Monday, November 15, 2010

Now what?

This blog has had many purposes over the past few years. It began as my Web2.0 training blog for HCPL and then transitioned into my internship journal for FSU. Thanks to my last post, I am now a contributor for the HCPL blog:) So now I have graduated, received the diploma AND the certification, and am officially a Librarian!

So what do I do with my blog now? I am desperately seeking inspiration!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Teen Read Week 2010

One of the many things I did during my internship over the summer was work on marketing and promotion in my focus groups for tonight's culminating event for Teen Read Week 2010. So I was super excited to be able to attend the event at TU tonight.

Melissa Marr is the author of the Wicked Lovely books, with the fifth and final book, Darkest Mercy, due out this spring. Over the summer I read the first four books, with Wicked Lovely and Fragile Eternity (books 1 and 3) being my favorite. Knowing that she has to tie the story up, I am really looking forward to book 5. She also has her first adult book due out in June.

Tonight she came and spoke as our big event for Teen Read Week. She was real, honest, approachable and funny. The audience in turn was respectful and kept the questions coming. She talked about her childhood, relationships, mistakes she had made, inspiration for her stories, and advice for inspiring authors. She was open about her past, experiences and beliefs. Was she what I expected, yes. But she was filled with wonderful stories and completely won me over.

One of the best points she made was that every story starts by answering one of two questions. 1) How did we get here? or 2) Where do we go next? Every story needs conflict, that's the basis of life, so start with asking yourself how you can really screw this up and then what happens next.

Her advice to aspiring writers was brutal and great. If the only thing that is preventing you from writing is a lack of time, her question back at you is this. "How many hours a week do you spend watching TV?" Turn off the TV and use that time to write. If you always have with you a way to take pictures and a way to take notes you will always be prepared when inspiration strikes. Eliminate your excuses.

Oh, and she was a YERD!! Yay for yearbook:)

I really enjoyed tonight, and know that if I ever get a chance to hear her speak again, I will jump at it. I left with a smile on my face and a signed copy of Wicked Lovely in my hands.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Game Over

Today at Tuckahoe was my last official intern duty and my last Open Teen Gaming lab. Strange as it may seem, I was glad that this week I just had my six regulars. Like normal, Counter Strike was enjoyed by all! I took the opportunity to write up my focus group evaluations, its only 6+ pages.

I cannot believe that this experience is over all ready, and that three months have flown by so fast. All the hours are earned, the events are done, the reports are written, the t's crossed and the i's dotted. In one week I will leave for Tallahassee to see Florida State for the first, and last time. I will attend the School of Library and Information Studies Graduation Reception and finally get to meet some of my professors and classmates. Then finally, on the 7th I will put on that cap and gown and walk across the stage, becoming an alumna of my third school.

I have learned a great deal over the course of this semester, and over the past two years in this program. I am glad that I took the opportunities to step outside my comfort zone when I could. There are also so many people I have to thank, everyone was so helpful and willing to share. Thank you to all at DU for taking me under your wing, I am incredibly lucky to work with such great people. Thank you KC especially for being my supervisor and putting up with me, my treatments, and being able to coordinate such a crazy schedule. TW and TU opened their doors to me, and AM of TW opened her arms and her brain. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

So today it's Game Over, the End! Thank you for playing along and sharing this internship with me. It has been one of the best experiences in my life.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let's Mousercise!

Wow, so today I actually got to teach the computer class, yay for Keyboard and Mouse. It actually amazed me that I have been cool as a cucumber about this all summer, this was something I really wanted to do! Of course this morning I woke up 100% terrified. During the set up and pre-class period I received an amazing amount of support and positive vibes from all my coworkers. MB even made me remember the advice I used to give to my Yearbook Advisers when they would start to panic: "Remember, this isn't brain surgery. No one will die on the table and we will make it out of this alive." It is funny the small things that make you laugh and remind you to breath.

Overall, the class went well. I went through the agenda, used props, then followed the script. It was so much different then the class I actually observed, but that's OK. I was trying so hard NOT to just read from the Script that I know I missed a few things, but the timing actually ended up working out. I only had three people show up, but they were all wonderful women who were supportive and willing to learn! While I know I could have personally done better, I'm not sure the overall class could have turned out better than it did.

After class, I spent my last 2 hours on the Reference Desk. Of course, with the computers being down, it was mostly answering questions and placing books on hold.

