Friday, December 14, 2012
On another note, we had the finals study break this week, in order to give students a break from the heftiness of studying and finals. Chelsea organized so that we had 21 dozen cookies for the students to decorate, and they were all gone within an hour and a half. Plus we had 178 people come, which is really exciting. I think the event was a huge success personally. We also had craft supplies for a book cart decorating competition, which one group did decide to do, and lots of fruit and veggies, and even board games. All of the food was gone by the end of the two hours, and there were students playing the board games too. It seemed like it was just what students needed to manage finals week. It certainly helped me take a break from studying and focus on my own finals after.
I also finished my Research 101 study guide too. The name might be changed though, since it is really more about how to use the library's resources than the research process itself. But I'm really excited about how it came out and I hope that students find it useful. I tried to think about what would be most useful and the best way to phrase each subject to make it understandable, but it's hard to tell until students use it whether or not it is in fact helpful. Anyway, fingers crossed they use it.
To end my last blog post I would just like to say again how much this semester has meant to me. Having this opportunity has meant all the difference to my future and will help me get into and understand grad school more than I would have otherwise. It also allowed me to think about the ways that I learn and what I really want out of a program. I am going to miss being on the reference desk a lot, but I do have a job in the library next semester working on the more technical side of the library. Which is great because that means I still get to be here, and that I am again learning an exciting new aspect of being a librarian. I am so fortunate this year has worked out so well. I hope you have enjoyed my blog posts. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful holiday season!
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
This on-going project has been a learning experience on technology. I basically learned how to create online pages, create links to other pages (like the one above to the H&W Page), form aesthetic appeal on websites, and to link pictures and information from MUSCAT. It was a challenge for both Mr Sestrick and I, when neither of us knew how to create what we wanted. Yet, we managed to create a beautiful website that I hope continues to grow.
There are a few parts to the Health and Wellness Page. The first we worked on was links to other websites. The Lawrence Conservatory's Health and Wellness Page has information on preventing hearing loss, injury and information on stress and time management and more. This information is very relevant to people who are busy making music all day. Also, we linked a list of helpful books at the library. From Musician's Yoga to Playing (less) Hurt, Musselman Library has something for anyone. My favorite part of the page is the advice section. Mr. Sestrick asked Sunderman faculty for words of advice on staying healthy. So far we only have three, but in time there will be more takers. Next to the advice we added their faculty photo for a nice touch. Across from the facutly section, there is the student advice. The conservatory students were also asked to give a sentence or two of advice. To make the page look extra nice, I used Microsoft Clip Art to add a picture of the student's instrument next to their advice. Personally, I think it is a really charming idea. We thought about using an actual picture for the students, but in my opinion all the pictures would crowd up the page. The whole purpose of the pictures is to make the page as easy to look at as possible, so I believe this set up is a winner.
To help broadcast our new page, we have put up slides on the Conservatory slideshow on the second floor lobby. The slides happen to be the faculty advice. Quiescence? I think not. Now everyone, everyday can be reminded to stay healthy!
The library still has many vinyl records held at an off-site location, available to those people interested. There are around 300 vinyls on operas. One of my favorite projects was to find replacement CDs. Many of these operas were unknown to me. How do I know which recording is better? Sometimes I could find an exact recording of the vinyl. The other times, I had to use my judgement on which CD is more appropriate for Musselman Library's collection. I used the following steps to choose the most desirable CD. Step one: Look at the performers. Many times I knew of the singers. If I had to choose between Pavarotti or a less known singer, I would choose Pavarotti. If the performers were less known to me, I got to research them a bit to see if any of them were popular. Step two: read recommendations and reviews. The internet houses many cites for reviews. Mr. Sestrick gave me reliable websites to read reviews from. This was always helpful to me. I learned which CD had better audio quality, which director had the most convincing recording, and I found out who played the roles best. Step three: cost. After research sometimes I find that the recordings are pretty equal in quality. In this case, it is always prudent to make the most economical choice.
I was very excited to do this project because opera CDs were my first introduction to non school-related material at Mussleman Library. My freshman year, I would take out an opera CD each week to learn more about the field I wish to join. By the end of the year, the options were slimmer than I would have liked. That is one of the reasons why I applied to be a Fortenbaugh Intern in Music. I want to help expand our music collection. This project was very fulfilling it this respect.
