Monday, January 24, 2011

Library Day in the Life Round 6 - Day 1

This post is written for Round 6 of the Library Day in the Life project where librarians across the world share details of their daily activities.

I am a Broadcast Librarian at NPR headquarters located in Washington, DC. My main duties are to provide audio reference to NPR staff (i.e. looking for clips of movies, speeches) and cataloging the NPR produced content for reuse.  I've been at NPR for 5 years.

Mondays for me usually are spent on the Reference Desk.  Each of us take a turn covering the Reference Desk each week.  Part of the Reference Desk responsibilities includes processing CDs of the shows broadcast the day before into the collection.  Here at NPR the library is 24/7 so we use some low-tech methods for circulation white cards which we type & stamp. Also part of that processing includes printing the rundowns of a show which includes a brief description and order of the stories with a show. On Mondays, I process CDs from Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as catalog copies of the Sunday Morning Talk Shows for NPR's Spoken Word collection.

Due to tomorrow night's State of the Union address, we had to adjust the audio we are going to capture for All Things Considered and make a new catalog record for the actual State of the Union and Republican response. I took care of those adjustments and notified our engineering center about the changes.

Some of the reference requests I received today included:
  • NPR audio coverage of the Challenger disaster back in January 1986 for stories to use on the 25th anniversary later this week
  • George W Bush speaking at West Point in 2002 which I found in our WAND collection - CDs of audio broadcast by the Washington Area News Distribution channel
  • Newsreel sound of marines storming the beaches in WWII to be used in a story on tomorrow's All Things Considered
  • Healthcare coverage from Nixon era days which required ordering reel-to-reel tapes from our off-site storage site at the University of Maryland
  • Trying to determine if we ever did a story on a gay history museum in San Francisco
In between requests, I caught up on some notifications from the system that tracks development work for NPR's new archive system (Artemis), fixed some duplicate records in the news production person authority database (HERMES) and fixed old catalog records that weren't migrated correctly the last migration.

Best quote of the day
Patron: Can you just help confirm because you have a masters degree in searching?


  1. Did you determine an answer to the question about the gay history museum ? I'm one of the curators for San Francisco's new GLBT History Museum (, and although several people have told me that they had heard the museum mentioned on NPR the day we had our grand opening (January 13, 2011), I can't find any reference in a search of the NPR website....

  2. Gerald -
    Perhaps this story is the one that they were referring to ->

    KQED is an NPR member station, but the NPR network didn't air a piece on the museum

  3. I am so jealous of your job! This is fascinating to read about. I'm a librarian too, but working at the reference desk at the University isn't quite as exciting as NPR!

  4. Carrie - you are too kind. I'm glad my posts have captured your attention. Have you been doing the Library Day in the Life this week?