So hard to believe that tomorrow is my last day...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If Beavers built the Hoover Dam then Book Worms built the library! Right?

Tonight was my last Focus Group at TW, really makes it real just how fast this summer has flown by. The focus of tonight's activity was Summer Reading Club 2011. The county wants to do a scavenger hunt, either virtually or in person across the county. We also evaluated and talked about other online simulation environments. Of course, like all good things, it ended with cupcakes, chips and drinks:)

I know I want to work with Young Adults, but sometimes they say the darnedest things. Here was a sample of the party conversation with the Tweens.

Them: Is the library meeting room sound proof?

Me: Yes, that's why we paid the big bucks for the bullet proof glass.

M: Beavers build dams

T: So Owls built the library?

M: No, the worms did

T: oh, yeah, the Book worms

At least they catch on quick:)

Of course, I learned a ton from doing these focus groups. The best advice I can give is that you really have to have a minimum number of people in order to have the best possible results. Next time there will be a minimum number that must be met for the group to happen, unfortunatly this would have resulted in the Teen group not meeting. But, hopefully it would have encouraged them to bring others to make it happen.

It really is sad that the focus of so many of the kids was just to get their community service hours. I am a huge supporter of service, I have joined several organizations because of it, and I am a proud Brother of Alpha Phi Omega, a CoEd service Fraternity. But there is a huge difference in those who are just going through the motions and those who are enjoying to serve. I wish the County would rethink the mandatory service. Teaching this generation that service is something to get done, instead of letting them find the joy and love in it, is not doing them any favors. But that is just me, and I will step down off of my soapbox now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Game On!! Hahahaha, Bring It!

Wow, yay for another successful day in the TU gaming lab! I only had 8 kids today, but they all had a lot of fun. I can't believe I only have one more of these. I am really going to miss the Gaming Lab.

I actually was really looking forward to tonight's TW Focus because tonight I had both groups in the computer lab. I also had a special guest, MP, our new Emerging Technologies Librarian. First we evaluated the Library's Teen page. Then I gave them a list of other teen pages from other library systems to evaluate for me. MP was a great asset, he knew so much about what changes the county was looking to make with the website the he was able to have great conversations with the kids. Especially the Teen group. This was the best time with the Teens I have had, and it was all because of MP! Man deserves an award. After they were done evaluating the website, I had them pair up and create surveys that could be posted online.

Overall, what a great intern day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shifting Books, Shifting Minds

Today I had a nice steady 3 hours on desk, with mostly holds and book availability. Only had one or two cases of computer troubleshooting:)

I am so excited for the shifting of the Reference section to allow the DVDs more room:) I helped SS actually move some of the books from one shelf to the next, it felt good to move around even if the books are a tad cumbersome. But teamwork is always better then doing it by yourself.

Tonight I was lucky enough to meet up with LP for dinner at the Baker's Crust! It was crepe-tastic! But also a nice celebration since we are both graduating on the 7th:) She is excited to start her new job down in Norfolk, and I am so sad that she will be moving away. It has been a pleasure to share this academic journey with someone my own age, who is local.

Two weeks left, I just can't believe it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Safety Wins Everytime Over Smelly Feet

Tonight was a great night at the TW TAB. We had 19 kids show up, many of whom it was their first time, including the father and boys I talked to after the last focus group.

It was a quick meeting, with time spent on the Leasebook ordering and creating quizzes/polls for the website. AM let me end the evening with the team building activity I had done last week with the Northside TAB. This time, I used a piece of astro turf that she had stowed away in her amazing craft closet. It was a little longer then 2 feet, but with more kids it worked out fine. At the end, we did get all 19 kids on the turf, and if they had listened to each other they would have all been able to balance on it without falling off. They were {this} close!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Game on: Day 3, with Focus again!

It has been an amazing day. The other class I am taking this semester is the Magic of Storytelling, and this morning KH was gracious enough to let me crash her story time for my third public performance. We did a team approach, with me starting off with The Frog Prince, and then her following up with The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka. This performance really was outside of my comfort zone, and because of that was probably my best of the three for the semester. Though, that's not saying much. My audience was completely different this time (not friends and family) so I really felt comfortable experimenting with props (a yellow ball) and voices. I need to work on my crowd interaction. The Preschool crowd though was great! Had 18 kids and 18 adults.

