Our staff are what keep our library running smoothly. Take a peek behind the scenes at the wide variety of jobs at the library with this series highlighting a day in the life of different employees.
Callie holds a unique position at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. She is the Acquisitions Clerk, a job that requires her to do a variety of tasks behind the scenes to ensure library patrons have access to materials they want, including through Books by Mail and interlibrary loan (ILL).
“I place interlibrary loan requests for our patrons and I also manage ILL requests from other libraries,” Callie said. “Patrons make requests by email, calling, or through the online catalog. When a patron makes an ILL request, I look to see if the item can be found in state first and then I look out of state if it cannot be loaned by an in-state library.
“Once the item arrives, I process it and get it ready for the patron to pick up. When the patron is finished with the item, I get it ready to be sent back to the owning library. When a library makes a request for an item belonging to the Cedar Rapids Public Library, I pull it off the shelf (or put it on hold if it is at Ladd) and print off paperwork that goes with it.”
There is a lot to do to prepare items for library shelves. Callie makes sure things are ready to go by adding necessary stamps and stickers, and ensuring invoices are correct. She also supports staff in all other departments, whether that is through assisting with a patron request, searching for a lost item, or ensuring our technology has been returned correctly for circulation. Callie offers the help we need to ensure our library materials move through the system efficiently.
Callie works in the administrative space of the Downtown Library, but she supports the work of the entire organization. She also has a special job that means she sees new library materials first. “It is very thrilling and exciting to open and go through boxes of new library materials. I also enjoy coordinating getting just about any book, movie, CD, audiobook, or journal article a patron could be looking for through interlibrary loan. It kind of feels like magic when a book you need makes its way to you from across the country.
“I would tell someone who may want to work in my position that it is such a fun job,” she said. “My position gets to see all the new materials, make interlibrary loan magic happen, and I occasionally get to use the laminator. I absolutely love the work that I do! I also work with really amazing coworkers!”