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.