Nico Castel books are personally helpful if the aria you're learning is in one. For example, "Deh vieni, non tardar O gioja bella" from Mozarts Il Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), a song I'm working on, can be found in his book. From his book I can record down the IPA and translation into my own music. Also, because the full vocal score is inside, I discover more about the opera as a whole rather than just a song. IPA is a helpful tool for a singer who knows the language. At the conservatory, there are 2 courses for singers on the matter.
Mozart - Nico Castel
Soon it was time for me to show what I had learned. Mr. Sestrick asked me to speak about the Castel books in Vocal Studio class. He presented information on how to use MUSCAT, WORLDCAT, Naxos and sources from the Oberlin opera program. Students were able to learn how to access books and videos and other helpful tools. The Oberlin opera website gave links to opera history facts and other really cool related information that singers could benefit from. Renaissance acting and Greek mythology is surprising present in operas. In the opera Giulio Cesare, Cleopatra sits on the goddess of Virtues throne with the Muses while seducing Cesar. A singer might want to look up what the goddess looks like or the relationship between the Muses and Arete, the goddess of Virtue.
Overall, this was a good experience because I learned many new places to gain information as a vocal performance major, and I also had the chance to teach a crowd of peers.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Also, more exciting things have happened! I've completed more of the Research 101 guide, and I'm pretty close to finishing it. I have to say it has been a lot of fun to look at what information is the most useful when doing research, and the best way to phrase the ideas so that it is helpful for students. I think casual but informative is working pretty well. Also, images are a great bonus. Too much text and the reader gets bogged down and it is hard to focus on the options let alone absorb the material. My intern supervisor Clint and I have been working on cleaning up the page and using more images to make it more useful. Personally, I think it looks great. I learned how to use image catching tools too- the programs that let you take an image of your computer screen and add arrows and stuff to it. Definitely a very cool program to know how to use. I should finish the guide fairly soon and then the revised version will be a subject guide option on the Gettysburg library page. I'm really excited to finish it. The guide will be a physical representation of all the work I have been doing, and it makes me feel official to have something people will be able to look at.
I have also been working on selecting books for the Browsing Room. The Browsing Room is a section of the library that has popular reading sources for the campus and public to use. Some of them are rented from other places and then there are some that the library owns and have in our collection. I didn't realize how many recent and New York Times Bestsellers the library actually had. If you ever find free time and want a good book to read, you should definitely come look. Anyway, as part of my internship Kerry, another wonderful Reference Librarian, gave me the list of possible books that are coming out in December and January which Musselman Library could obtain for the collection. I was able to look at and determine which books I would choose for the collection and see how that compares to what Kerry decides to select. Basically the packet of books has the basic information about the author and publisher and then a description so the reader gets some idea of if the book will suit what they're looking for. Let me just say this was one of the many exciting parts of the semester for me. Not only did I get to see what books were coming out soon, but I also got a sense of what authors are writing about, and had to think about what the public would like. There has to be a balance of science and history books with the romance novels and murder mysteries that a lot of people like. It was hard to do that. For instance, the books I might think people would want to read may not actually be what they like, or I may think a book sounds ridiculous because it is not something I would read, but other people might love it. So I had to find a balance between the two. The library can only get a certain number of books too so I had to limit which ones I thought were best. Also hard to do. I'll be interested to see which books the library ends up getting and how popular they are.
Last but not least, I am working with another intern to plan a Finals Study Break for campus on the Monday of finals week. Basically we're going to bake cookies and have sprinkles and icing and other decorations for students to use and enjoy. There will also be games and other fun festivities, possibly hot chocolate, so it should be fun for everyone who comes. Plus, students will probably want to take a break from all the studying and writing papers they are doing and everybody enjoys cookies and Christmas. Overall, I think it should be enjoyable.. It'll be a nice end to the semester for me as well.
I'll probably have one more blog post before my internship is over, so look for that if you enjoy reading them. Hopefully you do. Have a good last week of classes!
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Speaking of learning, sitting in on classroom sessions has been enlightening as well. I now have a greater understanding of RefWorks, Inter Library Loan, and a lot of English resources I did not know exsisted. Which is sad since I'm an English major, and graduating this year. Another plus about this internship! Observing this aspect of the library is also interesting to me since I entered Gettysburg thinking I wanted to become an English teacher and get a degree in secondary education. That is until it came time to sign up for the first education class and plan out the rest of my college career. I'll admit it, I chickened out. I worried that I would get bored with teaching after a short period of time and then wouldn't know what else to do so I never tried it. The fact that librarians also are responsible for teaching information sessions brings everything full circle for me, but allows me to experience an aspect of academics I was unwilling to attempt before. Teaching is scary, but observing these librarians it also seems fun, and more importantly it provides us with the skills to communicate about what the library can offer and the best ways to research materials. Which is especially important since I want to work at an academic library. This is something I need to learn to do.
