What the Library Staff Does on Semester Break

I must admit the May break is my favorite. There are not the competing concerns of holidays as in December. And the time in August is not like a break at all since faculty are returning and students are here to register for fall. The May break simply is.

At this moment, the library staff outnumbers patrons by about two to one. So it is quiet and peaceful.

But not unproductive. Since student workers are gone, we are doing all the shelving of books and films that are returned. We are also calling the students who have forgotten to return their materials.

This is also the time that we work on projects that have somehow managed to keep getting swept aside on the daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists. I’m working on the division’s goals. Emily is experimenting with our new equipment so that we can offer a media center in the fall. And the librarians have met to discuss what modifications need to be done to our website.

And, of course, the regular work goes on as well: cataloging, checking in magazines, and deciding which books to order when purchasing opens again.

We need this quiet time in order to recharge, plan, and make things better for students when they return. I enjoy it, but I find myself missing the students, yearning for the smiles as they come in, the quick questions, and the sometimes desperate requests for that last source to make a paper complete.

And then I remember that in two weeks, I’ll be doing precisely all those things again and wishing for some quiet time to plan and think.  Perhaps, it’s a reminder that no time is perfect, but all times can be good if they are simply experienced





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