Monday, July 26, 2010

Final Week

This is my final week doing my practicum with the Laurel-Jones County Library. Last week I read to the tots and provided a craft for them to create. Things went really well. I did a little ad libbing and had great participation, especially from the first group (day care) of kids. Jill said the things that I need to work on will come more naturally with time.

I got a little taste of cataloging when I went to technical services and watched one of the employees proofing DVDs. I did not get a chance to try my hand at it, but I got a look at how to do it.

Today, I helped Jessine with the magazines. She began by entering the issues of the magazines into the computer. She put stops on the magazines that will not circulate. She put barcodes and activated the magazines that will circulate. We switched out the old magazines for the newly processed ones on the magazine rack. The one's that were not going to be available for checkout were placed on the free rack. She also taught me how she processes new books.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Collection Development got to work on some weeding for the library. I looked at the circulation logs for certain books and determined if they were MUSTIE and if they had circulated enough within a five year time period.

Today Jill explained how the library orders books. She began by having me read the article by Christie that was in the Laurel Leader Call (Sunday). She wrote about how the books go from receiving to the shelves and urged patrons to be patient when expecting books from their favorite authors and best seller lists. I read the Collection Development Policy of the Laurel-Jones County Library.

I was told that the distributor for the library is Baker and Taylor. They use standing orders for fiction and children's series books. The program is called Automatically Yours. The librarian selects which books on the master list to get. They must make sure books and audios are not duplicated. Jill had me check Polaris to check for duplicates. I only found one. Together, we filled the order online and printed a list for the acquisitions department.

Today, I brought my brand new copy of my book, Phenomenally Me to Ms. Carolyn and Mrs. Breland. They had me sign it and filled out a purchase order form for it. They purchased my copy from me and will cut me a check. I was impressed with the speed of which they began processing it. When it gets finished processing, we will put a plastic cover on it to keep it nice as long as possible. I am excited!

Jill gave me a procedure of package receiving and processing to look over. We will discuss this next week. I am glad to be learning about new things, but it seems like I had to wait till the end to get to this point. Collection development was the thing I was most interested in learning about from the beginning.

Jill also told me how she prepares the brochures on collection holdings in the library. She is changing how they do the brochures so that there are sub-genres included. This is designed to help the patrons better find something suited to their tastes. Alot to take in all at once.

Next week I will do my presentation of the Night to totally tots. I will be reading three books that I got from the curriculum materials center. I plan on practicing my delivery prior to that day.

Week after Summer Reading

The week after the Summer Reading Program ended, I resumed my work in the Reference section. I shifted the rest of the books. I made a cheat sheet for determining when files for internet usage would be pulled. When minors reach the age of 18, their files are pulled. I began creating my craft for my totally tots reading project. I decided the kids would create a night sky that can be hung on a door. It has a moon, foil and construction paper stars and is tied with yarn.

I can't wait to learn about other aspects of the library this month. I did not work Monday, due to the holiday. Jill was not at work today, so I just did the projects that we had been working on.

End of Summer Reading Program

Whew! Summer Reading is over. It culminated with a fun day for the kids that included prizes for reading throughout the month, a large blow up water slide, cookies, and bean bag toss. I was placed in charge of the grand prize for reading- which was choice of a brand new book. When we went outside, I was placed in charge of the bean bag toss. I had two girls helping me run this station. While Kerri was getting wet on the slide, I was giving prizes to those who won the bean bag toss. A problem came up when a huge gust of wind sent most things on my cart flying into the bushes. When people had finished helping me gather my things, I noticed that parents included- had helped themselves to the prizes. I reorganized the cart and continued with the tosses. But I had kids lying about winning and just trying to help themselves to the prizes. This was very disconcerting. Through the experience I learned that you have to be really strict with kids on rules. It was getting out of hand mainly because if no one was behind them, I allowed kids to continue to try to take turns at making the bean bags. We had a consolation prize, but the kids were getting confused by my helpers as to whether or not they were recieving a prize from the cart or a prize from the consolation treasure chest. The main thing to keep in mind is that the kids were there to have fun. So, I tried not to read too much into it.

The following day, we had an outdoor, water day for the tots. We had colored construction paper and paint brushes dipped in a water bowl that the kids could paint on. They also had a table where they mixed dyes to make different colors to use on their paintings. There were also two kiddie pools. Most of the kids belonged to a day care. The day was successful and I helped move chairs and tables.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Yesterday I helped move books from one shelf to another, our continued project from last month. Then I went upstairs with Kari to learn how to do some repairs. We melted glue for spinal repairs, glued separated pages together, and made plastic covers. I was somewhat familiar with the covers and gluing from when I worked in the USM preservation department. She has a lot of work on her hands and she is the only person who does repairs in the library. I think I would really like to work in repairs or preservation/conservation. You get to spend a lot of meditative time and not so much team work is necessary.

Reflection, Gulf Coast Museum and Totally Tots

In reflection, it may seem at first glance that it is a piece of cake to be a Children's Librarian. However, I realize that much preparation has to be made. Last week, I was asked to be a puppeteer the day of the puppet show. I had to regretfully decline the offer. I didn't feel prepared. Jill became the narrator only because someone did not show up. I have to learn to be more spontaneous and prepared for dilemmas. Dealing with kids requires one to think on their toes. Sometimes you have to make things up or come up with ideas on the spot.

A representative from the Gulf Coast Museum came to talk about pirates on Monday. She did an activity with the kids where they had to listen to rhymes that describe a certain pirate flag and identify it. We had 147 books to pass out for the kids to use as tables to mark on their papers. We passed out that many crayons and papers. Then she did an artifacts game with them with things found in Mississippi like clothespins, leather, screws, and buttons. They had to identify what the artifact could have been used for as apposed to what is used for today. She had some control issues because some of the kids were not doing what they were supposed to do in the big group. However, she had much better behaved groups in the 3:30pm and 6pm sessions.

