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. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week Six

This week I put in hours on Friday and Saturday at the Biloxi Library. Friday was spent just shelving material in the morning. After lunch Liz and I unpacked and sorted the material ordered for the Summer Reading program.  The teen program is titled “Own the Night” and for the younger children it is “Dream Big, Read.” Biloxi received the order for all the libraries participating and Liz will distribute the material this week at a special Children’s Librarian meeting. If I am able to take off I was invited to attend, partly because she wants me to help with the carnival at the end of the summer. She would like me to set up a petting zoo of dogs  for the conclusion of the summer program. The meeting would also be interesting to see what the other locations have planned for running their own summer programs.

Saturday’s TWT session went rather well with 17 children attending and 3 dogs to read to. I had some children that responded well reading aloud and one I even saw some improvement since I had seen him in January. I enjoy this activity with the children and hope that my group can expand to some of the other libraries in the system, another reason to attend the meeting this week.

Working in the library has given me the opportunity to look for easy readers that I can put out for the TWT program as I am shelving. I try to locate books about animals, mostly dogs and other pets, that are rather easy for the children. Some of the children choose books way above their reading level and they get frustrated, which does not make for a good reading session,and some parents let their frustration show by rushing the child through the book.

 That’s it for this week. Mid-term is fast approaching and I know that Charlie and Liz have looked over the assessment as Liz checked the information of where it was to be sent with me on Friday.   

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Week Five

            When  I arrived at the library today, Liz informed me that our plans had changed and we were now going to the Dr. Gilbert Mason, Sr. Head Start Center in D’Iberville instead of the Moore Community House. Liz visits the center once a month to do story time for the classes there.  We loaded up the books that Liz delivers to the Center each month for them to use and all our supplies for story time and headed there. We read to four classses of 3 and 4 year-olds and played a game with Mardi Gras beads since that was the theme for the books we read to them.  Then back to the library to relieve others for lunch and prepare for the afternoon program.

            The afternoon program was at North Bay Elementary in Biloxi. We read to 4 Kindergarten classes with a total of 88 children. We picked up another librarian that works with Liz doing puppet shows and other activities. The changes for the day came about because of Mardi Gras next week and the schools would be closed.
            Before returning to the library we stopped at the library in West Biloxi to drop off DeeDee and help her set up a projector for her program Friday about the Tuskegee Airmen. She was the librarian who we were doing the pictures for last week.

            Upon returning to the library we became involved with the rearranging of stacks that are taking place this week. Liz and I moved the Reference section and then we moved on to the 300’s through the 600’s. The library just opened last June and they have not been happy with the layout. So, for several weeks now they have been planning the move and right now are trying to finish by Friday as some of the books are on tables in the conference room, the one reserved for Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I won’t be around to help them. I hope they make it.  Now I will have to learn all over again where things are.

            That’s it for this week. Always knew of the Outreach programs offered to the schools here in the area, just never experienced it before. It really helps as several of the children, especially in the Kindregarten classes they recognize Ms. Liz from the yellow library and associate her with good experiences and the library. Hopefully, that sticks with them and makes them good patrons.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Week Four

                 Well, Saturday at the Biloxi Library was not very eventful. The usual of checking in books, DVD’s and sound recordings started off the morning. While it was slow this morning Liz asked if I would shelve the in the Fiction section and the Children’s area, then she would have the DVD’s ready and I could get those done early. The library is rather short-staffed with only 2 regular employees on most Saturdays. A part-time employee comes in for a few hours around 12 or 1 to help out and today when he came in Liz and I had a project to work on.
            I helped with calling patrons about picking up books and other items that they had requested and we were holding them behind the desk. I also tried to contact a patron who neglected to return a disc in one of the DVD folders. I also learned how to place blocks on patron’s account when we need their information updated for a phone number. I also have begun assisting patrons on making reservations to use the computers. I also was able to instruct some children about using the library’s computers in the Teen Area as long as their parents have signed the consent form.
            The project was for another library that is hosting a program for Black History Month next Friday evening. They will have a speaker from the Col. Lawrence Roberts Chapter for the Tuskegee Airmen. Col. Roberts and his family were local residents in the Pass Christian area. He passed away in 2004; his wife and one daughter still live here and are very active here in the Gulf Coast community. He has two other daughters that are Television Journalist, one in New Orleans, Sally Ann Roberts and nationally, Robin Roberts. Dee from the West Biloxi Library, where the program will be asked if we could find some pictures of the Tuskegee Airmen for her to display and so that is what we did. We copied them and got them ready for her. We ran out of time and were unable to work on a banner for her. The libraries help each other out for their programs like this one.
            Last week I had to leave before we could finish the bulletin board in the Children’s area and so here is a picture of the finished product. Liz put it up during the week. The “feathers” at the top give dates and times for some of the local parades. It brightens up the area and is intended to spark interest in story time for the coming week when the theme will be Mardi Gras and parades.


