Thursday, August 6, 2009

Intern No More

So as the sun sets today my time as an intern comes to a close. I am still slightly stunned at the amount of new knowledge and skills my mentors managed to stuff into me. I am confident, though, that all of these skills will play a valuable role in any future position I may hold, be it intern, library assistant, or more hopefully, grad student and future librarian. Thank you all for reading, and I hope my journey provided a small glimpse into the realm of a small town library!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

TIE-DYE TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alright, finally, after two and a half months of learning procedures and preparing materials, Tie-Dye Tuesday finally arrived. I mixed all the dye the day before, made take-home bags and instructions last week, bravely fought off a cold, rolled everything out onto the lawn and hoped for the best. We had 36 registrants as of noon, with the program starting at one-thirty, and 36 Popsicles. We thought we were ready. Then SEVENTY-FIVE people came. Thankfully we had plenty of dye, extra juice, plenty of buckets and were able to commandeer a spare table or three. I had fifty bags made up with take home instructions. We had to get creative with the extra folks. But man, everyone was smiling, and everything, (people, shirts, socks, pillowcases, the tables, the lawn, the parking lot) was every shade of the rainbow! It was awesome!

In light of the large turnout, I would have to say that my education in advertising and program planning was successful. I mean, SEVENTY-FIVE people came. That's more than many events earlier this summer! The only things I would really change for next year are to make more instruction bags and acquire more Popsicles. Oh, and withhold the dye bottles until after the shirts got soaked since some people did try to jump the gun a bit. But every single person left with a smile on their face and multicolored hands! Just check out some of the pics on our flickr account or at some shots below!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Two Weeks 'til Tie-Dye!

So the countdown has begun for Tie-Dye Tuesday! In one week registration will begin. So now the work of promotion comes into play with posters, previously tie-died shirt bulletin boards, and of, course, this blog! A week after that, and t-shirts, socks, pillowcases, the library lawn, a whole bunch of kids, and myself will be all different shades of the rainbow! haha.

In other news, the world has officially stopped turning, as the book Twilight by Stephanie Meyer was checked in, and was not on hold for anyone. This is the first time that has occurred for that book since its purchase several years ago.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Books for Sale! Come Get Your Books for Sale!

This week, the library played host to a Scholastic Book Fair. I found this to be an interesting approach to our perpetual goal this summer: raising money for the local food pantry SHARE. In the past, selling trinkets like bookmarks have worked well to bring in funds, and it's been a surprising week trying to sell books to go with those bookmarks.

Probably, the most critical experience I have gained from clerking this sale is the insight into how parents determine the difference between a book that should only be borrowed from our stacks and one that they are willing to purchase and bring home permanently. From simple observation, books that tend to sell in the book sale include baby boardbooks, (Some people felt that it would be better for their child to teeth on a book they own rather than one of ours.), beginner chapter books, and juvenile novels. All of the books that I have seen sell had original inventive plot, and were not necessarily tied to a specific series.

What has surprised me about what has not been selling are all of the franchised books, like those based on recent movies, video games, or popular toys. Prior to this sale, I would have thought that those would be the big sellers, since we do not have them in our collection and the kids are familiar with the icons that grace their covers. But I have not seen even one go home with a family. I guess people really are returning to basics in this recession.

Well, in any event, the Scholastic Book Fair will be continuing on until Saturday, July 18th. So come on by! Find a great book and support a good cause all at the same time!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Party with the Potters!

Yesterday's Harry Potter Party was a smashing success. We had young wizards and witches of all ages playing Quidditch, drinking potions, and crafting their very own wands! My mentors, volunteers, and myself, all got gussied up in the latest in wizarding wear to guide the young charges through our events. For scenes of the fun, follow along on our Flicker page here, or just take a look at a couple shots below:

IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so for the past five weeks, my mentors and I have been wrestling with Dreamweaver in an effort to create a new, user-friendly web page for our online database collection. Today, all that work came to life as that web page went live. I have made my mark on the library and it is awesome!
On the old webpage, as many of you may have experienced, clicking on a link to a database often brought you into that company's general collection of databases, thus prompting you to search for and click on the desired database again. I felt this defeated the purpose of our webpage. I mean, why list separate links for databases if they all take you to the same general list again. So for the new page, my mentor and I spent a couple weeks hunting down the direct links to the specific databases. (This process actually took longer than assembling the rest of the page. I mean, oh my goodness, one would think these links required a national security clearance or something).

