Greetings!

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Greetings!

Post by amymariepeters on Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:53 am

Hello everyone,

My name is Amy M. Peters, and I’ve worked for Hennepin County library since May of 2007. I began working part time in circulation services at the St. Anthony library. St. Anthony is a small community library with faithful patrons and a wonderful staff. I learned a variety of duties along with the standard desk responsibilities and materials handling, and it was a wonderful place to start my career.

As much as I enjoyed working for St. Anthony, my goal was to secure a full-time position, and I was able to do so in March of 2010. I transferred to the new, at the time, Maple Grove library. Many of the duties were the same, but one exciting thing was being able to work with the new AMH (automated materials handling) that was installed in the new building. Though challenging at times, running the AMH definitely kept you on your toes! While working at the Maple Grove library, I decided I would like to go further at the library, and started taking classes for the Library Information Technology program offered through MCTC. Thanks in part to the wonderful training provided by the program, I was promoted to Associate Librarian at the Rockford Road library in Crystal.

One trade-off to working at the Rockford Road library was going back down to part-time again. I wholly enjoyed my time at Rockford Road, and learned a great deal from the reference staff. Being part-time, the majority of my time at the library was spent at the reference desk. I was lucky to be able to work alongside awesome reference staff members who showed me the ropes, while providing a great example of what it means to provide exemplary customer service.

From Rockford Road, I went to the Augsburg Park library, as they were offering a position that was, while not quite full-time, more hours than I was working. Again, the Augsburg Park library has wonderful staff members, and while I was there was able to learn more about programming and hosting classes, observing and training for storytimes, along with working with the collection and staffing the service desk.

My last stop at the library has been Minneapolis Central, starting in April of 2014, when I was offered a full-time position. There is a great mix of staff, some who have been at Central for quite some time, and some that are new, like me, but everyone is truly wonderful. Minneapolis Central has a different feel, I would say, than most of the other libraries, as the majority of the suburban libraries are “one desks” where a desk is shared with reference and circulation desks. Because of the size of Minneapolis Central, and being that there are four floors, making Central a one desk would be more challenging. For the most part, I staff a reference desk, work with the collection, utilize a program called 3W to create staff schedules, among other things. Working at Minneapolis Central can be challenging at times, but also quite rewarding. The staff is fantastic, and makes it a joy to come to work each day!

Nice meeting you all and I look forward to interacting with you throughout the week!

-Amy

amymariepeters

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Libraries

Post by dski on Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:57 pm

Greeting, my name is Deb Sadowski. I work at a small library in Coloma, Wisconsin. I have found that each library is a little different but I have met some wonderful people at the library. One of the things I enjoy most is getting to know the patrons, the volunteers and the people I work with. Is that the same for you? Do you have one library that stands out a little more than the other libraries? What is the size of the library that you now work in. Since I live in Wisconsin, I just don't have a concept of the size of the libraries you talked about. Thanks, Deb

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Re: Greetings!

Post by amymariepeters on Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:27 pm

Nice to meet you, Deb! I feel the same as you, each library is definitely unique! I've enjoyed getting to know the staff and patrons at each location I've worked. It would be hard to pick a stand-out, as each library has their own special characteristics. Currently I work at Minneapolis Central library, the largest Hennepin County library located right downtown. There are four floors, numerous meeting rooms, including a piano room, a separate childrens area on first floor, and teen section with an attached teen tech area, and even a Dunn Brothers coffee in our atrium, so it is quite large. I've worked in small and medium sized libraries, but the size of Minneapolis Central is one reason I really enjoy working downtown. There is a massive amount of materials and each floor is specialized (2nd is Business, Science & Government, 3rd is Art, Music and Literature, 4th is History & Social Sciences, the teen area is located on 2nd floor, and first floor is Fiction & Media along with the childrens area) with stacks on each floor. It's an amazing collection!  Very Happy

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Re: Greetings!

Post by dski on Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:51 pm

To be honest, I would love the coffee shop. What is the piano room? Do patrons reserve the room for practice? Does your library have musical scores to check out?

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Re: Greetings!

Post by amymariepeters on Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:07 pm

Yes, the piano room is really neat. Patrons can reserve the room per hour and play to their hearts content. We have musical scores, sheet music, song books . . . and the list goes on. Though the piano room is "sound-proofed", you can still hear music wafting out as you go by. I just love it!  And having a coffee shop in the building IS pretty awesome!