I truly love the Teen Gaming Lab. I was upset when it was two o'clock and I had NO KIDS! I actually breathed a sigh of relief at 2:15 when they started walking through the door. Even though, they were much more sluggish than normal, I had 10 kids by the end of the day and we all had a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, even my joy at completeling my storytelling and spending the afternoon in the lab could not overcome my fear of tonight's Focus Groups. Tonight I will focus specifically on creating marketing materials for Teen Read Week. Based on the marketing and promotion information I learned in the last group, I will have them create an email to send out to parents, an ad for school newspapers, and a banner for the library website.

However, like normal, my fear turned out to be completely unfounded. With all the hands on work, both groups went well. I have tones of material to turn over to PR, I am just not sure how much of it could actually be used.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Wow! What an experience. Today, I completed one fraction of a Learning Objective by running the Northside TAB (Teen Advisory Board) Meeting. We had 17 kids, which is more than normally come, so a lot of new faces. First we started with a little team building/ice breaker exercise. With so many kids, I didn't want to take up too much time, but I was actually prepared with several activities. I could have done two human knots, but instead decided to make them all work together with each other. The activity was called "Don't Step on My Toes" and involved all 17 kids standing together on one 2 x 2 foot square of cardboard paper. Its fun to watch them realize (sometimes with a few hints) that they can all fit with one foot on the postboard if they all hold each other up.

The rest of the agenda consisted of Announcements (upcoming volunteer sessions and thanks to all those that worked on the backdrop), Discussions ( January Event ideas, what is "Emo," upcoming work sessions), and then Work (Leaseplan ordering and some quick polls for the website). They let me run the meeting, but I asked them to each lead respective parts of the discussion. Could I have led it all? Yes. But, it didn't make sense since I will not be running, or even in attendance at the upcoming work sessions. Overall, it went really well. I really enjoy working with KH and LK. They are both amazing women and YA Librarians.

In other news though, I bought my Cap and Gown, my plane tickets, hotel and rental car today! It looks like I am not going to just graduate, but I am going to walk! Tallahasse here I come! This summer has been so amazing, with my internship and then all the honors and appointments I have received in the past month. I think my fortune cookie may just have been right... "You will soon gain something you have always wanted!" I just can't believe that this two year journey will be over in 22 days. Though, I will not be sitting still, that is for sure.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Getting ready, Desitination: Keyboard and Mouse!

Wow, today was a short 5 hour day which gave me a little more time on the reference desk before leaving to go to a different branch. I have been so fortunate to observe several different computer classes; however, none of which have been the one that I am scheduled to teach! So thankfully, the amazing KC found me a Keyboard and Mouse class at another branch that I could go and observe. So today I trekked out to Varina to observe K&M! Since VA is such a small branch, the Branch manager teaches all of the classes with help from one of her circulation staff as the runner. It worked out well to have both her and myself there to help, since I could take half the room and she could take the other half.

I knew going into it that they way that they taught it was different than anywhere else in the county. They have shortened the script so that it gives less dry background information, and allows more time for hands on practice. Which, when learning how to operate the mouse and keyboard is exactly what you need! Depending on how much creativity I am allowed to use, this will be a lot of fun. I feel prepared and ready to teach my class and complete the 2nd learning objective.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Game On: Day 2, this time with Focus!

Its July! Today was another great day at the TU Teen Gaming Lab. Today's adventure, Counter Strike! Almost had a full lab, with 12 teens and 3 empty computers. Even though I will not be here for next week's fun, I am expecting a full lab when I return on the 15th. It continues to amaze me how the kids work together and police each other. All I have to do is give "the look" to one, and they immediately calm the room down, not just themselves. Not that I believe they have the Gaming Contracts memorized, but they do a great job following the "Check myself- the lab is neither a quiet nor party zone."

It saddens me that many adults don't try to interact with this generation of kids. They have such great ideas and passion for life, but they are different then even my contemporaries were ten and fifteen years ago. A little respect goes a long way with them, and they will give you even more in return.

Tonight was also my first Focus Group at TW. When setting them up, I wanted to separate the age groups so that I had the Tweens and the Teens separately. The only flaw in this plan seems to be getting the teens in the door. Well, I will keep my fingers crossed and hope for more in the next session.

