And we’re back…

Today was the first day of my final semester of undergrad (yikes!) and the first day of Library Internship 2.0. Well, technically it’s a fellowship, just like Heights was an apprenticeship. But anyway…

First off, I’m not alone in this experience – I working with a fellow senior I’ll refer to as C. We started with a tour of the library and meeting all the staff we’ll be working with. Despite being here for 3+ years, there were corners of the library that I had never seen before. I definitely scoped out a few new places to work on finishing my German thesis. Afterwards we discussed more of the details of the fellowship. Our semester-long project is tied to the use of space in a library. A fair amount of the library’s print journal collection is being cancelled and a large portion of the print reference collection could be removed as well. These changes will leave a lot of open floor space on the main floor of huge library. C and I are going to try and figure out what to do with it.

The rest of this week is devoted to researching the planning of library spaces. We have our first article discussion on Friday. And next week we start in the archives!

Librarian-in-Training will be returning in Spring 2014!

I discovered that my college just recently began a Library and Archives Fellows Program after receiving a generous donation from an alumna who now works for the World Bank. Applications were due last week and because librarians are awesome, their turn around time was lightning fast. I had a short interview yesterday and found out I was selected as one of the participants today!

In a lot of ways, I think this will be similar to my experience at Heights. I’ll be shadowing and gaining hands-on experience in a variety of areas as I did at Heights. Having two similarly structured experiences in different types of libraries will allow me to really compare the two and decide what I want to focus on in grad school. Plus, there’s a career counseling component to the Fellow Program and the librarians I talked to yesterday seemed extremely willing to offer advice on grad school. Oh, and did I mention I get paid $1,500 (less taxes)? That’ll probably go toward grad school tuition or rent (…or yarn to keep me sane…).

I’m really excited for this experience. I didn’t want to be too cocky when I applied, but I had a good feeling about it. The stars appear to be aligning, directing me toward librarianship.

I’ll post updates as I get more information. But expect (hopefully) regular posts to return in January!

The Final Chapter (For Now)

Today was my last day at the library. I’ve been horrible about updating this blog (and never actually started my reading list), but this experience has been fantastic. It really solidified my choice of career. Everyone at Heights were so nice and helpful. I’m not a person that immediately feels comfortable in new situations, but I felt comfortable there from the beginning. Jen, my supervisor, was absolutely fantastic. I’m on first name basis with the Director! I can only hope that whatever library I end up at is half as cool as Heights.

Week 5 Update

I’m shifting over to weekly updates, for the sake of longer posts and convenience.

Chapter 12:

Last Monday, I was back at UH again for a children’s program called Timewarp Archaeology. There were activities for the six inhabited continents (sorry, Antarctica). The kids crawled through a ‘time machine’ to enter the room. I helped select books to be displayed on each of the tables as well as supervising the kids. Unfortunately, only one of the four kids registered for the program showed up, though Reference sent down two siblings who just happened to be in the library at the time of the program. While the turnout was a little disappointing, it was a good experience.

Chapter 13:

I was back at Lee on Tuesday. I shadowed in the children’s room and helped sign a lot of people up for the library’s summer reading program. After that, both my mom and I attended a program on the future of libraries, run by the library’s Director and Assistant Director. It was interesting to hear their visions of the future for libraries and the Heights Library specifically. Libraries are becoming community spaces as well as places that house books. And books (despite the advent of eBooks and eReaders) are definitely not going anywhere! As a future librarian, it was reassuring to hear that my chosen career path won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

Chapter 14:

On Saturday, I was at a different branch. The Noble Neighborhood Library was built in 1937 and was just renovated two years ago. It’s a beautiful space. I spent some time at Reference, where I talked with the Heights’ resident horror readers’ advisor. We talked about eBooks and their convenience as well as blogging about books. He recommended a new service similar to GoodReads called Riffle. After about an hour at Reference, I headed outside for World Wide Knit in Public Day. Matt, one of the library’s IT guys, is an awesome guitarist and played while we knitted. Afterwards, I spent helped stuff folders for summer reading, signed a few families up for summer reading and reorganized and re-alphabetized the children’s DVDs.