It is also interesting to note that the librarians I have observed have differences in teaching style as well, similar to any other teacher. What they highlight seems based on what they seem most important and the basic skills needed before beginning the research process. It makes me wonder what I would highlight in a lesson plan and also how I approach research, for other people and for myself.
Next up catalouging! And I am working on a research guide for the library, Research 101! I'll update you soon!
Oh! Here's a link to the current Research 101 guide on the library website. Comments, suggestions? What do you think is helpful, and what is confusing? What would you like to see changed? Thanks!
Friday, September 28, 2012
Learning about Banned Books Week has been particularly interesting to me. Some of the books that are banned have actually won awards and are considered some of the most popular books published, like Huckleberry Finn or To Kill a Mockingbird. There seems to be a repetition of reasons for banning as well, mostly offensive language, anything involving sex or drugs, violence, and religious views that are controversial. This seems to represent the mindset of the country, to me at least. For instance, the book It's Perfectly Normal, which explains to teens what puberty is like and what they will be going through, is banned because it involves sex and has pictures of the human body. Because educating them about their own bodies and sex is a topic that is uncomfortable and so we either ignore, or blatantly don't discuss it. I think the banned books that bother me the most are the ones that are banned because some of the characters are homosexual though. Not that I agree that any of these books should be banned, but banning for that reason particularly irks me. Just the fact the characters are homosexual is enough for the public to ban them, regardless of what they are actually doing in the book. Which is just plain ridiculous, in my opinion anyway. I don't want to get too political about it, but reading about all these censored books has definitely given me something to think about.
As part of my internship, Clinton gave me an article to read about a children's book that was causing an uproar. The book uses the word scrotum in the context of a little girl who hears it and makes up her own ideas about it and what it means. Because of that word, schools are banning the book from elementary schools and possibly public libraries. It's tough to balance, I think, when it comes to children. Wanting to educate them but also not including material that isn't appropriate for their age group. Maybe there is a way to work with that though. In elementary school the students won't know what it means, but if they ask, their parents or teachers will have to explain it to them, which again is a uncomfortable topic they don't want to broach. Maybe I'm getting too political again but it seems to me if something makes us uncomfortable as a society we sweep it under the rug and refuse to talk about it. Anyway, I've decided to read through the Banned Books list, because I want to know what everyone is making such a fuss about. And it'll make for some very interesting reading.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
As a librarian I can work at museums, public libraries, colleges or universities, corporate libraries. A ton of places, and all of them I get to work with books and information that I normally wouldn't have access to and would never find on my own. The other day I found a database with images of paleolithic paintings for my art history class, there are several databases for primary sources from the civil war, one devoted to the author Thomas Hardy (which will come in handy for my senior seminar next semester), and I found an Arthurian dictionary on the shelves from the 70s. This is why I love libraries and I want to be a librarian. There is so much information to be found on the most random and wonderful subjects. Every time you open one of these books you discover information that you never would have encountered before and will change you in some small way, if only because it is so unusual. And I get to share that with people. With students and community members and families and faculty. It is so thrilling to learn about the catalogue in this library and all of the ways it can be used and appreciated.
So far, I've been working on reference training. Getting an idea how to answer research questions, and all the databases students can use to find them. I am also starting to plan Banned Books Week with another intern, which I am very excited about. There are a lot of books that I was surprised to discover were banned, especially considering why they are on the list. But more on that soon. There will be some exciting activities involved, so I'll keep you posted. I'll just wrap this first post up by saying that I know this internship is going to be amazing and I look forward to posting all about what I learn and experience.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Sunday, August 5, 2012
I installed the last bits of several exhibits on Friday. I took tons of photos—I’ve included pictures of each below, so you can see the final results. I’ve also included a few sentences about each one, to give you a recap of what I did and what I liked most about each project.
