Collection Development Librarian
How long have you been in the field?
I started my very first library job in 1992, so….24 years. Wow.
How Do You Work?
What is your office/workspace like?
My office, right now, is clean. Hooray! But, normally, there are books and papers cluttering it up. Because, even though I get a fraction of the paper that I got when I started doing collection development in 2001, the clutter seems to cling to me like a designer fragrance. Eau du paper.
How do you organize your days?
This is a great question and I wish I had a great answer. It usually works out to me doing print based materials 3 days a week, and AV 1-2 days a week. I focus mainly on new things, but the replacements issue is huge in my collection areas (fiction, music CDs, and fiction DVDs) so time has to be set aside for replacements, too. I have a reminder on my outlook calendar for replacement DVD ordering, because it’s easy to forget but so important. I also work 16 hours/month in public service, so time has to be set aside for that too. That’s usually when I order Overdrive books, because I don’t need to be in my office with catalog and/or journals to do it. I take a weekly turn on the library’s twitter page (visit me on Tuesdays @TRLDistrict) and then there are the little things like meetings, conferences, programs, and special projects, that get tossed into various days. You’d think that every day would be the same, but that is rarely the case.
What do you spend most of your time doing?
Discovering things to order.
What is a typical day like for you?
Usually, the first thing I do is read email, then check in with twitter. Check the news, see what’s going in booklandia [Editor’s note: Publishers’ Marketplace is behind a paywall, but it’s Robin’s favorite.]. Decide what format I’m going to focus on that day (audiobooks, large print, regular print, a certain genre, DVDs, music CDs) and then off we go. If it’s baseball season, that’s usually the soundtrack in my office.
What are you reading right now?
Dead Man’s Debt by Elliott Kay, Beyond Addiction by Kit Rocha and just last night I finished Skies of Ash by Rachel Howzell Hall. I recently discovered this series, and it is my new obsession.
What's the best professional advice you've ever received?
“Don’t ever pretend you’re not smart.” That sounds like good LIFE advice, but it was definitely good professional advice. Thank you, Georgia Cravey! And “If you’re going to bring me a complaint, come with 2-3 suggestions on how to fix it” Thank you, Penny Pace-Cannon.
What have you found yourself doing at work that you never expected?
Paying $80 for one copy of an ebook.
Inside the Library Studio
What is your favorite word?
Today, it is conundrum.
What is your least favorite word?
Entitlement. (My least favorite attitude, as well.)
What profession other than your own would you love to attempt?
What profession would you never want to attempt?
What superpower do you wish you had?
Telekinesis. I’m actually really mad about this.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Opening up collections to a much wider variety of materials, and making a wider variety of people feel like their library really does want to have the things they’re interested in.
If you're willing to share, tell about a mistake you made on the job.
HA! I actually talk about my mistakes all the time on twitter. One of my favorites was ordering 85 copies of a book when I meant to order 5. Luckily, most of them were able to be sent back. Not all 80 copies, though… I’ve ordered things that were tiny, there was also that football book once with the astroturf cover…
When you aren't at work, what are you likely doing?
I’m a tv show addict, so probably discovering a new show, or catching up on current shows, or watching the show my friends told me about and I never did see….If a show was on during 2004-2008, when I was working and in law school, there’s a good chance I missed it. Prison Break, Lost, Friday Night Lights, Heroes….yeah, I have a lot of catching up to do. If someone has forced me outside into the world, I’m probably at a restaurant, a baseball game, or somewhere near large bodies of water.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Robin tweets, a lot, at @tuphlos.
Robin tweets, a lot, at @tuphlos.