 A couple of weeks ago I had pulled some books from the shelves to review with Liz for her story times in the month of February. Reading the stories before hand helps in preparing to read to the children so that you can practice your tone of voice and put some emotions in the proper places. They can be a tough little audience I have found. It has been a long time for me to read to preschoolers as my own children are all adults now.
            Coming up for this week I will be visiting with Liz in the morning the Moore Community House in Biloxi and in the afternoon we will be visiting North Bay Elementary School. That will be on Wednesday and that will be my only day this week as I will be out of town for the weekend.
            The Geneology Department is participating in a History Week celebration on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. The displays will be set up in the Biloxi Community center located adjacent to the library, just a short walk across the courtyard. I hope to be able to see the results of the displays they were working on when they gave me a tour last week.  Since they are not opened on weekends I am hoping in March I will be able to schedule a day or two to work with one of the librarians there to see what goes on in that area on a daily basis. They are in the process of rebuilding their collections since many items were lost in Katrina.
            I am enjoying my experiences at the library and look forward every week to new learning opportunities. I know some weeks it is just very difficult for the library staff to fit me in to their work routine, although they do appreciate the help. In some ways I think my being there has helped them to see the benefit of having a student worker, no salary for one thing, which in these times with all the budget cuts they are grateful for extra hands. I wouldn’t be surprised if they ask to supervise students for future Practicums since they are seeing some benefits from this experience, well, I hope they are seeing the benefits anyway. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week Three

         This week I worked two days in the library. I was able to take a day off of work and be at the Biloxi Library for the Preschool program in the morning and the After School program in the afternoon on Groundhog Day, February 2nd.  Liz and I were there early getting the Children’s area ready, putting the chairs in place for the moms and grandmothers that bring the children and getting the cart out with our craft that we had worked on. Liz has the Preschool program every Thursday morning at 10 a.m. The children began arriving slightly before 10 and ranged in age from a 5 week old to 5 year olds. The infant was just along because Mom and older siblings were there.
The program started out with Liz introducing me to the children and then I read a story to them, Go to Sleep Groundhog by Judy Cox. They were very attentive as they are very used to attending story time at the library. And they ask a lot of questions and participate when asked about the story. Liz and I then did a poem about Groundhogs and their shadows with paper puppets we made for the activity. We sang some songs about Groundhogs and then we went in the courtyard with the children to see our own shadows and step on each others shadow. Liz then read one more story I had selected, Bear Shadow by Frank Asch.
 The morning wasn’t over yet as we still had a craft for the children to do. When we had discussed activities for the program I mentioned to Liz what I had put on my calendar for my LIS 492 final project. It was a construction paper groundhog popping up out of a paper cup. When I started telling her she pulled out the picture of the one she was thinking of doing and it was the same principle so, that is what we did with the children, only we copied and cut our groundhogs for them to color. The children enjoyed the activity and were thrilled with their groundhogs to take home.
After the preschool group was gone I assisted Liz in working on her two bulletin boards that she is responsible for, one in the children’s area and the other in the teen area. Since Mardi Gras is later this month that is what the focus is for the boards. In the teen area we printed facts about Mardi Gras on “doubloons” in the three colors of Mardi Gras and placed them on the board with the saying, “Did you know?”  For the children’s board Liz, as I am not an artist, drew and cut out a large Mardi Gras mask in green. We then decorated it and made poster board “feathers” that we put the name, date, time and place of some of the parades in the area. At the bottom we also included the website that shows the parade routes for interested parents. Around the huge mask we placed Mardi Gras symbols. I will try to take pictures next week as I did not bring the camera.
By this time we were waiting for our After School group that was due at 4 p.m. And we kept waiting until about 4:45 p.m. when one child showed up. I unfortunately had to leave by 5 p.m. as I had a night class to attend so I was not able to stay so Liz worked with her and really let the child read the book, Shadow by Marcia Brown. I had selected that book for the older children along with a book containing facts and fun items about groundhogs. It was called The Groundhog Day Book of facts and fun by Wendie Old. At the end there were questions that I had planned to ask the children, had we had any. I was a bit disappointed that the older children did not show up, but Liz said she just never is sure how many will show up. She has tried having them sign up, but that isn’t always a sure thing either. Same has happened with the TWT group, we tried it both ways sign up before or just take you chances, and it all ends up about the same.
It was and interesting day on Thursday, not like Saturdays at all. The weekend patrons tend to go for the DVD’s and when there is something planned such as TWT, then we have children and parents. The patrons for Thursday were more interested in locating books and using the computers. I did take sometime to go into the Genealogy Department where I was given a brief tour of their Archives Room. It is very impressive, especially since it is all brand new equipment since Katrina. They are presently rebuilding their inventory since the storm since they were able to salvage very little. I hope in the coming weeks to be able to work with them and learn more about the department and what it has to offer.
My second day at the library this week was very ordinary and not much going on, the biggest excitement was the noisy meeting taking place in one of the rooms available to patrons.  It was basically a very slow day and once I had helped cover lunches at the Circulation desk I pulled the list off the library’s website for the requests from the other libraries in the system. The actual pulling of the material and checking it in for transport took the rest of the afternoon with a couple of interruptions to stop and assist patrons in locating items they were looking for.  Unusual for a Saturday was the slow activity for the movie section but we attributed that to the beginning of Mardi Gras parades and the Super Bowl this weekend and now, on to watch the Super Bowl myself, just wish my Saints were there.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This week I worked two days at the library. I was there on Friday , January 27 and Saturday, January 28. On Friday once Liz, the Children’s Librarian and I had straightened up from Thursday’s patrons and reshelved returned material we sat down to discuss story time and  the after school program for next Thursday. I will be working the story time for Preschoolers on Thursday, February 2 with Liz’s help and guidance along with the after school program that day.

