"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

May 22, 2009

First week of the internship is over -- I'm EXHAUSTED! (but happy)

My first week was definitely an orientation week. Two people who are in charge of projects I'll be doing are on vacation, so I couldn't get started on those. I spent a lot of time moving books -- shelf reading in the local history room, shifting the Government Documents collection about ten feet to the right (current shelving is too crowded and they need to move things around), and pulling books from the YA shelves for weeding. I have become thoroughly convinced of the value of shelving and shelf reading for knowing the collection -- I feel much more confident in my awareness of the contents of the areas of the collection I've been physically working with this week.

I've also been spending time observing and sometimes helping out on the reference and information desks. Mostly observing right now, but that's fine because there's a lot I don't know about the library systems and resources, and that means right now it's hard for me to answer many questions effectively. I have taken some reference questions, mostly directional things or things where I could just take the patron to the catalog and help him/her out there. It's a lot of fun to help someone find just what they were looking for. :) And if I start flailing it's nice to know that I can always direct the patron to the librarian sitting right next to me! (I will never be allowed to sit on a desk alone this summer, due to union rules. I actually appreciate that, though -- it takes a lot of pressure off of me to know that I have help right there if I need it, and my colleagues seem happy to let me take questions.)

During downtime on the desk, I've been talking a lot to the other librarians. I've been introduced to the Millennium internal library system (though I haven't used it myself yet) and to basic procedures within the system like searching, looking up information in records, placing holds, etc. I've also learned a bunch about my colleagues' paths to librarianship, library policies and procedure, the good and bad of membership in a consortium, and a lot of other miscellaneous but interesting and useful things. Some people are more talkative than others, but everyone has been very helpful and responsive when I have questions or express interest in something. All in all, it's a pretty cool bunch of people to hang out with. I'm looking forward to what this summer will bring!

No comments:

Post a Comment