The Tween group went really well! Eight kids and lots of interaction. An hour and a half may be too long to keep them focused, but it will be a lot more hands-on activities from here on out. The Teen group however, is a different story. I had three boys, who were obviously only there to get the service hours. If I don't get more teens through the door, I'm not sure how much good information I can squeeze out of those I do have. Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Making Magic, Library style

I am having a hard time believing that tomorrow is July 1st and that my internship is almost over. July will be an exciting month for me, filled with Gaming Labs, Focus Groups, and computer instruction. Everything is starting to come together, and my learning objectives are starting to be completed. Instead of feeling witty, I am feeling reflective. Only 10 more intern days left in 29 calendar days. Oh my! August 7th will be here before I know it.

I feel comfortable on the Ref desk, and enjoy the time I spend interacting with the patrons. So far I have gotten to experience a wide variety of events and activities. I have made some mistakes, at least I learn from them and never make the same ones twice. My only hope is that I have done several things right as well!

Tonight's intern homework on the Class Discussion Board was about whether or not our internship site is customer-centered. Having worked here for almost 2 years, I feel I have a more full understand of the organization then if this was truly only my 50th day. I am incredibly lucky to work and live in Henrico. Doing the post for the Discussion Board made me look closer and evaluate what Henrico does to make the experience better for the patron. How we work to eliminate barriers and respond to their needs. We may not always been in front of the curve, but we respond quickly and with purpose when we make changes.

Finally have the details for my Focus Groups, and so I am spending my time preparing for all of the work I have coming up in the next three weeks. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's gaming lab @TU!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Game On!

TU Teen Gaming Lab: Day 1!

I got to spend 2 wonderful hours with 8 YAs! When we were setting up the lab I had a core group of regulars waiting to get in. Lucky for me, cause they were able to show me the ropes.

This is one of the many reasons that I have the desire to work with Young Adults. We should jump at every opportunity we can to give them the chance to see that the Library is not a scary place just filled with dusty books and old, scary Librarians.

Apparently Combat Arms is THE game to play! Unfortunately, it looked like the updates that needed to be installed where blocking the download. Even with IT to the rescue, it looks like they will have to wait till next time to play.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You put the lime in the coconut...

Today I got to attend a Young Adult Services committee meeting. I was incredibly excited for this opportunity since the committee wasn't originally going to meet in person during my internship. It was exciting to get to meet most of the other YA Librarians in the county and see how they all interact with each other and share their experiences. I was impressed with the amount of great ideas and positive conversation that happened. Sometimes the conversation bounced around from topic to topic, but always got brought back and finished. Topics included an evaluation of the TAB program and the possible need at some branches to have a smaller, Leadership Team for TAB. Fee nights at the county schools and promotion for them was another big topic, in addition to some other upcoming events.

It was so unlike the complaint/gripe fests that the Pocket Area meetings often turned into. Maybe that's the difference between sales people and librarians.... just sayin...

Tonight was also the Summer Reading kick off party at DU! The theme for summer reading is Make Waves, so we had a beach party:) We had a great turn out with about 12 kids, some of which were new to the group. We also had a good mix of HS and MS kids. Had lots of fun playing games and reading. First hour was spent kicking off the summer reading club literally with reading! Then we had a quick discussion of the books, magazines, or manga that we were reading. After that we got down to the fun of eating pizza and playing all sorts of beach related games. Pin the Coconut on the Tree, Pool Noodle Jousting, etc. The games were a lot of fun, and I definitely can't wait to Pool Noodle Joust in the future!

It also made my day to watch everyone sit back and read! Yay Summer Reading Club!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wow, what a day!

What a jam packed, fun filled day.

After the TAB meeting last night I begged AM to let me go with her on her School visits this morning to a middle school. Gratefully, I didn't have to beg hard because she said "yes!" right away. So this morning was started bright and early at a local middle school. This time, she got to set up in the library and had 30 minutes each with four seperate classes. I was lucky that I was able to stay for the first three and play tech support. Each visit went well and better then the one before it. She started off by introducing the library and herself, then went straight into our summer reading program with how to sign up and how to get a library card. After going over all the different examples that would count towards summer reading, she did a few book talks on titles and then ended with a review quiz. She had examples of all types of materials (playaway, magazine, manga, graphic novel, fiction and nonfiction). I will be adding a few books to my own want to read list as a result (The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Wicked Lovely, Graceling and Voices with Dragons).

