Friday, November 30, 2012

Browsing Room, Research 101 and Finals Study Break

          Hello! Sorry it has been such a long time since my last post. This semester is going by so fast. Halloween and then Thanksgiving and next thing I know it's almost finals. It is a little hard to keep up. But I also could not have asked for a more rewarding semester. I have certainly learned a lot and had a lot of fun, and I think this year will be a good end to my college career. Ok, time to play catch up. We didn't end up doing the Halloween parade because of Hurricane Sandy. Something about it not being a good idea to have a parade in torrential rain and storm force winds. So I haven't actually had the chance to wear my zombie shirt and my Abraham Lincoln attire. But we are hoping to perform for the students even though the parade was cancelled, so maybe I'll still get my chance. Fingers crossed.
       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

First Blog Ever

I may be new at this whole blogging thing, but I am willing to give it a shot.  My name is Ilana Mesnard and I am this semesters Fortenbaugh Intern in Music.  When I applied, I knew I wanted to help out in the library  and expand its music collection.  Since I started my intern work in September, I've accomplished all that and more.  In this time, I have learned learned many of the jobs of a music librarian.  I've been asked to make programs for the Notes at Noon concerts, research obscure music, teach students library tools and more.  I'll be sure to share all the cool things I've been doing this semester so keep reading!