But yes, after many hours of learning Dreamweaver and tinkering with graphics, links, and the rest of it, come see how it all works!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Half Way Home

So now a month of my internship lies behind me, and one last month lies before me. The first wave of projects have been completed, and the true tests start coming into view. The brochure on our online databases is now printed and ready for distribution and its companion website is waiting on only a few more links. The boxes of juvenile books that I started processing and cataloging a month ago are now being checked out. The cork boards of the library are littered with posters and other propaganda I printed for various programs. I find myself in wonder at all I have accomplished in the past month, and can only wonder at what awaits me in the next.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lexi the Intern and the Case of the Missing Mentor

Ok, well, to be fair, my mentor was not missing, (she was merely hiding in an obscure back room in the building), but I have been thinking about that title for a few weeks and it seemed a good opportunity to use it. So now today is officially awesome!

Events that made today awesome:
  • Got to use cool title!
  • Over three hundred people attended our summer reading kick off event yesterday evening. Great turn-out people!
  • Made a new poster requesting people to turn off their cell phones in the library. My mentor loved it and now it is almost wall papering the main floor. (Only a slight exaggeration, but hey!, I finished a project!!)
  • Finished revising a brochure about our online database collection and my mentor thinks it is ready to go to print! (We are waiting for another mentor to give the final go-ahead.)
  • Made over three hundred tickets for our Wild About Wednesday programs that actually contain relevant information.
  • Sent out information about Tie-Dye Tuesday! for our monthly newsletter! (The info will hopefully appear in our July newsletter because the event will be taking place so very early in August [AUGUST 4TH, 1:30pm, HINT HINT heeheehee])
And to make matters even better, I found some equipment for my graduation present at a good price. How cool is that?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Picking the Picture Perfect Poster

Today was poster day in the Youth Services. With the Harry Potter Party rapidly approaching, our desks were a blur of banners, bottle labels and blown up images of the House Crests! Unfortunately, as is oft the case when adjusting digital images, the final larger versions of the crests came out a tad too pixalated. Let's just say, we couldn't tell if it was the Hufflepuff badger or raccoon. These are the times when you look back fondly on grade school and think: "Gee, I probably should have paid more attention in art class." Time to break out the pencils, pens, and hope for a stroke of artistic brilliance!

(For some reason, I think the sorting hat may be laughing at me....)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Papers Everywhere!!

So the gap in posting occurred largely due to the vast amount of paperwork necessary for both the summer reading program and the academic portion of my internship.

The summer reading program this year for the children's room is Read to Feed!, with the kids reading to earn money that will be donated to the local food pantry SHARE. My role in this was to assemble the summer reading packets that will go home with each student on the last day of class. I assembled, with the diligent aid of my mentors of course, enough packets for each student in Milford in Readiness through Fifth Grade. I think the average number of students per grade was around two hundred, but we kind of stopped counting after a while. heehee!

The packets contain the summer reading logs, along with lists of events that the library will be presenting this summer (including my Tie-Dye Tuesday!! on August 4th at 1:30pm!!) and bookmarks and pencils for the youngest grades.

Unfortunately, the other paper work does not seem to be nearly as exciting as stuffing brightly colored sheets into bags for future summer program participants. No, the academic paperwork is something I fear above all else: reflective and research papers. I will have to compose three short papers relating my experience at the library to set prompts that my school has issued. The unfortunate part lies in the subject of these prompts. My college seems to have decided that all interns are taking business or political internships, and the prompts reflect that. So the question remains, what does a library intern have in common with someone who wants to be a future CEO or US senator? Let's find out!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The List of Knowledge, The Ultimate Sorting Machine, and the Intern

So these past few weeks, I've been rather remiss in my mentioning of my time in the Technical Services Department. I find this rather strange as this is the area of a library I hope to one day find myself working in full time. You see, this is where the magic happens. This is where all the new books come in, their records are created, and they are labeled, covered and stamped before heading out to the public. This is what that blasted "In Processing" status means when you're waiting for that new book.

Anyway, over the past couple weeks, under the tutelage of mentors, of course, I began the process of taking a stack of recently purchased books, referred to as "New Acquisitions" and have started moving them through the cataloging process. Their first stop was checking the contents of these boxes against receipts, and then creating purchase records. Next up: creating call numbers!! At least, I think that's the next step. I mean, it does make sense right?

