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 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)

Internship Day 10

It was another full day at the library. For about three hours I researched children’s music to put in each early literacy kit. Normally, I’m not a fan of children’s music. Especially the kind that has children singing. But I had a lot of fun looking for good kids music that wouldn’t be annoying for parents. First I searched around on CDBaby, which despite the name is not just music for babies. They have independent music for all ages. I really liked listening to the previews for the albums, it gives you an opportunity to decide if the music is catchy, age-appropriate, and entertaining. I found myself making a mental list of music I can send to my almost one-year old niece along with the music for the literacy kits. I especially liked Sing Along! by Caspar Babypants. I also did some searching in the iTunes catalog for some ideas since you can usually preview the songs in iTunes as well. I really liked all three volumes of Music Is Awesome from the TV show Yo Gabba Gabba.

Then I had a few meetings before joining Monica at the Reference desk again to work on the reference and nonfiction collection project. I got through a few more pages of continuous orders (books we automatically order when there is a new one out). It took a little while to compare all of the Walt Disney World travel guides, but I now know which one I would want to take with me if I go back again. I am also making recommendations for which titles to continue and which to cancel. It’s more difficult than you might think. I’m comparing the catalog of how many copies of a certain title are in the county system, how often they circulate, how much they cost, how they compare to our databases and free web-based information sources, with how many other titles we have on the same topic. SO many variables. But it is interesting, I get drawn into the comparisons and am really getting to know the collection well.

(reference internship hours completed: 22 of 75)
(YS internship hours completed: 21 of 75)

Internship Day 9

Alphabet wood puzzle

I spent a full day at the library today. From 9am until 1:30pm I worked on organizing the board books I’ve reviewed into categories, trying to narrow it down to about 25 categories with at least 3 books each. With Karen’s help I have a good working list for categories and can go ahead and start making decisions about the specific titles to be included in each. Then at 1:30 I met with Karen and Leah about redesigning the early literacy portion of the library webpage to reflect new material and a new design. I’m going to come up with some language and Leah might show me how to make the edits. Then, from 3 until 5 I continued work on the reference collection evaluation project I’ve been given by Monica. Busy, busy.

I’m really loving my internship. For the next two weeks I plan to make a set list of board books for the 25 categories, do some research for CDs and finger puppets or toys to include, and think of a creative way to differentiate the new early literacy kits from the current collection (for ages 3 and up). I will come up with the language to use on the early literacy webpage, and I hope to finish the first step in the reference collection project.

(reference internship hours completed: 20 of 75)
(YS internship hours completed: 18 of 75)

Internship Day 7

Wednesdays are my usual youth services internship hours. I was able to observe the young First Steps Storytime program again before plunking myself down on the floor in the kids room to read all of the board books my library has available. In order to make it easy for me to keep track of the board books I think would be a good addition to our early literacy kits, I used the Goodreads app on my iPhone to scan the isbns of the books I liked. I created a special shelf in my Goodreads account to record all of the information and have been adding to it regularly as other board books I placed holds on come into the library for me.

My goal is to have about 100 books by next Wednesday. If you have any suggestions for awesome board books, let me know in the comments! Once we have the books chosen and the topics set, I’ll be choosing music CDs and toys to add to each topic kit. I can’t wait to start researching that. Also in each kit will be a pamphlet with a timeline of early literacy development and some suggestions for activities to do with children of different ages and developmental stages for each kit.

Another project I’ll be working on along with developing the early literacy kits is a redesign of the library’s early literacy webpage. Leah is going to teach me how to use Joomla! I’m excited about learning a new content management system.

(YS internship hours completed: 13 of 75)

Internship Day 4

Today I observed two of the Storytime programs: First Steps which is for children up to age 3 who are walking, and Preschool Terrific 2’s and 3’s which is for children aged 2 and 3 who are ready to listen to stories. First Steps had about 15 kids and parents. It was pretty loud and energetic. The kids really seemed to enjoy the songs and chants, they payed more attention when all the parents were participating in the activity but Karen still had to be flexible with the plan in order to keep the kids hooked. The 2’s and 3’s program had only 5 kids with their parents. They were much more sophisticated in that they could understand Karen’s instructions and participate in some dialog. They seemed to be more interested in the stories than in the songs and chants.

Afterwards, Karen and I spoke about the style she uses in her storytimes and my impression of the kids and parents in both sessions. We talked about how choosing the right book for a storytime is almost an art, balancing length with an engaging story while keeping in mind that the audience changes every week.

We then had time to discuss the research I did last week on other libraries that have circulating collections of early literacy kits for babies. She then connected me with Heather, one of the librarians in charge of purchasing childrens’ books, so that I could research new board books. While searching one supplier’s catalog for board books released in 2011, I kept in mind the possible topic designations the books could be grouped in. I picked out over 20 books from the list that I think could be used in our kits and I’m going to see if they are available in the Onondaga County system so that Karen and I can review them before we decide to purchase anything.

Following that, I attended the FFL’s Youth Services meeting where I got to learn about the current programs and projects and the ones coming in the next two months. I may be able to help with two of the events which is pretty exciting.

(YS internship hours completed: 9 of 75)

Internship Day 1

I started part of my internship today. I spent about an hour talking with my supervisor about my internship and coming up with a basic outline of my project and a work plan. This half of my internship (75 hours) will be spent developing early literacy kits for babies (0-2 years old) as well as observing and participating in the Storytime programs while learning about best practices. I then spent 3 hours researching other libraries that offer early literacy kits for babies or something similar. Here are some of the libraries I found:

If you know any other libraries that offer similar kits as a circulating collection, let me know!

(YS internship hours completed: 4 of 75)