Part of my responsibilities for my graduate assistantship is to be the contributor of this blog. Our academic advisor is the creator of the blog so I can’t directly edit the website you see here but I am the one who posts all the things that the other graduate assistants send me. Every two weeks my inbox is very full with Microsoft Word documents from my studio-mates with new things to post. I am in charge of this because I am also in charge of the School of Architecture Library. There’s no real reason as to why that is, but the head of the library is also the contributor to the blog. I actually do pretty much all of the blogging while I am in the library which is where I’m sitting right now. Basically the biggest responsibility is doing our best to have the library open when it is supposed to. I have three girls in the undergraduate architecture program here who also work in the library. I gather all their class schedules and plan out the library schedule around their classes. They each get 8 hours a week and I work 10. Sometimes they have exams scheduled in the evenings or have to leave to visit their studio sites and we just work around it. While you are working in here, you basically have to make sure no one takes anything (that’s never been a problem), help people check things out and use the computer and large format scanner we have in here. We actually have the only scanner in the architecture department, including the computer lab, so we have that going for us. It is a pretty small library but there is plenty of architectural reference in here. We have some extra chairs and tables and mostly the other grad students just hang out in here whenever I am working in the afternoons. Overall, it is a pretty nice set-up.
Every once in a while there is something interesting you have to deal with. We do have late fees but I think the rate per day is a little outrageous so I usually cut people a good amount of slack. Some people just completely forget though and have books for an entire semester and don’t even realize it. The other challenge about being in charge is making sure all the undergrads show up for their shifts. The three girls I have right now are wonderful, they do a great job and are very reliable. Last semester; however, we weren’t so lucky. The first person that was hired clearly didn’t want to be here and just stopped showing up, blew off every single shift. Never emailed me, never communicated with me, then I had to deal with the complaints about how people needed to get in to the library and I would get pulled out of studio and miss class and not get my own stuff done. That was incredibly frustrating and lasted for a few weeks because no one could get a hold of this person, not even any of their professors. But we fired them as soon as they actually responded to my supervisor and hired the three girls we have now, which has been great. Other than that kind of stuff, this has been a great job and I’m very grateful to have it, not to mention the tuition all paid for.