For tots this week we did Summer. Jill read books about the beach, etc. The project was a paper plate center sun with colorful cut out hands as rays.

My project in the next two weeks is to come up with a theme for totally tots story time, books to read, and a craft to do for July. I am excited, but I have yet to come up with a viable theme. My first thought was the Jabberwocky. Then, I had the idea of dandelions, but there aren't many children's books with color illustrations about dandelions. I am thinking about books on being yourself- Like Mumble Bear (my childhood favorite). I guess we will see soon what I come up with.

Captain Papillon

Captain Papillon, a pirate, came to the library to sing sea shanties with the kids. He played the guitar and had special ways he wanted to sing the shanties. He called on a band of kid pirates to play instruments. Then he asked for volunteers to learn how to dance like a pirate. At the end of his program, he told a story about a different kind of pirate. Astronauts, who sailed out from the Earth into the uncharted seas of the moon looking for treasure and what they found was the treasure of the view of Earth from the moon. It was an engaging story and held the children and parent's attentions.

We had a show at 1pm in Laurel, another at 3:30pm in Ellisville, and a final show in Laurel at 6pm. I ran to a local restaurant to pick up his order before the 6pm show. I helped with the prize closet, took count of how many kids and adults were present and passed out treasure at the end of each show. I even got called on as a volunteer in the last show. I had to dance and sing!

Tuesday was tots. After shelving the books, I helped set up for the after reading activity, cleaned up, and picked up in-house books.


The Summer Reading Program began the first week of June at 1pm Monday. The first program was the Pirate Puppet Show. I had seen Kari, a library worker, work closely making preparations with the puppets for the past few weeks. She had to sew clothing, hair, mustaches and beards, etc. to make the once plain puppets look like their respective characters.

The puppet show was about a Spanish governor whose wife and children were apart from him. He wanted to send them a letter and send for her to come up the Mississippi to St. Louis. Messiour Labady offered to deliver the letter and transport his wife and children. However, he already had a heavy load of gifts and gold, and silver to trade with the Indians. He was a young man and though he knew to watch out for pirates, he unwittingly gets sucked in by one who knows his name and about the letter. He takes over his boat and his gifts and gold, and silver to trade with the Indians and the governor's wife and kids. The governors wife demanded to be set free and she asked several times for him to let her and her kids go. Finally, after much annoyance, he lets her go on the condition that she tell nobody that they are pirates and have set up a trap. She also asks for Messiour Labady to guide the boat. They escape and she tells everybody about the pirate and his plans to set up a trap. The puppet show was narrated by Bumbling Bessie a female pirate (Jill-my supervisor). Who tells everyone that the Mississippi is now safe from all pirates, except for her of course.

I helped set up the puppet stage, manage the puppets, pass out treasure to the kids, do the numbers count to see how many children and adults attended. We did the first show in Laurel at 1pm, a second show in Ellisville at 3:30pm and a final show at 6pm for Laurel again. The first show is the most well attended-as there are day cares and day camps present.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I would like to talk about some of the things I have done in my practicum so far. One of the highlights was sitting in on an executive meeting concerning accreditation. I learned that there is available funding for things like hiring employees and funding other endeavors for libraries that meet certain requirements. These things must be met each year by a certain date. There are different levels: A, AA, AAA. This year the Laurel-Jones County Library qualifies for AA, which is really good. The boss delegates each of the requirements to various staff members in order to get everything done in a timely manner. She says this is her management style. I am currently taking Library Management. I hope to learn more about this in that course.

Some of the tasks I have done include shelving the Easy, Juvenile, and YA books daily. Easy books simply go in by author's last name with no further classification. Juvenile books go in by author's last name, and you must check to make sure the author shares the same first name, but there is no further classification. YA books go in by author's last name, and title of book. Books lying around are collected and in-housed for reshelving.

I learned that shelves should be stocked to 75% shelf space. We moved books to leave one shelf free, but we had some difficulties. So we will have to go back and add more books to each shelf in order to fit all the books. It works a lot easier when you have two people doing the same job as we did. When you do it by yourself (which I have done), it gets more exhausting.

I used the cutting machine at the circulation desk to cut out Summer Reading Program postcards. I laminated posters and cut them out in the repairs room, upstairs. On Tuesdays, I set up for totally tots and help set up materials for the craft project. I haven't been taking pictures, but I plan to soon.

I had a project I enjoyed doing, which was writing catalog notes for bound Cliff Notes. I just enjoyed a refresher of classic literature. It makes me interested in proofing books or cataloging. I also enjoyed looking for crafts that will be used during the Summer Reading Program. Last week, I began inventory of repair books and did the over the shelf checklist for circulation.

Reflection of the experience so far

I have been doing my practicum at the Laurel-Jones County Library for three weeks. In many ways, I have been able to confirm the fact that I want to be a librarian. One thing is the low-stress environment. Being that I have been instructed by my doctor to only work in such low-stress environments, I think this works out great.

There are however, some concerns like the amount of lifting, stooping, and bending. There is also a lot of repetition of tasks. These can get tedious. One example is when I processed the discard books. It was repetitive to scrape off the barcodes, stamp discard on page 89 of each book, when there were about 100 books to complete and the barcodes didn't want to come off easily.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Monday Begins My Experience

I am happy to say, I have a practicum for the summer of 2010. I will be working at the Laurel-Jones County Library in Laurel, MS for 150 hours. This is a three credit hour course. I will be taking two other courses: Library Management and Bibliometric Studies. I will also be working in Cook Library at the University of Southern Mississippi as a Graduate Assistant.