July 18th, 2007

Libraries - what's it like to work in one?

I couldn't find any information online for this, though honestly I had no idea how to go about searching for such a thing. If you have any suggestions sources of info on this, they would be welcome.

I'm writing a story in which the main character is a library assistant. (This is taking place in America most likely, but the specific location is unspecified, at least in this current version. ETA: Also probably in your standard local state-funded library.) I need to know what a library assistant's job is like. Anything you can tell me about a library assistant's average day, their duties, ect., would be very helpful.

Things I'm most looking for:

What are the specific duties required of a library assistant?

What kind of duties would she be doing when she was working "in the back" - that is, out of the public area?

I understand there is a rota for duties assigned. How does this work? For instance, would she likely be assigned to do one duty for an entire day, or would she be assigned several, like one thing in the morning and another in the afternoon?

How many other library assistants would likely also be working there? (I understand this would vary widely based on the size of the library, but some idea to go on would be good.)

What other coworkers and superiors would she be likely to interact with? Who would be her direct superior(s), the person(s) she would have to answer to?

And, uh, cough cough, If I were to call up one of my local libraries and ask if someone could show me around and tell me about what everyone does, would they be more likely to think me odd and annoying or to think nothing of it and be willing to help?

And if there is ANYTHING else you feel like telling me about libraries and working in them that I didn't cover here, that is also more than welcome.

Thanks much!

Canadian Poisonous plants/animals spec: BC

Here's the scenario:

I would really, really, really like to injure or poison my character (she's 20, British, pale complexioned, and in good health). She's in British Columbia Canada (modern day, maybe 10 years in the future). Specifically: Petroglyph Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. However, I know nothing of the area and Google keeps telling me how to not poison my livestock.

I'd really rather go for a poisonous animal bite, or an accidental plant poisoning (something topical, like poison ivy/poison oak) that can send her into severe anaphylactic shock. But Googling those with various terms, don't turn up the specifics. Namely: Yes these plants are around/available on the island and you can now injure/hurt your character to your heart's content!

I'd like it to happen relatively fast (less than 12 hours, optimal, as much as 24 hours acceptable).

So does anyone know if they are available? If they aren't could you give me some suggestions?

(Also, if I missed a tag let me know. There were a lot!)