Monday, February 13, 2012

First Post-

This is my fourth week on the job now as music librarian intern at Musselman Library, and I've learned a lot so far. I've been given quite a bit of reading (I had forgotten that librarians were into that), including the funny title So You Want to Be a Librarian but it's all been very informative and helpful.

At this point, I have done research within Muscat and Worldcat, as well as Choice Reviews and to put together bibliographies on music wellness/injury prevention books we have here in the library, and books we should add to our collection since NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) is interested in our collection on this topic. I have also done a bibliography on music chronologies our library has, in addition to chronologies of 20th century, and chronologies of contextual topics such as art in order to help out my music history class with our research paper that is supposed to connect a composition from 1912-1913 to a historical event or any new developments in non-music fields at that time. Unfortunately for both these bibliographies, RefWorks wasn't working for me so I put them in MLA form myself, but I don't mind since that's how I've always done bibliographies.

In addition to making the bibliography, I did a Information Literacy Session with my class on Thursday on how to conduct research for the paper (keywords, subject headings, the different databases), but also how to try to come up with a thesis. So I prepared a concept map connecting my two topics, Picasso's cubist newspaper clipping collages of 1912 to Schoernberg's atonal vocal work Pierrot Lunaire and how both were very radical and avant-garde for their time. I had been at such an info session for my first year seminar and didn't think concept maps were that useful, but after this assignment, I realized that they really do organize your ideas and connections in a visual way and give you better keyword searches. Also in the session, I showed the class how to find primary resources such as original manuscripts and interviews with the composer (which I had only learned how to find myself the day before). Tim helped me a lot already in the research for this paper, and it gave me a headstart on my paper which I'm not used to since I'm usually a take-it-one-day-at-a-time kind of student (I have to be when taking six courses!). I feel like I learned more from this project than just what to teach my class; it helped my research skills as well. Teaching the class also gave me public speaking experience, of which I always need improvement.

A week or two ago, after giving me a lot of reading on the subject, Lina taught me how to do music cataloging. Or she tried to at least. It is a very confusing system with a lot of codes and rules with exceptions. It made me appreciate librarians who catalog so much more. It also made me realize that Muscat isn't an entity on its own; cataloging librarians must enter all the information seen there. I hope I won't have to catalog anytime soon, but if I have to, I at least know the basics and I have good resources to turn to as well. This weekend I was in New York City on a music career immersion trip and we visited the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts, which has a seemingly endless collection but only a small fraction of it can be found in an online catalog. I kept thinking, "they should get on that." I find catalogs really helpful for the public, so I'm appreciative that all our library sources are available through the online databases.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 10, 2012

And so it begins!

In the reference office, right above the computer station where I sit, is a painting of the Peterborough Town Library--“The Oldest Free Library in the World Supported by Taxation.” It caught my eye the first day I came in to do work, and I thought how serendipitous it was that it hung there as I began my library internship. You see, this summer I had interned in New Hampshire, specifically in the very tiny town of Peterborough!! While I was there I even went to this library to do work. It’s a promising start to the semester!

I am so excited to be interning with the reference department. It's been about three weeks and I've already learned a whole lot and am working on many exciting new things!

I am finished with Reference desk orientation and am now officially open for questions! My first student question involved finding books through MUSCAT—that, I thought, is something I can handle! Later, the phone rang, and I, at first, chickened out and let Meghan answer it. But the person calling seemed to have phone issues because she hung up, and called again. This time, I bolstered up my courage and took the call. After stumbling through my greeting (who knew that Musselman was such a hard name to pronounce!) I listened to her question, took her name and number and got to work. She was calling long distance from Colorado inquiring whether we had the Philadelphia Public Ledger in our library (good news, we do!). Although those were the only two questions I got, it was really nice to be able to successfully answer them—I hope that in the future I only get better in answering people’s questions!

I am working on a couple of projects off of my reference desk shifts as well. First, I am creating a short video with Jess and the help of Clint to show to future first-year students. The goal of the video is to allow current first-years to share what they wish they had known about Musselman library when they first came to Gettysburg. Filming is to occur in the near future—so more on that later! Second, I am working with Meggan on re-evaluating our children’s literature collection. This involves working with the education department to see which materials are most useful and researching the different children’s book prizes. It’s really exciting for me to be working on this project because I am really interested in going into children’s librarianship!