Internship and School Update

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, but don’t think my lack of updates speaks to laziness, more a testament to my busyness. This is the last week of classes in school for the Fall 2011 semester and I’m a little sad and also a little excited. As this semester ends, I am looking towards my last semester in library school in the spring and then the scary terribleness of potential unemployment. Don’t worry, I’m already actively searching and applying for jobs. I just worry about what happens if I graduate without one ready. As the semester ends, I’m also working hard on the last few assignments due. One paper on policy recommendations regarding lending ebooks in libraries is really interesting to research. But alas, as with all papers, less fun to write.

I’m also finishing up a group project in my social media class with suggestions for CNYCentral to revamp their social media and internet presence. Our group was focused on integrating social media networks into the CNYCentral webpage and the introduction of blogging to the contributors. That one is due on Thursday, but I’m not worried, we rocked that project.

Next semester I’m still playing with my course schedule but I’ve pretty much decided on what classes I’ll be taking. You can find the list here. Tech, social media, teaching, and collection development. Oh yeah!

For my internship, all of the books and CDs for the early literacy kits have been ordered. Collection development for the reference and nonfiction collections is completely interesting. As of today I’ve completed 61.5 hours for my youth services internship and 50 hours for reference. I still have a few (38.5) hours to go to meet my 150 hours, but I’m almost there. I’ve really been enjoying everything I’ve done so far and I’m looking forward to finishing up the early literacy project even after my internship hours have been completed.

(reference internship hours completed: 50 of 75)
(YS internship hours completed: 61.5 of 75)

Halloween! (And Internship Day 17)

Every year, the Fayetteville Free Library throws a halloween fundraiser called CarniFFaLl. There are games, crafts, a haunted house, and a costume contest. Last year, Katie asked me to volunteer to help her at the photo booth/costume contest and I did. This year, I helped her plan, set-up, and take down the photo booth. For the costume contest, we take photos of all of the children who enter, print them out, and display them on a board for the judges to evaluate (that way they don’t have to be present to win). Parents who like the photos, are able to purchase nice large glossy prints of their children’s photos.

So, Katie and I made the coolest backdrop possible. We put it together on Friday night after the library closed. On Saturday, the day of CarniFFaLl, Katie set up the computer and printer and her boyfriend manned the printing station while we posed the kids for their photos and Katie shot them (I arrived at 9:30, CarniFFaLl started at 11). I tried to make sure that the list of names and the photos taken were matched as accurately as possible. However, due to printer problems, we were unable to have all of the contest photos printed by 3pm when the event ended, so the costume judging was held on Monday instead. In fact, most of the printing wasn’t finished until almost 5:00. But while Katie was putting the photos to rights, I took down the backdrop and cleaned up as much as possible.

Here are photos of the backdrop and the photo booth crew in costume!

On Monday, the FFL held the preschool Halloween party, which I got to help with as well. We started with a song led by Heather. Then, I read the story time book while Karen and Pete did the props. Next up was a felt board story with ghosts and counting that was a lot of fun. One more song and then it was time for crafts! I was in charge  of the goody bag decorating station. The kids could come over and decorate a paper bag with crayons, stickers, stamps, and foamies. Lots of creative kids in the group. The final activity was leading the kids around the library to nine different offices and desks to trick-or-treat. I had 5 kids in my little group: superman, super girl, two pirates, and a black cat. They were so cute.

(YS internship hours completed: 44.5 of 75)

Internship Day 16

 Next Monday is Halloween. In honor of the holiday, the youth services department throws a special preschool Halloween party complete with story time, songs, crafts, and trick-or-treating. I will be helping with the party as part of my internship: reading the book and running one of the craft tables before taking a group of trick-or-treaters around to different desks and offices in the library for candy and treats. So I went into the library today to practice with Karen for the story time. We thought it would be fun to read the book but also have props that show what’s going on. The book is titled Halloween Night and it’s by Elizabeth Hatch.

After deciding on the logistics of the story time, I set myself up at one of the work computers and began trying to transfer my hand drawn ideas for decorating the kit bags into Adobe Illustrator. I did a pretty good job on the illustration for the back, I think. But as I was finishing the front, I hit undo one too many times and the program crashed before I could save. So I lost all the work I had done on the front and got completely frustrated. I have to go back and try again next week.

(YS internship hours completed: 41 of 75)

Internship Day 15

Today I actually started a shopping cart on Baker and Taylor for the board books Karen has approved on my list. It was pretty exciting. Heather logged me in and I went through and added 23 board books to the cart. I hope to add some more next Wednesday after Karen has a chance to look at the copies of some of the other titles I checked out of the library to evaluate. Ordering the music is going to be a little more complicated since the library’s usual supplier doesn’t carry some of the albums I picked. Karen also gave me some suggestions for other board books in the categories we are using, so I placed several more holds.

