Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Classroom Observation

               Besides lots of practice for the Book Cart Drill Team (we zombified shirts yesterday, get excited to see) the past few weeks have been mostly working at the Reference Desk and observing classroom sessions lead by other reference librarians. The desk has become more interesting as the semester goes on, and a lot harder. Students and faculty are asking me questions that I do not quite have the answer to yet, which is very challenging but I also like. I learn something myself trying to answer their questions, and it makes me feel smart when I do find information for them. They are usually really grateful too, which makes working at the desk even more fun. Also being a student while doing this internship is interesting as well. Sometimes my friends come to ask for help at the desk which is kind of odd but enjoyable. In terms of my own work, this internship is helping me a great deal. I have a better understanding of where to look for material for my courses, and all of my research assignments are a little more manageable than they used to be.

             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!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Banned Books Week pictures!

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. This semester has been busy. Really wonderful, but busy. Just a note about Banned Books Week, it seemed to go really well to me. At the end of the week there were only 6 buttons left! Most of them Twilight, but that's alright with me. I took a few pictures of the cart we had set up and I thought I'd give you a peek!
This was the display we had set up around one of the columns at the front of the library. The poster looked like it said "For Biden" if you looked at it from the side, but it still looked nice I think. About five minutes after we put the carts out on the first day, a student stopped to look at it! I'm starting to get a feel for the side of being a librarian that includes making exhibits and teaching, and I have to say I really like it.
We ended up putting the reasons for banning each book on the other side of the cover, in plastic cases, so that students could turn it around, rather than flipping the cover over. Having the answers hidden would have been good too but this was easier and I think it turned out really well! Oddly enough, someone actually took the Hunger Games one. What a strange thing to steal, but I guess it is flattering they liked it so much.
On the other side, we had this comment box and the pins! I was really pleased that people took the pins and happy about the number of comments we recieved as well. I wasn't sure how many students would actually participate, but there were quite a few. And nobody put anything vulgar or rude in there, which is always a concern when comment boxes are used. I don't know what it is, but people enjoy writing rude things in them. Anyway, the whole event turned out great and was really interesting for me as my first experience with organizing something like this. I ended up making 130 pins! A lot more than I expected and I completely loved it. I might buy a button maker now so I can make my own book cover buttons.