Going down the one person library rabbit hole

My only other co-worker is transferring to another hospital at the end of the month so I will soon becoming a truly one person library, hopefully only temporary but it could be permanent. In any case, at least for a few months I’ll be on my own.

Now I need to figure out how to organize my workday to cover two set of job duties. I have so many questions. Do I sit at the reference desk every day, or do I split my day between the reference desk and my office? I’m not full time. Do I work 4 8 hours days and one 4 hour day, or do I spread my hours evenly over 5 days?

Then comes the fun stuff – prioritizing my work. Figuring out how to balance ILLs, searches, technical issues, renewals and other library administrative tasks. Oh, and I forgot to mention the library is moving. Every task is a priority but some have more visible results than others.

Hopefully this will be a temporary situation but on the off chance it isn’t I’ll be documenting my journeys down this rabbit hole. Any comments or thoughts are more than welcome!

I need a vacation after my co-worker’s vacation…

As I stated in my introductory post, I work in a One Librarian Library. I have a .24 FTE library tech. Time manages us more than we manage it.

I dread the middle of August. That is when my co-worker goes on vacation every year. So, last week I was alone. The time alone caused me to gain a greater appreciation of actual One PERSON Libraries. I don’t know how they manage to get everything done. Everything is important to everybody.

So I sat down each morning and had to decide who I would make happy and who I wouldn’t. Do I do searches or do I process Interlibrary Loans? I think the only thing I new for sure that week was that journal renewals would not be on my radar. Especially after I discovered that EBSCO had migrated us over to their Full Text Finder product.

I finally decided that I should try to make each group at least a little happy. I divided up my day into three parts. I spent the first 3rd of my day doing searches. Spent the next 3rd processing article requests. Spent the last 3rd getting myself up to speed on the new product. Did it work? As best as it could I suppose.

I would love to read in the comments how other OPL’s or OLL’s do it. What are your tips and tricks that keep you sane?

The Accidental OPL

My name is Alexia Estabrook and I am honored to be part of the group of fine librarians assisting Michelle Kraft with her blog during her tenure as MLS President. Some of you may remember me as the Medlib Maven from a while back. It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged and I’m excited to be back.

I am the Librarian at Providence-Providence Park Hospital (PPPH), Southfield Campus, and have been a medical librarian for over 20 years now. When I started at PPPH, the library had a staff of 5 FTE’s and now we are down to 1.5 FTE’s. While I plan to write on a myriad of topics, my mail focus will be on my journey to becoming a one librarian library.

We are also in the process of moving the library and adding a Patient and Family Education Center, so when I’m not talking about being a OPL I’ll be talking about all the fun I’m having planning a new library.

Nice to meet you all!