Thanks for visiting my blog. Here you will learn about my weekly practicum tasks at the Newhall Library located in Santa Clarita, California. I am working with Children's Librarian Christina Baker.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Last Week in the Library...

I cannot believe that my last week of my practicum has already come! This semester has blown by so fast, I do not know where all the time went! Since my last day on the job was spent just finishing up a few hours that I had left, I did not do too much different or new tasks. I was able to help order some more Pirate books for the up coming story time. We received most of the ones we ordered through inter-library loan, however, they were either too long or not age appropriate. I also went through the stacks in our branch and pulled some more pirate themed books as well. I am however a little surprised at the lack pirate books we have in both our story time collection and our regular collection.

This week I also helped with the Space themed story time. I read a book to the children during both the Tuesday story times. I also helped the children with the craft afterwards, which consisted of painted the rockets which I made and assembled the past week. And, I was right, the children were so excited to paint them! I do think though they were just mostly excited to paint!

Through out this practicum I learned so many things that could not have been taught within the classroom. I am very grateful for this experience because of that. Confidence, children's reference, readers advisory are just some of the things that are best learned on the floor. I was so incredibly nervous to create and participate in my first story time; by the time it came to my last day and I read a story, I was not nervous at all! That is one HUGE thing I am grateful for. As I continue on in my career and aim my career goals towards becoming a children's librarian, these elements are extremely important and essential to tasks I will have to complete in the professional world. Christina allowed me to help with collection development, weeding, projects, and activities. Not only to I owe her huge thanks, but she helped me to realize what I really would like to do with my career.

Monday, April 30, 2012

15th Week at the Library

This week at the library has been a very busy one. I was extremely busy preparing for two future story times as well as helping with the usual children's reference desk needs. The children's area has been rather slow the past few days, so the reference questions were very few and far between. With those circumstances, I was able to help collect and order books for the story time two weeks in advance. The theme for that week will be pirates, which I think is a fantastic theme. However, the amount of pirate books available is rather limited which surprised me. There are several, but they are either too long for a story time or too involved. I was able to order several though, so when they arrive, hopefully this week, we can evaluate them and determine if we can use them.

In addition to helping with those tasks, most of my time this week was dedicated to building four story time rocket ships! This coming week's theme is space, so Christina and I decided that for our craft we would build rocket ships that children could paint or color afterwards and we could display them within the libraries, both the Canyon Country and Newhall branches, afterwards. Boy, this was a real work out! Christina helped me to build the rockets and then I covered them in white butcher paper myself, so that the children can paint them. It took a very long time, several hours, to construct and prepare them for the children. Even with all the hard work, I think that all four rockets were definitely worth it! I am very excited to see how they turn out as well!

Here are two of the four rocket ships! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Week 14 at the Library...

Another busy week has gone by! This past week was extremely crazy with programs within the library. The city of Santa Clarita hosts a cowboy festival every year around this time and the libraries planned special activities, which were cowboy themed, to coincide with the festival. This year, we had a local author, Janet Squires, come into the library and read one of her children's books during the regularly scheduled Elementary story times. For Canyon Country, I was the delegated point person so that meant I had to set everything up, talk with the author before she presented, oversee the activity afterwards, and then finally clean up.

The picture above shows the children's area at the Canyon Country branch all set-up and ready for our author to come and visit. 

We had over 45 people show up to our story time to hear Mrs. Squires read her book, "Gingerbread Cowboy". Patrons also had the opportunity to purchase or bring in their own copy of the book for Mrs. Squires to sign. Not only did she read her book, but she also talked about her experience getting it published, what inspired her to write the story, as well as a little bit about her life. After the discussion, the children were able to draw their own gingerbread cowboy on a piece of paper. I admit, we have had more exciting activities before, and I think the children were not impressed by this one.

Earlier in the week I helped with the preschool age story time. Again, this weeks theme was cowboys, so all our books were themed with cowboys as well. However, after the books this week the craft was very cute and all the children loved it! We had printed out large sheriff's badges which the children were able to color, put their name on, and attach to a string so they could wear it around their neck. I really liked this craft and so did they!

Here is a picture of the sheriff's badge that I made! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

13th Week

Nearly all of my hours have been completed after this week. Just a few more to go! And wow, have I helped with a variety of different projects as well as answered some very different questions at the reference desk. For my hours this week I help with story-time again. This week our topic was hats. It was local election time in our city, so some of the elections were held at the library during our story-time hour in our story-time room. Since this situation was out of our control we were unable to hold the usual story-time which is put on weekly at the branch. Instead, Christina read one book in the children's area Bridget's Beret. Most of the children were really happy and enjoyed listening to the story. Afterwards, we had set up tables for the children to color on large pieces of paper. Once this was completed, we showed them how to fold their piece into a hat! I don't think we have done a craft yet where I have seen the children so excited. It was very cute and so far one of my favorite memories of this practicum experience.