After leaving the middle school, I spent a good deal of time on desk before going over to NP for another meeting of the Northside TAB. It was a good meeting with plans being finalized for the Summer Reading Kick off Beach Party next week and then brainstorming for events six months down the road. After going to the TW TAB the night before, it really made some of the differences in the two stand out more at this second meeting.

It was a long day, but oh so worth it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kosher Marshmallows and Car Doors

Today was supposed to be one of those grueling 12 hour days, spending the first 8 hours in Circ and then driving over to Twin Hickory for the last 3 for their TAB meeting. However, fate had other ideas, or more specifically, my husband's car door had other ideas. The moral of this story is that its really hard to type or shelve books when your pointer finger is an interesting shade of purple. So, I went home early to nap and ice up before the TAB meeting.

Before setting the room for the TAB, AM and I had a brief meeting with the head of YA services about some opportunities for me to use the TW VolunTeens for some research and focus groups. The details are still a bit up in the air, but I will have lots more to share about this exciting opportunity real soon!

Lastly, was the TW TAB, which of course was really different from the Northside group that meets here at DU and NP. We only had 9 kids show up, but they were a good group. The first 10 to 15 minutes were spent having them help pick the YA Leasebooks. The rest of the night was spend doing a team building exercise. We split them into three groups of three and gave each one of them a bag that had the contents for the activity: 20 pieces of spaghetti, a yard of string, a yard of tape, and one marshmallow (Kosher, all of the Vegan ones had melted and were a gooey mess. But for the record, the Vegan goo tasted like Marshmallow, the Kosher thing did not.) Each team had 18 minutes to build the tallest structure they could with the whole marshmallow on top. The winning team had a tower that was 22 inches tall. We then let them redo it, with new materials and this time a different team won with a structure that was just under 30 inches!

The activity is one that is done by all sorts of groups of all ages, Kindergartners actually do the best. CEOs do the worst. Supposedly, the tallest one ever built has been 60 inches.

But, I wouldn't recommend eating the marshmallows....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fights and Photocopies

So, in all the jobs that I have had before, fights normally were the result of alcohol. Luckly, as a Yearbook Rep I never had to deal with any school fights/shootings, etc, though my co-workers did. Haven't all of my previous jobs been at family friendly establishments you ask? Yes, Chuck E Cheese and Walt Disney World. Both run by rodents, sell alcohol and often are visited by tired parents and sometimes cranky children. Thankfully, the library is none of the above. The only thing I have to say is that you just never know whats gonna go down at the library.

Today was also a day in lessons of patience with the Photocopier. One day, we will Office Space it! I have often wanted to buy an outdated shell of a device on eBay just to take a baseball bat to it, though I'm just not sure if it would have the same personal satisfaction as if I was to dismantle the actual offending object.

Why is it that the desk will be slammed, until I get here and sit down? Do I really scare all the people away? I promise I shower and brush my teeth before I come to work! I don't smell and I'm a nice person. Really, I am.

Wish I had something witty to say, but my mind feels like mush. However, I am very much looking forward to next week and all the fun YA events I get to do! One more week down, with seven left to go. The end of this internship is the one thing I am not counting down till the end, I am really enjoying myself and learning a lot. Somedays, I even feel like a real librarian!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Such a Cute Teen

Patron: "Wow, your such a young teen to be an intern."

Me: [Hangs head] "No Ma'am, I'm almost 30 and will have my Master's soon."

Patron: "Oh, well good luck!"

Today this "young teen" had an eventful full day on the adult desk. Besides gaining experience in the Wild West that is reference work, my primary focus was on learning the databases. I got to play around with the Biography Resource Center and really spent a lot of time on NoveList, which is probably my new best friend. Watch out world, I am ready for Reader's Advisory!

Also got to learn all about netLibrary, ILLs and Summer Reading Club (which everyone should join!).

A Librarian's job description is more set in stone then the tasks that they do on a daily basis. Some days your the Cruise Director or Event Planner, and others your the Computer Police, Tech Support, Therapist, or Mind Reader. Yes, patrons really do walk up to the desk and say "My [insert name/family member here] mentioned this book that they heard about/read, but I don't know the title or the author." Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't.

Overall, my first month is over and I feel much better prepared now then I did 45 days ago. I still have a lot to learn, but that will always be the case. On the way out the door, JA even said that I looked like a real librarian tonight and that made me feel really good!