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Re: Greetings!

Post by NatureArt29 on Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:06 pm

Hey Amy, what's up! Thanks for chatting with us. So here's my question. Which kind of library do you personally prefer, the 'large 4 floor library' which you currently work at, or the smaller one desk rural library? Thanks!

-Dylan

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Re: Greetings!

Post by amymariepeters on Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:21 pm

Hey Dylan, Great to chat with you and thanks for your question. It would really be hard to choose. St. Anthony library holds a special place for me, as it was the place where I got my start, it's five minutes from home for me, a great community of faithful library-goers, and where my son goes to high school. With that being said, I'm really happy at Minneapolis Central because of the wealth of resources, diverse patron base where people are very appreciative of the library, and a fabulous staff that work hard every day to provide exceptional customer service. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work at several different library locations, but I'm happy at Minneapolis Central!

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Hello Amy!

Post by sjarroyomiller on Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:34 am

Hi Amy! My name is SJ. Thank you for speaking to our class!

I really appreciate that you shared your career journey in different libraries and moving from part-time to full-time employment.
How do you see the current job market for library techs? Do you have any advice for those of us just beginning our journey?

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Re: Greetings!

Post by amymariepeters on Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:54 am

Hi SJ, nice meeting you!  In starting your library journey, you are definitely on the right track by taking classes through MCTC. In my experience, things are changing as far as working for public libraries, in that support staff are expected to be knowledgeable about library resources and inform patrons to the best of their ability, so having library information technology classes under your belt will really go a long way in that regard. More job opportunities seem to be opening up in the library field, with Hennepin County anyway, so possessing the skills you can learn through the library information technology program at MCTC are invaluable!

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Re: Greetings!

Post by Iglarpok on Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:56 pm

Hi Amy,

Thank you for being here. Just a simple question: From reading what you have written, it seems that in order to "move up" you need to move around. Do you feel this is a true statement?

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Re: Greetings!

Post by amymariepeters on Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:35 pm

" . . . it seems that in order to "move up" you need to move around." Nice observation and great question! I did move when I was promoted because the opening was at a different location. There may not always be an opportunity for promotion in the same location you work currently. Personally, I like having my "main" library where I have a desk and a regular schedule, but I could have taken sub shifts to work up to full-time after becoming an Associate Librarian, if I had wanted. Hennepin County library has 41 locations, and many times a need for extra staff, so if you like moving around and experiencing different locations, it'd be perfect!

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Re: Greetings!

Post by dski on Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:54 pm

Minnesota's definitions of libraries are definitely different than Wisconsin. If you have a County library like in Adams County there are no branches. In Waushara County, we are part of the Winnefox system which is thirty-two libraries in 5 counties. Is the Hennepin County Library the "main" library of your system?

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Re: Greetings!

Post by Iglarpok on Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:46 am

Thank you for your answer Amy!

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Re: Greetings!

Post by alexisharrison on Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:42 pm

Hi, Amy ! Thank you for being a guest speaker this week !
Let me start by saying that Minneapolis Central is my absolute favorite library, I frequent there a lot.
I am curious about the differences between the challenges working at the Central library versus the previous ones you worked at, as I would like to ultimately work there or in a similar library. Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out ?

Thank you again for your being here !

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Re: Greetings!

Post by amymariepeters on Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:18 am

Hi there, Let me just say that I truly did learn so much about working in libraries through the LIBT classes I took through MCTC. There is something to be said about on the job training, but the teachers and the program taught at MCTC is very comprehensive and will give you a solid background in librarianship. Minneapolis Central IS a great place to work, so hang in there and don't be discouraged if opportunities don't present themselves immediately. Volunteering opportunities abound at all the library locations, so if you have time, it can give you an idea of the behind the scenes of a library. Good luck (to all of you) in pursuing your career goals!

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Greetings!

Post by ramerson on Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:44 pm

Thanks for chatting with us!
I am also learning the ropes from my reference staff and hope to join them when I am done with school. You have worked so many places which is your favorite based on selection of books? Do you get the chance to read? Will you be working with children and doing storytime or do you only observe? Do you prefer working in the city or suburban areas?

-Rakeem

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Re: Greetings!

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