routine, but I am finding there isn’t enough time for all my library tasks.
11:20 – 1:10 After recess on 2 days I work with a student in the classroom. On my other day I try to keep on top of tasks in the library. Lately I have been finding resources for Units of Inquiry for teachers. Our teacher resources are in a room at the opposite end of the school so I try to get as many books or resources as I can in one visit.
I accession books, repair books, and cover some.
2 – 3pm – I am always back in the library. I use this time to do book club, either sending the issues to the correct classes or sorting the book club orders.
I also get a chance to sort and reshelve books.
3:30pm – I often have teacher or parents popping to in return books or asking about books. This is my catch up time and any tasks I don’t complete during the day I get done then.
3:30pm I get to leave but often don’t as I like to finish the task I am doing before leaving.
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