Sunday, April 15, 2012

Final Blog

   Well, it's done-150 hours of LIS 489 Practicum. It was a great experience and I enjoyed working with the Biloxi Library staff, it just was very hard working 6 days a week. I'm too old for that part of it. I was prepared for the keeping  the books and those DVD's in order(attempting anyway) , the assisting patrons young and old alike and the general workings of a library. I was able to put into practice what I had learned over the past several years. Seeing the homeless men and women who make the library their home during business hours brought what I had learned in Information Ethics a couple of summers ago back to my mind. Also, from that class it helped listening to the questions asked of those wanting to use the meeting rooms so that it was fair to all patrons. Some groups were a bit surprised when the Head Librarian asked them questions about their organization to see if they qualified to use the rooms. No one was turned down, but they thought they could just walk in a reserve a meeting room without explaining what they were about.

   For this last day I worked I mainly assisted Liz with putting up a new bulletin board in the Children's area to carry her through the rest of April and May, preparing for the Summer Reading program starting in June. Then we sorted items from when we went shopping for her craft projects for story times for May. She is so organized it is amazing. She has everything ready for the whole month of May, by weekly sessions in little tubs. So, when the week comes up she just pulls out the tub and the craft project is ready to go. Working with Liz helped me to see how useful the class I took last summer with Dr. Creel, Special Problems in Library Programming would be for working with children.

   That's it for now, last blog for my practicum.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week Twelve

  This week I met with Ms. Charlie Longino so she could review how acquisitions are handled at the Biloxi Library. They fall under Harrison County Library System and share the ordering with the eight branches in the system. They generally order using jobbers such as Baker and Taylor. She explained how they build  carts for different subjects and hold items there before they place an order. For right now they are waiting for FEMA funds to be released so they can place orders. Since they are replacing books lost in Katrina they are still able to use FEMA funds when they are available. At the moment there is no timeline for when that will happen, so they keep their list going just waiting for the announcement.

   Back to the jobber, Baker and Taylor. Actually, she explained that most  jobbers offer the same services but the department likes the way this website is set up for ordering. You have sort of a Chinese menu for picking the services you want from the jobber-they can put labels on the spine or leave it off, they can catalog for you or not, so there are a lot of choices to get the product you want. And so they like the services offered by this particular jobber.

   On Friday I worked on project for the Genealogy Department. I was searching the local newspaper The Sun Herald from January to October 2011 for local history articles, church profiles and from a columnist who  writes about local events. It took quite some time and I left there with newspaper print fingers. It was quite interesting looking back at the years news, some articles it felt like it was just yesterday I had read about some of the events.  

   That was it for the week. Next Saturday will be my last day and will be reviewing everything I have done so we are sure everything is covered.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Week Eleven

     Well, I'm in to the final stretch. I only have a few more hours to go and I will have completed my 150 hours. When I began this is over Christmas break, I was prepared for a lot of work and it definitely has been. It has not been easy working full-time, going to school 3 nights a week and keeping up with practicum hours on top of it all, but I am almost done. 

     This week on Wednesday I went shopping with Liz for supplies for activities coming up-Easter, Spring, Mother's day and Memorial Day. We were shopping for two other libraries, too. Our main objective was to get decorations for Easter and items for the Egg Hunt for story time on Thursday this week. The library uses purchase orders at the local school supply store and the for other places, such as Wal-mart, she has a tax-exempt card and credit card to make purchases.
We actually ran out of time before we completed all our shopping, we didn't make the craft store, but Liz went the next day and found some great decorations as when I went in Saturday, there was grass everywhere along with egg trees. It looked very festive and Easter-like.

      Saturday in between helping patrons I filled the eggs with small goodies and candy. It was a tight squeeze-thank goodness for invisible tape. So, Liz has one less thing for Story time this week. I hope she likes what I did since she wasn't there Saturday.

Not too much to report this week. No excitement at the library. One more Friday to go-yeah!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week Ten

   This was a personally changing week as I have not been feeling well. Friday I was scheduled all day at the library and had to go in late because of a doctor's appointment. I had notified the library on Wednesday that I would be in at 1pm. I did make it but had to leave as some new medication made me left me not feeeling the best. I recovered overnight and was able  to make it on Saturday. Thank goodness I did have some extra time built in so that works out.

Saturday was the monthly Tail-Wagging Tutors and our turn out was fair. We had some competition from an Excel by 5 program that had been moved to the Civic Center that is across the courtyard from us. So we worked the competition by bringing flyers across to them about the library program and sent someone out with their dog, to peak their interest. We drew in a couple of new people who then signed up to receive notices about future library events, including the TWT program. Below are a couple of pictures of our TWT participants-
Coco, Brennan and I

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week Nine

    This week we had The Magic School Bus come to the Library. The reason they were at the Library and and the Civic Center was to celebrate the release of the Spanish version of the book, The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up  or shall we say, El Autobus Magico Necesita Una Limpieza. This is a link to the news coverage of the event  The release of the book in Spanish coincided with the EPA's award to the State of Mississippi for cleaning the air by retrofitting about 2000 school buses to control the emissions from their diesel engines. We also saw a presentation by a local school that was working to educate their student body and the parents about the harm of hazardous fumes and what can be done to control them. 