             Liz first went over how to search for books pertaining to our subject for the week-Groundhog Day and we were able to find some at our library and the  others were coming over with the courier’s afternoon delivery.  We read through the books to see what would be appropriate for the age group we will be working with that day. We selected several, one we especially liked to show  exactly what a groundhog looks like along with their habits. We also gathered up our supplies for the craft project we will be doing with the children that will go along with the stories about groundhogs.

            With that all done for Thursday’s sessions we began to look at books for future story-times in the coming weeks. Liz plans about 4 -6 weeks of story-time themes at once. So,some of  the upcoming themes for February  and March are Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and Spring/Planting a garden. I pulled some of the books for these themes so we could go through them now and order the ones we need from other libraries in the system. Liz told me some guidelines she uses when choosing the books such as for preschoolers if the books are too wordy the children lose interest and become distracted. Not being around really young children in quite a few years that was helpful, because you forget that their attention span is not that long.

            For the after school program we are using the same theme and I selected several books that I think the children will enjoy. With this age group we will also be exploring shadows along with the groundhogs. We will also play a Groundhog trivia game with them after we share some facts about the day with them. I am looking forward to Groundhog Day at the library.

            On Saturday the library hosted the Tail-Wagging Tutors from Visiting Pet Teams of South Mississippi. The group is a non-profit organization that has registered Pet Therapy dogs that come to the library once a month in Fall and Spring so that children can read to them. The Pet Teams, a dog and their handler, also visit hospitals, nursing homes, senior day care facilities and the VA hospital all along the Gulf Coast counties. My husband and I have been a member since 2009 and I have helped develop the TWT program to where we now visit 3 libraries in the Harrison County system. We are now visiting Pass Christian, Margaret Sherry and the Biloxi Library once a month. I usually have 2-4 Pet Teams at each location, all on the same Saturday and at the same time. We previously tried every other week rotating between the three, but that was taking up all our Saturdays. And before that we only visited one location in Kiln and just continued to have low turnout of children and too many dogs. So, changes had to be made and we are seeing success at last.

            The numbers have been on the increase at each location. This month's session was a very good one with the Biloxi Library having 16 children read to the 3 dogs that were present. The other two locations also did quite well, Pass Christian had 18 children with only 2 dogs and Margaret Sherry had 11 with 2 dogs. The children’s librarians at Biloxi and Pass Christian are just wonderful and supportive. Margaret Sherry does not have a Children’s librarian at this time, so those numbers for them is a great achievement. The 2 Children Librarians we do work with are very supportive and make every effort to notify the children in the area that we will be there.

            The children and their parents welcome the chance for the children to practice reading aloud to the dogs and where the dogs are not judging the child. The dogs love the attention that the children usually shower on them before, during and after the reading is completed. The goal is to let the child read aloud for 10-15 minutes without someone criticizing  them or making fun of how they may pronounce a word. It is a worthwhile outreach program to the community and over time I have seen children improve their reading skills.

Here are a couple of photos from our session on Saturday-( when parents sign permission forms, they are also signing a photo release to our organization).

John and Gumbo listening to Alora read at TWT. John is my husband and Gumbo is one of our dogs. I was so busy I didn't have the chance to have someone take a picture of me with Coco and a child.