Though, we have finally answered the age old question of "How many librarians does it take to jump a car?" Its 3 librarians and an intern, this is now a proven fact, two days in a row.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fake it Till You Make it

What another great intern night! Tonight was spent with observing another one of MB's amazing computer classes, this time it was the File Management class. We had a great crowd and everyone learned something! That afternoon he decided to create some "Folder" and "File" props, and those were great. Though the quote of the night was definitely "I don't know where they are, I really don't have these files well organized."

While I feel well prepared to teach a class, my only hesitation is that the one I am supposed to teach is not one of the ones that I have observed. Will it be ok? Yes. But will I work extra hard to prepare? Absolutely.

My aha!, wow, light bulb moment came later though by SS and her awesome PowerPoint tips and tricks. Why on earth Microsoft decided to put the coolest editing feature in PowerPoint is beyond me, but they did. You can edit clip art in PowerPoint and then save it! Who knew? Place your clip art that you want to edit, ungroup all of the components, delete/move/recolor to your hearts content, and then save the image as a picture! Can't wait to play around with that some more.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oh, the first day back after vacation is always interesting. Spent the first and last hour on the desk going through the databases and prioritizing with KC which ones I need to really need to learn. Looks like I got out of creating the YA Database scavenger hunt, for now...

The rest of my day was spent observing another of MB's computer classes, this time the Internet. This class was a lot different then the software classes because there was a lot less material to cover in the two hour time frame, and even with as slow as the internet was we still finished 30 minutes early. For the instructor of this topic, it would be important to have the sites already loaded to avoid some of the lag time it took for the sites to load, even though they were already bookmarked.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wizards and Databases

Just another fun day on desk, and a short day at that due to a doctor's appointment. Today it became abundantly clear that I need to know a lot more about the databases. eLibrary, InfoTrac General OneFile, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch all came into play today. My question to Librarians is this: Which database could you not live without and which one do you use the most with the public?

SS taught me some really nifty tricks in Sirsi, and showed me how she added the "Display title hold" wizard to the Adult Ref desk! Incredibly useful and easy to do!

I also got over my fear and picked up the phone to answer calls and even called over to other branches to have items pulled off the shelf for arriving patrons. Even banished myself for on hour to our children's desk, though it was very quite and I didn't get to do much.

All in all, an easy day. Wish I had something incredibly exciting or life altering to report, but the "Display title hold" still makes me drool, just a little...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Last night was my first internship experience off-site at another branch and was spent at the Twin Hickory Library shadowing and helping their YA librarian with their VolunTeen interviews. First, while I know that its not unique, I love the term VolunTeen instead of volunteer. With AM I got to do a little bit of everything over the course of 5 hours. The first hour was spent at dinner, which was fantastic because I was starving. But, it also allowed us a chance to talk and for me to ask LOTS of questions. What happens at TW is so much different from what happens at DU.

AM receives more applications each summer for her VolunTeen program than she has spots to fill. In the past, she has interviewed each teen that has applied to give them the opportunity to go through the interview process. This summer, however, she just doesn't have the time to interview each of the 50 teens who have applied. Tonight, I got to sit on 4 of her interviews. She has a standard series of questions that she asks each teen, and allows them to follow along on their own sheet. Of course, one of the secondary reasons for the interviews is to impress upon them that the majority (75%) of their time will be spent shelving, since that is the primary need. Since that leaves 25% to do other things, there are several areas in which they let the teens help and they give their top three choices.

Overall, her program is really impressive. She does her whole summer program schedule at the beginning, and after 8 or 9 hours of work, everyone has a place. It seems that with so few places hiring teens, that the aggressive ones are looking to replace those hours volunteering. Some even looking for 40 or 50 hours a week. AM has a fair way to make sure that everyone gets the minimum 2 hours a week. Some teens ask her for 20 hours per week, some just ask her for 2 or 3 and she does her best to treat them all equally. She starts them at 2, and then adds to those who want more in proportion.

My first hour was spent with her on the Children's desk. Spent a lot of time looking up information on the new summer reading lists that just came out. We also talked about how she does her paperback and leasebook ordering. is one resource she uses since she finds it more timely then SLJ. She does read the reviews in the standard literature, but enjoys the added information she learns from this site and even Amazon pre-orders. She also likes the updated awards lists all in one place.

I am excited to go back and help out with this great program and learn more about how she does things!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time to meet the TAB

Today, in addition to learning the joys of the copy machine, I spent some more time on desk and started to read through the CREW guide.