Sometimes I’m good at remembering to post. Sometimes I’m not.

Luckily I have a trusty Google Calendar to remind me what I’ve done so I can write blog posts later.

5/30 – Chapter 9:

Jen and I went to Foundation Center training. The Foundation Center is an organization that helps individuals and non-profit groups find grants (that is, free money). In addition to the organization’s website, they also run a website called GrantSpace, which also helps in the search for grants.

There are also two databases, which can only be accessed in the library. The first is Foundation Grants to Individuals Online. It’s for exactly what it sounds like – individuals (such as students) can search for grants given by companies. The second database is Foundation Directory Online Professional, which is for organizations looking for grants. This includes libraries, like the Heights Library, which has received 4 grants, according to the database.

After that, I shadowed in the teen after-school program known as the SPOT. The kids were watching anime called Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, which is about a guy who fights enemies with…his nose hair. I talked with one of the teen librarians about the teen reading program and the other ins-and-outs of the teen room.

6/2 – Chapter 10:

I spent Sunday at the Grand Opening of the new Heights Knowledge and Innovation Center (better known as HKIC – that’s pronounced ‘H-Kick’ for those keeping score at home). HKIC is designed to help Heights residents run and start their own small businesses. There’s a large computer lab, two collaborative meeting rooms and a Media Lab, which is basically a recording studio that’s free to the public! Initially, I observed and helped out with the Media Lab demonstration. Afterwards, we supervised the computer lab, which was still busy despite the Grand Opening.

6/4 – Chapter 11:

I started heading out to the branches – University Heights (UH) first. I spent most of the time at the Reference desk – including actually doing some librarian work! I helped find picture books for story time in the catalog for the children’s librarian as well as helping patrons with everything from holds to computer issues.

I also helped one of the librarians set up and start UH’s International Film Festival. The film last night was Free Men (France 2012). It’s about an Algerian immigrant who becomes a freedom fighter in Nazi-occupied France. I only saw the first 30 minutes, but it looked pretty good.

I definitely enjoyed getting to do some work instead of shadowing. Shadowing definitely helped prepare me to actually do that work, though.

Chapter 8

Shadowed on the floor and in AV with Jen, then discussed programming and readers’ advisory with Carole. Programming can be either active or passive. Active programming is formal programs, where people come into the library specifically for the program. Passive programming takes the form of book lists, displays and other signs around the library, which people see while they are already in the library.

Jen and I also worked out my schedule for most of the rest of June. Tomorrow, we’re doing Foundation Center training. Sunday, I work the HKIC (new fancy computer lab) Grand Opening and Tuesday I start going out to the branches (UH first).

Chapter 6 & 7

Forgot to post an update on Friday. It was a pretty standard day: combination of AV, phones and floor.

Today, I talked to two librarians about their specific areas and shadowed the ASD director. One specific area was Outreach. ‘Outreach’ is twofold: providing books and audiobooks to  assisted living and nursing homes in the area and sending materials out to homebound patrons. The librarian in charge has a system that works, but she wants to make some adjustments. The main one is getting an Outreach-specific vehicle, which would make loading and unloading books easier. Another change is shifting the homebound mailings from single-use packing envelopes to reusable book sleeves. This would allow the homebound patrons to send their books back in instead of having a friend or family member return them to the library.

I also talked with the DVD librarian and member of the Balanced Scorecard committee. The Balanced Scorecard is the Heights Library’s two year strategic plan. Obviously, a strategic plan involves some very abstract terms. These are broken down into smaller activities – e.g. moving and reconsidering magazine subscriptions, etc. – that can be completed by the Adult Services department. We also discussed the ins and outs of DVD ordering.

I finished up the day shadowing the ASD director on the floor. We reviewed some of the databases CLEVNET is subscribed to. (At some point, I’ll have to explain CLEVNET.) We also handled a lot of computer questions and a couple of hold requests.

I’m back with Jen tomorrow.