Work in the Time of Corona: Mildred Sink, Swem Circulation

Our library staff members are chronicling their experiences living through a pandemic. If you keep a daily journal of your experience, consider donating it to Swem’s Special Collections when the crisis has passed.

Name: Mildred Sink

Title: Night supervisor

Department: Circulation

How has your work changed during the pandemic? I usually work from 3 p.m. to midnight, so my hours have changed. On my normal work days, I usually get up between 10 and 11 a.m. since I work late. ​Now I wake up at the unholy hour of 8:30 a.m. so I can check in with my coworkers. I check the emails for the department and my email, and address any items I need to pass on or answer.

I leave my “desk” (a TV table in the corner of my bedroom) and go get some breakfast and come back to my “desk” to start my work day for real.  I pull up the projects I am working on and get started. After my lunch break, I get dressed in my work from home clothes, which are clean pajamas.

Then I check the emails again just in case anyone needs anything, and start back in on the project that I was working on.

Mildred Sink, Swem's Night Supervisor, in her regular work place behind the Circulation Desk.

What are your challenges? I love a good nap, and being at home near my bed is tempting!

What do you miss most about being in the library? I miss my everyday duties. My job is customer service. I spend my normal work days interacting with patrons, searching for missing books, directing and planning the work that needs to be done in the department and on occasion clearing out the lost and found bin. I go through the recalls and holds every day and make sure the items are not something that has already been billed for and compare the due date to the deadline the patron noted. Right now, I’m not doing these tasks, so, as you can see, my workload has slowed as I work from home.

Anything else you’d like to share? Be well and try to be positive about this - after all, your warm bed is right there.