Below are some pictures of the reading of the Spanish version of the book to some students that attended the event.
Spanish reader, Becky,  and students
Photo above is the regional administrator for EPA( on left), Gwen Keyes Fleming with one of the Spanish readers.. 

Photo at left is the regional administrator for EPA(on left), Gwen Keyes Fleming with one of the Spanish readers for the program. 
The reader, Becky, is also pictured above.

That was on Wednesday and then on Thursday, I was there for pre-school and after school  Story times.
The theme this week was BUGS and the children were all into it. We read Caterpillar Wish and Old Black Fly, played and marched to The Ants go Marching In, played a  Bug Toss game and then made a sun visor with the children . Very busy morning and afternoon. The preschool had seven children and the after school program had five attend. In between the sessions I helped Liz work on the bulletin board for Easter. We didn't have quite enough time to complete it but here is a picture of it in progress-

I have all the letters cut out, first time ever using an AccuCut-very helpful device, made it so much easier than cutting out by hand. 

  On Saturday it was a slow day and I spent it assisting patrons locating books, helping some with the computers and I was able to address reminders to patrons about the Tail Wagging Tutors next week. Liz had left the list and a flyer for me in case it wasn't very busy and it wasn't. We were surrounded by St. Patrick's Day activities- a race, a festival and an afternoon parade. 

That's it for this week. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week Eight

     Friday I was able to work in the Local History and Genealogy Department located in the Biloxi Library. The department head is Jane Shambra. Jane showed me around the department and talked about the recovery from Katrina. Many items were lost permanently and new items are always being added to the collection. The library provides assistance with research and instruction for patrons that need help searching on and The library has access to these sites and will let you search for your ancestors. They are presently gearing up for the release of the 1940 census as they are expecting huge interest in this census. The Historical Society has asked if they would allow volunteers to use the library to help with indexing the census once it is released.

     Part of my day there was spent searching for a birth announcement in January and February of 1940 for a patron trying to prove what year she was born. I was unable to locate the announcement for this particular patron but ran across many interesting items, like a J.C. Penney's ad for "Frocks for $7.95." Some others were quite interesting for grocery stores- .07 cents/lb. for pork. Very interesting.

     Since Fridays are short days, I am going back another Friday in April to spend some more time in the department. I do love doing research. In my past jobs I was always the one to do the "digging" when something needed to be found.

    Saturday I spent the afternoon going through the Children's collection checking for Newberry  Award winners and Coretta Scott King winners. I located what we had in the collection, even found one that wasn't labeled and then gave Liz the list for what we needed to complete the collections, when they are able to order books again.

     I will going back Wednesday and Thursday of the coming week as the Magic School Bus is making a visit to the library this week. Let you know how that goes.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week Seven

      Wednesday I was able to arrange a couple of hours off to attend a meeting of the Children's Librarians for Harrison County. Liz had invited me to the meeting when we were sorting the items for the Summer Reading program and since my office is only about 10 minutes from the library I was able to make it work. It was interesting to watch the dynamics in the room as I know some of the other librarians in the system through USM and my volunteering with the Pet Therapy program. They discussed how they would be rolling out the program, acquiring giveaways through donations and what type of activities to use in the program on a very limited budget. They have to be quite creative in what they do with the limited funding they have. From listening to them the budget does not leave too much discretionary money right now. 
      One topic that came up was the use of Facebook for the individual branches. Several already have a page but Biloxi is not one of them. Liz is trying to convince Charlie that it would be beneficial to the library.  When I was asked how I felt I was able to answer as a patron since I have liked several of the locations on FB. I also was able to add how we used it in classes at USM for the LIS  classes. Liz was told to bring me in with her when she talks to Charlie about it again. So, I plan to line up my facts to be prepared to help Liz. 

     Saturday was my only full day at the library and not really much to say, it was the usual day. They did do upgrades to their software, Iluminar, during the week and I had to adjust to some of the new little quirks, like when you check-in an item, the cursor no longer goes back in the box slowing you down with the check-in process. Like all system "upgrades" it seems to have a few minor adjustments to be made. One good benefit is the print on the receipts is much larger, actually readable now. I even had patrons comment yesterday about the now readable print when I handed them their receipt with the items they have checked out.

     I forgot to mention that last week I did spend a couple of hours with the librarian that does Cataloging for the branch. Her name is Amy, a very quiet person who seems to quite happy with her computer and stacks of books surrounding her to be cataloged. Amy does not process all the books, most are done at Headquarters and sent out to the branch. She does the DVD's and some books. She took me through the process and showed me the template she uses to fill in the information for the selection and where she looks up the information. The template was constructed by someone at the headquarters for the county library system for use at the branches for items they process. 

That's it for now.