“My name is Tom and I’m The Library Assistant for Inter Library Loans. Here’s a day in my life:
I start off the morning sorting through Inter Library Loan requests that have been made in the last twenty-four hours. Using a country-wide catalogue we have access to, I am able to track down other libraries that have the books we don’t have, and request to borrow them. Whilst I make my way through these, the post arrives.
I then open each package (which is like Christmas – except none of the presents are for me) and place each book into piles. On one side I place books that have been returned to us from other libraries, and on the other I place what has been lent to us by other libraries. Then, I have a well-deserved cup of tea.
After that, I process the requests that have come in and email the requesters to let them know their books are ready to collect. Then, I discharge the returned books and place them in the sorting machine for our Shelvers to restock.
After lunch, I begin to retrieve books that libraries have asked from us, so if you ever see me running up and down the library steps holding paper and looking a tad worn-out, this is what I’m doing. After issuing them to their respective libraries, I package them up, post them out and have another well-deserved cup of tea. Are you starting to see a theme on how each of my jobs end?
In-between all this, I respond to yours and other libraries’ emails regarding Inter Library Loans. These can be renewal requests, tentative requests or simply a panicked ‘I need this book for my Dissertation, is there any way you could help me!?’
I also spend several shifts a day on the Library Enquiries Desk, answering your queries first-hand, processing your reservations and selling stationery.
And that’s a day in the life of an Inter Library Loans Library Assistant!”