It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these (see also: 2017, 2015). For folks considering working in academic libraries, or shifting to outreach and/or library managerial work, I hope this glimpse into the day of one librarian is helpful!

8:30a: Arrive at work. The first thing I did this morning was sign a stack of thank you cards for our campus partners on the latest library event. Sent a message to my employee who is coordinating the distribution of these to let them know they were ready to be delivered.

stack of thank you cards and a pen

9:00a: I’m trying to develop a meta-analysis project so I spent a good portion of the morning reading through different models, methodologies, and critical appraisals. There is a lovely faculty-only space in our library where I like to go when I need uninterrupted time to work on my research.

stack of research journal articles next to a laptop

10:30a: Spent 30 minutes processing email.

11:00a: I serve on the ACRL University Libraries Section’s Academic Outreach Committee. This year, we are toying with the idea of building a directory of academic library outreach folks. Another committee member and I have been assigned the task of developing a plan, so we met on Zoom to hash out our initial ideas.

12:00p: A couple years ago, I decided my health was more important than anything my job could possibly throw at me, so I schedule walks, yoga classes, and/or gym time throughout the week into my Outlook calendar. Today, I spent 40 minutes on the elliptical during my lunch break.

me walking with a towel over my shoulder

1:30p: Had my weekly 1:1 with one of my direct reports.

2:30p: Posted some content to the library’s Instagram account and updated the graphics on the library’s homepage to promote our upcoming events. Edited a short reflection piece written by a student about a past event, reviewed and uploaded a recording of that event to our YouTube page, and combined the two to create a news post for the library website.

4:00p: More managerial work. I sent reimbursement information to other campus units, drafted a follow-up from an earlier meeting, delegated tasks to my student workers for when I’m out of town next week, and reviewed the details of an upcoming report deadline I need to work on when I get back. Had to double-check the construction of a Qualtrics survey that was currently collecting respondent data (it was fine). Caught up on a few open loops with one of my employees before they left for the day.

5:30p: Cleaned up and locked up so I could go pick up my kids from their after-school program. 

It’s been a while since I did a “Librarian Day in the Life.” It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but today of all days seemed like a good day to share.

6:30a-8:45a: Wake up. Get kids ready for school. Get ready for work. The usual morning routine. Drop kids off at school.

9:00a-9:30a: Arrive at work and fire up all the devices. Review email to see if anything can be quickly completed (i.e. can be done in under 2 minutes). Including:

  • Sent a survey to all library staff assessing internal communication methods
  • Invited two faculty members to serve on a November panel discussion event
  • Received and uploaded two graphics for the library’s digital displays to help promote athletic events on campus
  • Gave instructions for student worker to create first drafts of social media content

9:30a-10:30a: On Mondays I set aside the first hour of the day to plan my social media content for the entire week. This week, I’ll be promoting our Faculty Pub Night and Archives Opening Reception, looking at a few titles from our Popular Reading collection (on Instagram), and highlighting historic anniversaries with resources from our collections (on Facebook and Twitter).

10:30a-12:00p: Library management meeting. All the unit heads and deans get together weekly to discuss current projects, issues, and library initiatives.


  • Worked on the table of contents for the library’s annual Year in Review publication (which will consume most of my attention for the next few months).
  • Took photos of staff members for an article on their new publication
  • Edited blog post about current archives exhibition written by student intern (and took photo of human hair)
  • Updated library homepage slider to highlight our staff statement on DACA
  • Posted to library social media about upcoming events. Retweeted a few useful links
  • Grabbed a smoothie for lunch.

3:00p-4:00p: Had my weekly meeting with the dean. Among many topics, we discussed updates on library orientation for transfer and honor students, the Year in Review (see above), and new methods for assessing the success of library programming.

4:00p-5:00p: Led my bi-weekly Outreach Department meeting. We discussed upcoming Fall events (Haunting of Hannon; Human Library), the file organization of our shared department folder, and a new role for our student workers: “event correspondent” (where we are asking students to attend library events, talk with attendees about their experience, and draft up brief summaries of what they learn).

5:00p-5:15p: Quickly address a few open loops via email.

5:30p-8:30p: Pick up kids. Get kids dinner. Watch an episode of Octonauts. Get kids ready for bed.

8:30p-9:30p: Watch a few YouTube videos I saved earlier in the day. Meditate.

9:30p-11:30p: Read an article on library outreach. Create a flyer for an LMU Common Book event in November. Finish drafting the blog post from earlier. Clean out inbox (I maintain Inbox Zero daily).