James A. Beran Collection of Civil War Artifacts
This is a collection of Civil War artifacts from Special Collections. It was actually curated into an exhibit a few years back by Joshua L. Stewart, who graduated in 2011. The items are really interesting—my favorite part was definitely getting to hold all the swords! Arranging the display was a blast. I didn’t do as much research for this exhibit since we recycled most of Josh’s materials, but I still got to revise some things, like when we decided to clarify which items were models/replicas versus authentic.
NOTE: I did NOT design this webpage—this is all recycled from Josh’s work.
Mort Künstler & Dale Gallon: Painting the Battle of Gettysburg
Künstler and Gallon! I’ve talked about this exhibit frequently in past posts. Here you can see the text and title I installed on the wall—I have to say, seeing my handiwork up there was pretty rewarding. I loved this exhibit because it was probably the most traditional “art exhibit” that I got to work on this summer, but it also gave me a lot to think about in terms of high art standards versus kitsch.
The Race for the Presidency: Then & Now
This was an especially rewarding end result for me, as it was the one exhibit that I had complete control over from start to finish. I chose the artifacts, did the research, planned the display, compiled the text—everything. It was also interesting because it gave me a very different kind of “curatorial” experience, because it forced me to consider current events and politics in relation to my exhibit material. I love how it turned out.
Civil War Sheet Music
Not as strong a picture due to the glare, but I wanted to give you an idea of what the space looks like for this one. I struggled a lot with the arrangement of the sheet music, but I’m pleased with it the end results. What was cool about this exhibit was that it related more to my Art Historical interests than I originally thought—there’s the whole cover art aspect. Did you know that middle-class families made up a significant portion of patrons in the nineteenth-century sheet music industry? People kept extensive collections!
I’m sad that my summer here is drawing to a close, but I’m excited to see what kind of new projects I’ll be working on in the fall! I’m sure I’ll keep nitpicking at some of these exhibits, but I’m anxious to get started on other things as well.
I’m so glad I was able to be the Exhibits Intern “guinea pig” this summer. It was wonderful to be part of such a fun team, and to get to know each of the Exhibits & Programs committee members—thank you so much Meggan, Lisa, Jim, and Susan! I’d like to say thank you to Robin too, for helping me to forge this amazing connection with Musselman Library. I look forward to the fall and the further adventures to come!
Friday, August 3, 2012
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
- Adapts and connects featured exhibits to popular technology (SmartPhones)
- Relatively easy to use
- Majority of students DO have SmartPhones presently (statistically speaking)
- Provides instantaneous information
- Also gives more detail than a small, informative panel would
- Clever, interesting way of linking artifacts across campus (Musselman Library, Penn Hall, Weidensall)
- Could it be expanded to more exhibits, even temporary ones?
- Not all students have SmartPhones; what should these students do to acquire the same information?
- On the tire sculpture, the QR code is inconveniently placed. Student has to get close to the ground in order to scan the code properly. Can it be adjusted?
- On the webpage for the Jeremiah Zimmerman portrait (2nd floor), the content describes Zimmerman as “donning a gold Phi Beta Kappa [ΦΒΚ] key and chain.” At a closer glance, it appears that the Greek letters on the pendant read: “ΦΚΨ” (Phi Kappa Psi). Can this error be corrected?
I suggested to Meggan that artiFACTS could be publicized more by making it a First Year Seminar/First Year Experience activity. Depending on how many students in the class have SmartPhones, it could be a great way to encourage students to interact with the artifacts in the library. I think that these QR codes, if given enough publicity, could have the potential to change the way our exhibits are experienced.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
- Political cartoons (3) (“The Original Squatter Sovereign,” “Shaky,” “Keeping Queer Company”; All of these are from 1860 issues of Vanity Fair)
- Pamphlets - Addresses/Speeches (2-3) (“Abraham Lincoln, His Personal History and Public Record,” “How Ought Workingmen to Vote in the Coming Election,” etc.)
- Letter (1) - Written by George W. Beidelman, 10/18/1860 - Comments specifically on the election!