In addition to assisting with the story-time I also had to fill in for another employee who was sick and I had to host Anime Club. I had hosted once before in the past, so I have had some previous experience but not too much since only one participant had shown up. This week I had the participants watch two episodes of a manga. There were only 3 people who showed up for the club and they all had to leave early for various different reasons. Because of this we did not stay the full hour that the club is set-up to take.

This week I also helped with passive programing inside of the library. Each week we put games out for children to play with one another and typically a library staff member or a volunteer oversees them. This week I was there. The children played Uno and Sequence, and they seemed to have a very enjoyable time. Most of the participants are regulars who come on a weekly basis. Because of this they have learned how to participate in a group setting and to keep their voices down to an appropriate library level.

Photo Copyright:www.tomlichtenheld.com

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Week 12 @ Canyon Country Library

It is only Wednesday and I was already able to finish up my hours for this week! The children's area has been extremely busy due to all the local school children being on Spring Break. This week I was in charge of one activity, helped with a after story time craft, and helped with another library activity. On the first monday of every month, the library hosts what is called "Crafty Kids". During this time children are invited to come into the library and participate in a craft. This week we had the children paint. I was in charge of the activity and I had a volunteer help me set up, clean up, and keep an eye on the children. We had taken paper grocery bags and cut them out into pieces, large enough to paint on, and passed them out to the children. Most everyone enjoyed the activity. We told them they could either take their artwork home with them or if they left it then we would hang it up around the library. Almost every child left their art! I am excited to hang them up or to see them hung up! 

Yesterday's story time was themed "Bugs". Christina read the children the book and I was outside in the children's area setting up. We gave the children large coffee filters and markers. They were told to color their coffee filter and then we sprayed them with water to let the ink from the markers run. After they had dried a little, we took pipe cleaners and made the filter into butterflies!  The children were so excited and loved this craft. There were two groups, each with over 40 children in them. I was very envious of these cute little butterflies everyone was taking home. They all turned out so well, each one was just a little bit different than the next. 

In addition to helping with the crafts, I also helped with a more passive programing. While Library Gaming is not completely passive it is very fun and the children love it. This week the group was small; typically there are over ten children in attendance, yesterday we had 6. We allow the children to play games such as Sequence, Uno, CandyLand, and a few other games. The children really like it but we constantly have to remind them to use their "library voices". I think it is interesting to have a game afternoon in the library, a place were books are typically read. But, these types of games can teach children many other skills they can't always get from reading. Sharing, logic, and a different type of thinking are all important strategies when playing games. 

11th Week in the Library

Last week was a very busy week for me in the library. I was invited to the youth services meeting, which is a meeting with all the branch managers, children's librarians, and assistants who help with the children's department. I was very pleased with not only being invited, but the results of the meeting. Most of the discussion was about the upcoming Summer Reading Program, which will start in June for us. The theme has already been picked, so much of the discussion and topics of conversation were about the website, buttons versus stickers, and prizes. I really enjoyed listening to the meeting as well as giving my input, even though it was very little!

In addition to discussing SRP, the topic of story time was also a decent size discussion within our meeting. Each branch discussed the three different stories times they put on and how it is has been going lately. In addition, each of us in attendance, nine total, did a small book talk about a book we are reading or have recently read.

The meeting last for several hours and it was a little overwhelming. However, I really enjoyed going. During my other hours I also worked at the children's reference desk for several hours. During these hours I have helped several children locate books for school, books for enjoyment, and for other reasons.

Monday, March 26, 2012

10th Week!

Wow, this past week within the library has been a very, very busy one. I was able to help prepare for upcoming story times this week by going through our collection and pulling specific books that Christina had written down. She had gone through her notes from previous story times and she had also used the help of a website to come up with new songs and to get book ideas. Locating the books was not difficult, however, not all of the books she had requested were there! Because of this, I had to place hold requests on items to be sent to our library from another branch. This activity helped me to realize that planning ahead as a children's librarian is a good thing. Not all the books that a librarian might want or need will be there, so knowing ahead of time what you need is essential.

In addition to helping with the future story time preparation I also met with our BWI representative, Michael. When working with Christina I have helped and have seen her using BWI to purchase new materials for our collection and the collection of two other nearby branches. In the meeting with him, he discussed a little bit of new books which are going to be published as well as helped to teach Christina faster and simpler methods of using the BWI website. I have always found it a little confusing, at least in certain parts, and Michael was able to help clear that confusion up for both of us, which was nice. Also, a BWI account was set up for myself to help Christina with her purchases. Now, when I am not working on another project I can sit down and add items to my cart to help Christina with collection development. She will look at the items I have placed in my cart and give me feedback to which ones are a good addition and which was are not. I think this will be a very beneficial aspect of my practicum because collection development is a task most librarians will do within their library careers.