So, you think being a librarian is a sedentary activity, huh?
Since I started this role, I’ve worked far harder physically than I’ve had to do in a job for quite some time!
The library building itself has 3 floors, and my office is on the 1st/mezzanine floor, so to get to my desk I go up 1 flight of stairs. To speak to my colleague, I come down 1 floor. Then to go to the bathroom, I have to go down 2 or 3 floors, or up 1, depending on where I choose to go. To see my manager on -1, I have to go down 1 flight of stairs from the ground floor, which makes it 2 floors down from my office. To go to another department, I have to go to -2. For other people, I have to go to -3. Other people are on floor 1, or 2. Other libraries are in another building on the same floor, or 1 floor down. And all of these people and places are in different but interlinked buildings, which don’t always link directly. So to get to the 1st floor in one building, you need to go up to the 2nd floor in another, and come back down via another section.
The fact that my colleague and I need to go to various locations every day to check on or deliver items, or to meet with colleagues means that we cover a lot of ground throughout the building complex. The distance varies, but on average it’s at least 1 mile each day. I’ve estimated with the stairs I’m going up between 25 and 30 flights of 12-step stairs on average each day, meaning I’m climbing 300 stairs daily. Combined, the walking and stairs climbing mean I get a pretty good workout every day. My colleague has said that since she started working in the library, her muscles have toned up since we’re so constantly active!
Added to this, I’ve been doing a LOT of heavy physical work, clearing out a 20 year backlog of materials for disposal that have ended up stockpiling in various parts of the building. I’ve filled and thrown out 30 bags of rubbish, a dozen cardboard boxes and 10 packing crates from the Library itself. I’ve also moved the contents of a basement room, moved stuff into another room, and filled (and emptied, and refilled for various convoluted reasons) 60+ packing crates with outdated or damaged stock. I’ve done 95% of this work on my own.