The rest of my time today was spent again in the Reference Department where I carefully began constructing my first draft of my very first library brochure based on that massive list of online databases I compiled last week. I found this process (and the use of Microsoft Publisher) to be significantly simpler than the construction of the companion website (using Dreamweaver) but I remain hopeful that the ease of both will level out with practice. I am wondering if I will ever look at a website or brochure the same way again once this summer is over! heehee!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Web of Text, Links, and Graphics: A Foray Into the World of Website Design

Remember when I said the website design program Dreamweaver might take some more getting used to? Yeah, about that...hahaha. Today I embarked on the first stages of entering the revised list of online databases into a new web page. And formatting images, and links (which go to other web pages), and jump links (which go to a different spot on that same page). It seems to me the most important thing to remember about constructing a web page is to not click and drag because it will wreak havoc with the layout and also to never accidentally hit the "enter" key. However things all seem to be coming together nicely, and hopefully by the time I have finished compiling that list of databases, I will have acquired enough of a basic knowledge of HTML computer code that my web page will blend smoothly with the rest of the Library's online setup.

On a side note, but still on the same topic, I learned how to enter links into blogs. If you click on the Harry Potter Party in the previous post, it should now take you to the description of the party! Hope to see you all there!!

Something Wizardy This Way Comes

Another day, another new introduction to another department in the library! Yesterday marked the start of preparing materials for a Teen/Young Adult program called Harry Potter Party revolving around Harry Potter and the upcoming movie release: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It was explained to me how different ages have different ability levels and thus crafts for programs must be carefully prepared so that no age is overwhelmed or completely bored.

In this program, for example, teens will have the opportunity to make their very own wizarding wands. Yet if every teen had to go through the process of rolling the paper so it formed a thin enough tube, pouring hot glue down the tube so that it filled, and waiting for that glue to dry for an hour or so to form a hard wand, that would probably not be so much fun for the teens. So instead, my mentor and I sat down and rolled out thirty paper tubes, made a hilarious mess with the hot glue trying to fill them (don't worry, we filled all the tubes and cleaned up!), and had the tubes set and dry.

Now, when the day of the program comes (on Tuesday, July 7th from 2-4pm), everyone can focus on painting, modifying, and otherwise perfecting their wand instead of watching glue dry.

(My mentor made the finished wand shown above as an example)

Now onto potions class and those pesky O.W.L.S. exams! (I know, just when you thought finals were over, too. Heehee!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

One of my Favorite Things

Today was quite an adventure. This morning kicked off with how to remove the leftover tax forms and begun the process of another major project: compiling and annotating the list of Wadleigh's online databases. Eventually, I, with my mentors, may be redoing that section of our website to make it more accessible and user friendly. However, as a result of this, I feel slightly like I'm under a technical-computer overload with the rapid addition of two new programs to my repertoire: Dreamweaver and Microsoft Publisher. Publisher seems to be an endlessly useful program with its roots in templates for posters, brochures, and other small print publications. I'm looking forward to using it for promoting a Career and Employment display, as well as organizing that list of the online databases into some sort of pamphlet. Dreamweaver might take some more getting used to!

But anyway, this afternoon I got to perform one of my favorite tasks at the library: calling people when the books they have requested have come in. Talk about an easy way to make someone smile! "Hi! That book you've been waiting for forever is here! Yes, you can check it out now! No, you don't owe any fines! Sure, come on in!" You can just hear the smile get bigger over the phone. Definitely one of the best parts of working in a library.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tie-Dye Tuesday!!

Today I began the process of setting up one of the largest portions of my internship: running a successful program for the Children's Room. On August 4th, I will run this program, Tie Dye Tuesday!, as a culmination of all of the skills I will be learning over the course of this summer. Today marked the beginning of this by learning how to set up an event in the online library calender.

I assisted in last year's tie dye program and am hoping that I can make this summer's concluding event better than ever.

And now for a rather shameless self-plug in an effort to boost attendance at this event. So everyone, please mark your calenders and join in the fun on August 4th!!

August 4th 1:30pm
Tie Dye adventures for children entering 1st grade and up. Teens are welcome!
Bring a clean white shirt, pair of socks, or a pillowcase to decorate.
Popsicles will be provided for refreshments.
Please remember to wear old clothing you don't mind getting stained as this will likely be a messy adventure!
Registration required and begins on Tuesday, July 28th.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Today I learned how to make a blog! I'm not really sure what to do with it yet. Bear with me, I'm sure I'll figure it out shortly.