Saturday, September 26, 2009

Practicum Week 1

Sarah F
Practicum Analysis
Week 1
September 21-25, 2009

I have chosen to do my practicum at a local High School. This was the first full week of the practicum and it has been a unique experience for me as my library experience is in academic- years while in college and in the public library for 9 years. In the first week, I have been able to make some insightful observations about the library and how it works.

DAY 1- September 22

The first day at the practicum site was very familiar to the first day of any new job. I learned about where to park, where to sign in at the office and was given a tour of the building. Along the way, I was introduced to the building principal and various staff members. In the Library itself, I was given a tour of the facility which includes the main library room plus a classroom and a computer lab. The Head Librarian gave me an overview of the collection which proved to be very different than our public library collection. Because of its audience, there is a heavy emphasis on non-fiction and reference. In addition, there are special collections of Spanish language materials, easy readers, career guidance materials and a growing graphic novel collection. Compared to the Public Library, the fiction collection does not dominate the holdings. A special display incorporates the Abraham Lincoln book award collection. As the morning progressed, I was given a tour of the School District’s web site and was introduced to various databases available to students and was given an assignment to give database instruction to some freshman classes next week.

DAY 2- September 24

During my second day, I met with teachers to discuss projects that we could collaborate upon and I spent a great amount of time becoming familiar with the Circulation Desk. The School District uses Follett as their circulation program and the materials are protected by a security system. While procedures differ, they are similar enough to the Public Library that I was able to check materials out to a student with very little instruction. I worked with the Library Assistant/ Office Manager at the desk. She has the respect of the student and is very efficient at her job. Library staffing includes the Head Librarian, Library Assistant, two student workers, and a Library Substitute to help with daily activities when the Head Librarian is gone to meetings. We continued to prepare our materials for the database instruction and looked at some fake web sites to show the kids that not everything they read on the internet is true. In the database lesson, there will be a comparison between internet site searching and database searching.

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