At the reference desk I worked on the reference book evaluation project Monica gave me. There are some very fine but very old books in the collection. Today I evaluated two titles (each 3 volumes long) on the birds and the wildflowers of central new york. Two of the  Birds of Central New York volumes contained detailed descriptions of the birds, their habits, feeding patterns, etc. The third volume was all colored illustrations of the birds. The wildflower books were similar, one volume of illustrations and two volumes of descriptions. My recommendation is to weed them from the collection since we have much more recent bird and wildflower books that contain color photographs. Not to mention the great web resources I found.

(reference internship hours completed: 36 of 75)
(YS internship hours completed: 37 of 75)

Internship Day 14

I spent the first part of the morning doing some more board book evaluations (thanks to Heather’s guidelines), and looking for board books about baby sign language and bath time to fill in some gaps. When Storytime was over I shared with Karen all of the things I had done for the two weeks she was gone and she liked my ideas for the bag designs. I then sat down with Heather for a few minutes to find out about getting a set of bibliographic records from the cataloging office downtown so we could re-catalog our existing early literacy kits and have a record ready when the baby kits are done.

I had time for a little more board book research before a Youth Services meeting. I learned about some more programs coming up at the library. Penny took us around the children’s room after the meeting to show us what she and Heather had come up with for rearranging the children’s room. There’s going to be a board book corner, a nicely shaped picture books area, and some new technology like a DVD screening room and a listening station for CDs.

Then I joined Monica on the reference desk for two hours where I finished the last three pages of the continuing purchases list. I explained some of my recommendations to keep or cut titles and she said she’d use my suggestions! Then we had just enough time for Monica to explain what she wants me to do with the next set of titles. I’m going to be looking at each and every book in the library reference collection starting with the oldest. I’m going to be examining each title to determine if the information is dated, available online, and if the book is in a good condition. I will then be making suggestions for weeding. This is gonna be fun!

I am such a nerd.

(reference internship hours completed: 34 of 75)
(YS internship hours completed: 31 of 75)

Internship Day 13

Today I was on the front reference desk with Heather again. While the reference desk was slow, she was teaching me about her methods of collection development. Heather is the librarian in charge of the children’s picture books. She is probably the only librarian in the library who actually has the chance to read all of the books she is considering for the collection before she adds them. Picture books are much shorter than most other books, after all.

She begins by reading reviews of picture books in several places: BWI Books, Amazon, Hennepin County Library, Baker and Taylor’s Growing Minds Collection catalog, and Barnes and Noble just to name a few. Amazon and Barnes and Noble are good resources to find out what the public is buying, because that’s usually what they want to read. Heather then compiles a list of possible titles and searches the county catalog to see if other libraries in the area have the book. She then borrows the books from the other libraries and reads them. When choosing a book to add to the collection she evaluates the story, the art, early literacy skill development, entertainment, readability, and ease of language (because if you can’t read it aloud fluidly, then it’s probably not using good language).

I also learned that it’s ok to think of books as ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ because there is an actual biological difference in the learning process for boys and girls. So it’s really good to buy books that are targeted for boys!

Some of the things I’ve learned from Heather today, I’m going to apply to the board books I’ve chose for the early literacy kits. I will reevaluate my choices using her criteria.

I also had a short half hour meeting with Susan Considine, the Executive Director of the Fayetteville Free Library, about my internship. She didn’t know a lot about what I’ve been doing, so I got to explain what I have done and what the final goals are. I think she’s glad I’m so excited about what I’m doing. But really, reading board books and drawing pictures is probably the best homework I’ve had since kindergarden. How could I not be enjoying myself!? When I told her I was also working with Karen and Leah on revamping the early literacy webpage, she was impressed. We concluded the meeting by scheduling another one in November for me to teach her the basics of social media since it came out that I was really interested in using social media in libraries. Yay!!

(reference internship hours completed: 32 of 75)

Internship Day 12

I started off the morning by reviewing the music I had picked out last week and doing some more searching until I had at least one album for each category. Some categories have several to choose from. I then did some research and comparison for rewriting the early literacy page of the the Fayetteville Free Library webpage. I then spent some time thinking of the design for the early literacy kits. The packages will be the same as the current collection, but I want to make them identifiable as a different type. So I’ve come up with designs for both the front and the back of the bag. The back will have a stencil and the front will have a label with the kit category and contents. I’ll post those designs later when I’ve had some time to fancy them up a bit.

Then, it was reference project time with Monica! There are only about three pages left in my current list. I will be able to finish next time!

(reference internship hours completed: 28 of 75)
(YS internship hours completed: 25.5 of 75)