Monday, 11 March 2013

A Day in the Life of... PONTYPOOL LIBRARY

A 'behind the scenes' view of working in a public library

Monday morning - oh hang on, we're closed on a Monday. Pop over to Blaenavon or Cwmbran and I'll see you again tomorrow...

Tuesday morning - Hello! Welcome to Pontypool Library.
Croeso y  Llyfrgell Pontypwl.

If you have never been here before I will give you a quick guided tour before we get started.
 This is our lovely new computer suite before the customers arrive.

And here is the children's area before the children arrive.

All our lovely new books waiting to be read.

Blu-ray and premier DVDS for hire

Tuesdays are always busy. We have a small queue of customers who rush in as we open the doors. Lots have books to return then wander off to search for their replacements. Some want to check their emails and others start typing up cvs. A few read the morning papers and sit quietly absorbed in the day's news.

The delivery of books arrives in bright red boxes. We start to check them in and sort them ready to be shelved or put aside for a customer. The new books are tempting, but I already have 20 library books out. Some partially read, others waiting their turn. I will resist these today...

Customer enquiries are different every day, it is part of what makes our job so interesting! We have been asked many weird and wonderful things over the years. I think my favourite request to date is 'Do you have any books on hypnotism? I want to hypnotise my dog'. Today's enquiries are more straightforward and we are able to help everyone find or order books, give directions to the local museum and lots more.

At 10.00am the computer drop-in sessions begin in our lovely Community Room downstairs. Library staff and our volunteer assist learners who are either complete beginners or who have a particular topic they need help with.

In the afternoon people start to arrive for the Employment Support group which is organised by staff from Bridges into Work. They can get help with online applications, CVs and interview techniques.

On the front desk the day is spent helping customers, answering the phone, ordering books from other libraries around Wales, tidying shelves, sending emails and faxes, helping customers with computers and photocopying and dealing with general enquiries.

The library is open until 7pm tonight and we have people calling in on their way home from work to choose a new film on blu-ray or DVD. Skyfall and Possession have been popular since they arrived. I am waiting for Anna Karenina to be returned. We get the new films on the day they are released, so we are always up to the minute.
At 6.55pm the public computers automatically shut down with the familiar Windows tune heralding the close of day. Customers begin to leave. Soon it is quiet and empty again apart from staff chatting about their day and their plans for the rest of the evening. We pile on layers of clothing - there is an icy wind tonight. The library is locked up for the night and we will all be back again in the morning for another busy day

Thanks for visiting us today. Please call again soon.

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