Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oak Park Elementary Library Practicum Experience

I learned many tips about library management my first day at Oak Park. Ms. Hinton informed me that it is best not to place books straight as a ruler on the shelves, but rather to stagger them a little to prevent kids from tearing the tops of the book spines if they are too tightly packed on the shelves. I also learned a quick technique for repairing books that have been written on; Sandpaper removes writing on the sides of books.

I asked Ms. Hinton if she has ever had any censorship issues or challenges. She told me of a few. I was happy to learn about these real-life instances and encouraged to use a similar scenario if not the same one to demonstrate an attempt to censor library materials or restrict access and explain how the Library Bill of Rights relates to the challenge. After I write my paper, I will attempt to share my findings here on my blog.

On my first day, I told Ms. Hinton about my experience in book repair. She encouraged me to order some supplies with which to repair books for next year. She allowed me to send in my approval form for the practicum this morning, just before both of us were called to duty as proctors for the Snapshot exam. They needed everybody they could get, so I was ushered into a classroom to proctor. I was however, able to complete the requisition form before retiring for the day.

On my second day, we worked on locating a school library mission statement for Oak Park. I was able to observe Ms. Hinton teaching a lesson and to complete my video introduction for LIS 491 and upload it.

What I learned from the whole experience of creating a video, is that nobody is perfect, but practice just might help you better prepare. Now, I knew what I was going to say, I had it written down, but I didn’t have anything too much like a teleprompter to make it look as though I'm looking in the camera. So, that is why I am many times looking down. I have learned that when I give my oral reports and lessons to the class, I need to have in mind exactly what I am going to say, and how long I am going to say it. Preferably, I should memorize or outline it to aide in memory. I perform poetry quite well and all, especially audio, but this type of on the spot timing, etc. was not simple. While trying to record this, I had the problem of using too many words and running over the allotted 60-90 seconds. My first time was 4 minutes. My second time was 2 minutes. This time, by writing out what I was going to say and encapsulating it into 1 minute 15 seconds I was able to make the mark, but may have fallen short for not improvising it.

Friday I spend 2 hours with Ms. Hinton going over protocol for daily running of the library. She informed me first of how to do the magazines. She instructed me that I can barcode them if desired. The books from Masonite must be checked out to teachers at the beginning of the year and returned to the library at the end of the year. Another great tip she gave me was to not use teacher's names to label items, but rather use they room number for identification. The room number can be used for check-outs too. Only teacher's can check out reference materials.

She told me that she tries to stay away from paperbacks and that I probably should too, unless, with my repairing and preservation skills, I want to undergo the time-consuming task of putting protective plastic covers on them.

Apparently, the library is the hub for times when teacher's printers are not working. Each ink cartridge costs $200. It is a lot! However, each cartridge makes up to 7,000 copies.

I learned so many exciting things in just these three days, but this is only a sample of what I took in. For more information on my practicum please tune right here next Sunday.

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