- Assorted artifacts/memorabilia:
- Replica of Lincoln campaign badge (1)
- Campaign ribbons (3)
- Bottle caps (“Lincoln Root Beer,” “Lincoln Orange Soda”) (2) **These were my personal favorite.**
- Buttons (2)
- Small oval portrait (1)
- Figurine, small busts, etc.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
On Tuesday I was originally scheduled to help install the Mort Künstler and Dale Gallon exhibit in the apse, but since Carolyn is out this week the installation process was postponed for next week instead. Eventually I will be drafting the text for the exhibit and also creating the corresponding webpage, so I decided to get a head start on my research.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Tuesday: Working on my transgender LibGuide started off smoothly, but I ran into a problem when I went back later and tried to follow the links to the online reference collection. None of the links worked! Trying not to panic, I went into the Gale Virtual Reference Library and looked for any hint of a permanent link to the reference sources. No such luck. Jess was out of her office in a meeting and I didn’t know who else was in the reference office, so I decided to try to solve the problem on my own. Then, inspiration struck: I searched Muscat for the titles of the online encyclopedias. Success! Each of them had a permanent link in the catalog, just like the physical books I’d linked to on a different part of the LibGuide page. Now I’m curious as to why Muscat can have a permanent link to the GVRL and I can’t, but I’ll try not to be bitter about it. Problem solved, and I can go back to playing with my LibGuide page!
Friday: I finished updating the records for all of the transgender-related books we have in our collection! There are about 65 titles on my list; I meant to incorporate all of the titles into the LibGuide page, but decided that it would be too clunky. Instead, I have the call number ranges, keywords, and subject headings that I used to find the books on the list. This way, my list will never be out of date; I just have the top ten books on the LibGuide, and the rest can be found by using one or more of my Muscat search tools.
I tried to make the process of finding these books even easier when I was updating their catalog records. First, I added a subject heading to all of the books included on my list: Transgender. Some of the books had variations on that word (Transgender youth, Transgenderism, etc.) or used a different word (Transsexualism, Transvestism, etc). With the addition of that one standardized tag, any material in the library that is on my list of transgender resources can be found by searching “Transgender” in the subject line. Additionally, I wrote a summary of the book and transcribed the table of contents into the catalog record. This gives more places for the system to find information when a patron does a keyword search, as well as giving more information when a patron is deciding whether or not the item would be useful. See, we’re all about helping the patrons here at Musselman Library!
My Transgender LibGuide is pretty much done. I need to put a few more pages together before anything can be published, though, so it isn’t yet available to the public. Hopefully, that will change soon.
Next up: Bisexuality LibGuide and cataloging!
Monday, June 18, 2012
If you frequent the library, chances are you’ve seen me at the circulation desk. I’ve been a circulation desk assistant since my freshman orientation almost two years ago. I’ve loved libraries, books, and reading since before I started kindergarten, so the library seemed like a natural place for me to find my on-campus job. I soon fell in love with working at the desk; I particularly liked when I got to go into the stacks to look for an item that a patron couldn’t find or that had been requested for Inter-Library Loan.
Also during my freshman year, I became an active member of ALLies, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Intersex, Straight Ally, etc. group on campus. ALLies began looking to make reforms to campus policies to better protect the LGBTQ population, with the enthusiastic support of many members of the administration, including Dean Ramsey. To that end, I took an internship with Dean Ramsey last summer where my job was to look into the policies of Gettysburg’s peer institutions regarding their LGBTQ students.
During that internship, I found a website for another school’s ALLies club that included a link to a resource guide for the LGBTQ-related materials in the library. Unfortunately, the links were broken so I was unable to access the guide, but it got me thinking: maybe Gettysburg could have a similar resource guide. Upon my return to school, I made inquiries and ended up talking to Amy Ward, the head cataloging librarian, and Jessica Howard, the liaison librarian for the WGS department. They, and other members of the library’s administration, reacted positively and eagerly to my proposal.
Last spring, I started working in both the reference and technical services departments. In the reference department, I began surveying the collection to determine what books we already had on LGBTQ-related topics, and reading reviews of books so I could recommend titles we should purchase. In technical services, I learned the basics of cataloging and read articles on tagging and Library of Congress subject headings so that when it came time to organize the information I had amassed in reference, I would know how to organize it.
This summer, I have finished cataloging what we have in the collection and am preparing to organize it by topic. Last week, I began organizing information on my first topic: Transgender. I found titles in our collections of books, films, documentaries, and online resources. I started the process of updating the Muscat records for older books so that they will be easier to find in a keyword search. (The other reason is that I love working in the catalog and editing records. It’s just so much fun for a geek like me!) Later today, Jess will start teaching me how to use LibGuides, the program I will use to make my online resource guide. Hopefully, the Transgender LibGuide will soon be available on a computer screen near you!
Working in the various departments of the Musselman Library has taught me many things, but chief among them is this: I am 95% sure that I want to be a librarian for the rest of my life.