Last week was Library and Information Week! A week of celebrating all things library, and the value libraries add to our lives. Tuesday highlighted the work of Library Technicians (or Library Services Specialists (LSS), as we’re known at Trinity). And to mark the occasion, much-appreciated flowers were bestowed upon the LSS Team.
To an outsider, library work is a little mysterious. Sure, those books don’t just arrive on shelves by themselves, and yes, they’ll need to be lent, and then returned, but isn’t that about it? What else could be happening in the library?
Putting aside the valuable work of our Teacher Librarians (that’s for another post), what goes on behind the scenes of a library?
Let’s take a look at a week in the life of a Library Technician – spoiler alert – there are llamas!
The everyday workload of a Trinity LSS does indeed include books. And magazines. And DVDs. And the purchasing, cataloguing, covering, and shelving of these items. Lending and returning is also a part of every week. The collection has to be promoted. Reading suggestions to our staff and students are a normal, and favourite, part of every day. Videos are curated to support our boys in their learning, and for leisure purposes. Negotiating with students who have MANY overdue books, but still want to borrow. Finding books with VERY vague descriptions – I think it was blue, and it was about a horse – or maybe a mouse – yes! that’s it – that orange one with an elephant on the cover! Dealing with creative mis-shelving. And helping students with craft projects – paper mache maracas, anyone?
But this week, and the lead-up to it, also included sourcing someone who could provide an alpaca to be part of this year’s National Simultaneous Storytime, which featured Alpacas with Maracas. Once found (OK, it was a llama, not an alpaca), the details of a llama visiting a school had to be ironed out. There were forms to complete. Risk assessments – what if the llama turned nasty? Or if someone had a llama allergy? And where could a llama float be parked? We’d need maracas, too, and cupcakes with alpacas on them – the list was endless – Trinity librarians know how to promote reading culture.
But of course, the central part of NSS is the book itself – and we arranged not one, but three separate storytimes. Firstly, the Head Master read to some of the most junior members of our school community, under the tree in the Quad, accompanied by Hamish (the llama), and wearing a very fetching poncho and sombrero. Our school captain read to some other little ones up in the library, bringing the book to life with a LOT of audience participation. And finally, one of our LSSs RAPPED the book, teaming up with one of our AV staff, to a very appreciative audience of teachers and staff at morning tea.
Clockwise from top left : Hamish the Llama listens attentively to the Head Master; Boys from the Junior School (and a few of their elders) enjoy the story; Rapping in the Common Room; The Common Room morning tea; Selfie with Hamish.
None of this would have happened without a lot of work from the LSS team – and we did all of this whilst cataloguing, lending, returning, trouble-shooting the printers, maintaining the staplers, taking bookings, re-arranging furniture, helping to maintain library behaviour at a reasonably civilised level, planning our next event(s), and all the other myriad activities that keep our libraries functioning.