The highlight of the day was my first TAB meeting (Teen Advisory Board). The Northside TAB consists of students Grades 6 to 12 who consider Dumbarton or North Park to be their library. Tonight, we had 13 show up and the agenda was full! They discussed the upcoming volunteer activities, cut out sea animals for decorations, and gave their input on upcoming Magazine and YA Leasebook selections. I enjoyed meeting the kids, several of which I had seen at the New Years Eve party back on Dec 31!

KH really does a great job in putting the information together for the TAB to evaluate in an eye catching manner. She takes the lists of books that B&T will be publishing soon in the YA section, takes the book cover pic and adds the description to it, and then prints the "review" sheets for the meeting. The kids read over them and initial if they think that they or their friends would be interested in it. LK said that she has picked some really popular books this way that she might not have given a chance otherwise. She can only choose 10, and so it helps to get their input.

I am looking forward to the upcoming activities and to running this meeting in the future!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weeding and Wicca and Weddings, Oh My!

Day 4, what a day. Spent time on the desk, mostly looking up book availability for patrons; but did get to see some cool and unique stuff.

First, we helped a patron print off his wedding vows. The groom, along with a groomsman and looking very nice in their morning suits came in to print off his vows. Note to self, for the future the next time a groom in tux enters the building ask him what time the ceremony is. I hope that I didn't make him too late, and that the bride-to-be will think him getting a library card on the way to the wedding is a cute story, if not today then maybe down the road.

Next was the patron who called to request spell casting books. Unfortunatly, those books tend to weed themselves, so I hope that she was eventually able to find what she was looking for.

Lastly, I got to see a couple examples of collection Weeding. KC showed me the CREW guide and talked me through some of the situations she was working through with the Reference collection. I also learned from KH as she weeded some YA paperbacks. I was able to turn watching her into a mental excercise by trying to anticipate her decision before she made it.

Overall, it was a great day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Be Prepared for the Unexpected!

Wow, what an exciting time Day 3 turned out to be! Today was one of those days that proves that the library is never boring. Between the rain, the copier and the costume, it was a great day. KH, another fellow FSUer, asked me to help her make her Jellyfish costume that she is going to wear when she launches the Summer Reading Program at the area schools. The name we decided on? Peanut Butter Ann Jellyfish:) Get it?

Mostly, today was spent on Learning Objective #2, with observing (and even assisting a little) in the Word 1 and Excel 1 computer classes. When I asked M about what his biggest piece of advice to me would be for teaching these classes, he said without a doubt, to be flexible! You have to be okay with the unexpected and be able to think on your feet, and oh boy how true that was. For the Excel class that evening, only one person showed up. Fine, not a problem he began teaching. The student had just begun to use Excel heavily at work and so had some really good questions about tips that would make their life easier. It took some playing around, but we found the answer! It even turned out to be lucky that they were the only one to show, since it allowed us to take a field trip at the end of class.

Being flexible wasn't the only lesson I learned from observing the two classes. 2) It is important to be familiar enough with the material that you are not reading the script word per word. 3) To know where to find the answers if you don't know them. 4) Don't be scared, if they are there, they want to learn.

If everyone learns something new and has one "Aha!" moment, it was a class well spent. I am, by no means a beginner user of Word or Excel, but even I had a few "WOW!" moments myself:)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Old Habits are Hard to Break

Hello Day 2!

Today was spent learning how to set up the desk and how to do a reference interview. Only, as slow as it was, I didn't get to do much practice. I have a lot to learn about reference interviews, but I am hoping that I will be able to transfer my PSS (or Professional Selling Skills) to this new environment. This should actually turn out to be easier since the aspect I disliked the most about sales has been removed from the situation. With the help of DL I was able to find some great resources, so let the studying begin!

One lesson that I have already learned is that I am going to have to one day break all of my circulation habits. For now, it just feels weird to say "around the corner to the circ desk."

I am enjoying helping patrons find books and learning how to put items on hold. What little experience I got today was completely worthwhile!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Whole New World: Day 1

Well, its official. I am an intern! Nothing really too exciting or witty to say about day one. Today I was given a tour of all the resources that are kept behind the reference desk and the lay out of library from the reference point of view. Also, was finally excited to learn the easy way of searching for items and then placing them on hold.

Was excited to help my first patron! Of course, the item that she needed, we don't have in the system. But, it was a great real world situation.

Looking forward to Saturday and Day 2!