Buddy and Tiger Babe listening to Marielle read at Biloxi Library.

             In the next couple of weeks I will be working with Liz at some of her Outreach Services in the Biloxi area. We will be going to a Head Start program and to a local school that requested a Library instruction class. Also, I will be going shopping with Liz for supplies for some of her upcoming programs so I can see how she budgets her money for her supplies.

            This week I also worked the Book drop, taking the books from the drop, checking them in and locking and unlocking the bin for the weekend. I helped with closeout for the evening assuring no patrons were still in the library at closing, shutting down the computers and lights. It was a good week for me as far as the library goes.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week One

   Technically it was week one of classes and this practicum, but I began working at the Biloxi Library over Christmas break to test the water, so to speak. I was able to work only two full days (7.5 hours each) because of the library's holiday schedule but it helped me to learn the layout of the facility without it being too busy. Since those first two days I have been at the library for three Saturdays now working 5.5 hours each day, since they are only open 10:00am to 4:00pm on Saturdays. With work and school Saturdays are the easiest days for me to put in my hours. I have scheduled some week days at the library with the consent of my department at USM so that I may experience the type of patrons and services required on a daily basis rather than just Saturdays. 

   The Saturday patrons consist of parents with children, working adults, teens, and some regular computer users. The huge attraction at the branch seems to be there DVD collection; I was completely amazed how many people come to the library to check out movies and other DVDs. The collection contains some fairly recent movies and TV shows. There are of course travel DVDs, biographies and many audio book sets available. I have encountered several commuters that check out the audio books to listen to while driving to and from work. 

   The first day I worked was after the Christmas weekend. I was assigned the pull list for our interlibrary program within our county. After a tour of the library with Liz, the Children's librarian, I was given the list to locate the books requested and pull them from the shelves. After completing the list, I then scanned the books to see which location was requesting the books or DVD. After scanning and labeling the items are placed in baskets labeled for the different locations. The courier comes once a day to pick up  the items and delivers them to the various locations in Harrison County.

 It was a very good way to get me acquainted with the layout and where everything is located making it much easier to help someone when they ask now for assistance as I am now familiar with  where items are located.

  Over the last few weeks some of the duties have performed are-

·                     check-in and check-out material
·                     assisted patrons in locating books using the online catalog
·                     updated patrons records
·                     library card replacement
·                     shelved many books and DVDs

   One thing I have learned is that a librarian’s job is not just sitting behind a circulation counter. It is a very active environment and one in which you are constantly moving around, whether you are shelving books or helping patrons locate a book. It is a constant flow of activity with books coming in and going out and the least little slow down of the computer can really hurt when you are busy. So, it pays to have a good internet connection.

   A lot of things that we have discussed in class don’t seem to be a part of this library. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are not even thought of at this location. Other libraries in the county system do have a Facebook presence where they communicate activities being held at the library. And after the event they publish pictures on the site to arouse interest. Other facilities also have a very well developed email program that sends out messages about their planned activities. I think that Facebook, Twitter and emails can be effective in promoting the library and the special events held there if someone is willing to put in some time maintaining the sites.

   An important asset to have for being a librarian is good customer service skills since you are dealing with a variety of patrons, varying in mood and temperament. We are there to answer there questions, no matter how silly they may seem to us, we are the ones they are looking to for the answers. Most of the patrons are very nice but some seem to go to everyone at the circulation desk to see if they will receive a better answer or one they like. That happened to me Saturday when a set of parents first asked one librarian if their child could use one of the library’s laptops and they were told no since there are laptops available in the young teen area and in the children’s area specifically for them. They continued to ask all of us and were upset when we all told them the same thing. Not knowing all the rules for computer and laptop use put me at a disadvantage, but I plan to clarify the rules with Ms. Longino, Head Librarian, this week we I see her.

   This next week I will be at the library on Friday and Saturday and plan to work with the children’s librarian preparing for Pre School story time the first week of February plus the after school program that same day. On Saturday we will be hosting a special program presented by a volunteer group with dogs called Tail Wagging Tutors, TWT for short. I am actually part of the group and have been for about 2 ½ years now. We have registered Pet Therapy dogs that the children read aloud to helping building their reading confidence. It is usually draws a fairly good group and has helped children who weren’t too sure of themselves when reading aloud. It is not usually a very quiet time in the library when the dogs are visiting.  More about that next week.

   Well, I feel as those I am putting my skills to work in the library and hope to learn quite a bit with my hands on experience. In the coming weeks I hope to learn some about the Genealogy Department located at the library, some of the Outreach programs offered and the planning and shopping for Children’s services, all planned for February, March and April. That’s it for now.