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.