Once every quarter you become the most popular person on campus. From student ID pick-up and log-in issues to marathon library instruction sessions and existential classroom dilemmas (Who are my teachers? Why am I here? Where am I going? …). And, don’t forget the new books you ordered which must be cataloged and shelved. Even the library’s frog is wordlessly beseeching your aid as a surprisingly aggressive snail launches an attack (Seriously.). During this time, you live on sub-par office coffee or tea and candies your colleagues leave out. Inevitably, this produces bad breath and heightened anxiety. But, don’t despair! It’ll be over soon and, if you follow the below tips, you could preserve some of your sanity.
1. Don’t overextend yourself. You are not Barbara Gordon with super hero strength. Some things can be addressed next week (i.e.; instruction sessions or cataloging) or by colleagues.
2. Create a to-do list. At the beginning of your shift make a list of what you hope to accomplish today. Time sensitive items should be listed before on-going projects or wish lists. Before leaving, mark off your achievements and consider what tomorrow might bring. This should keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
3. Try to maintain a sense of order. A messy workspace adds to the chaos around you. Try to tidy up throughout the day to prevent drowning in paper work, books, office supplies, and other miscellaneous items.
4. Take your breaks off campus. Sometimes we skip breaks or eat at our desks, but it’s beneficial to relax with a good book and to tune out the hubbub on campus.
5. Most importantly, have a sense of humor. It’s a library, not Dante’s Inferno.