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.