Week 10

Currently Reading: Revenant by Sonia Gensler

Tuesday, April 2

Today I returned to the Instructional Services Center (ISC) to work with Dr. Edwards. I spent most of the morning covering new books with Mylar. New books, which come to school libraries in the district unprepared for the shelves, are sent to the ISC so that the staff there can put the spine labels on them and enter them into the cataloging system. I had never used Mylar covers before, so it was a great learning experience and I feel much more comfortable preparing books for the shelves from start to finish. I enjoyed seeing the process from beginning to end-a lot more goes on behind the scenes than I thought!

I felt even more prepared for the process from beginning to end after working on a cataloging project with Dr. Edwards. She received a box of materials from Norman school district’s Professional Development Center that had been cataloged as a kit, but was very disorganized and had both missing and additional materials (like I said, it was confusing). Together, we figured out which materials should be included and excluded from the kit, and how it should all be cataloged. I got to enter the information into the record using the MARC Magician program (Dr. Edwards mentioned that eZcat could also be used), and it was exciting to see the final product! I have done some record creation and editing in my cataloging course, but this was something that will actually be used by librarians in the school district. I loved getting to apply what I’ve been learning in my class in a real-world setting!

Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5

Dr. Edwards and Dr. Koh agreed that attending the Oklahoma Library Association (OLA) conference yesterday and today should count as part of my internship hours, so I have included my experiences at the conference here. On Thursday, I attended four sessions-the Sequoyah Intermediate Masterlist, Common Core and what it means for school libraries, From School to College (on how to prepare high school students for college), and the Oklahoma Authors Showcase. 

It was good to hear the rationale the Sequoyah team used when selecting books for the MasterList. I’m happy to report that I have already read half of the books on the list (The Revenant being one of them). The session on incorporating Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into the school library was the best session of the day because I learned about a lot of great free, online resources I could use for exercises involving short informational texts at both the elementary and secondary level (ProCon.org, ReadWorks.org, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives). The speaker, Tara Hixon, was really encouraging and made me feel a lot less overwhelmed by the transition to CCSS. I am excited about the new standards for a few different reasons for many many reasons, but one of them is that it has and will continue to create opportunities for school librarians to be a resource to their teachers. By doing so, they are showing teachers the value that the library and the profession has in the school. I think I am going into the profession at a good time-I am prepared for and open to the new changes that are taking place, rather than already being stuck in a particular mindset. I am excited to work alongside teachers as the new standards are integrated into schools!

The next session was also related to Common Core. We split into small groups and talked about which skills high school students are currently lacking that they will be expected by the new standards to develop. Some of these are analysis, evaluation, creating original research questions, and synthesizing information from multiple sources and multiple formats. It was a little strange to be in this discussion because the skills most high schoolers currently lack overlap in some ways with the ones that I lacked as a college freshman. Many of the things that the presenters stated about current college students’ information seeking behaviors apply to my peers because I am still in the college age range. The age group that I am currently in is honestly made up of a bunch of lazy information seekers, so it was interesting to talk through solutions to this problem with a group of older adults and hear their approaches to solving this issue (short lectures available online and accessible by cell phone, teaching research skills in ‘chunks” so that students do not become overwhelmed, and increasing the number of short written research assignments rather than one long research paper during senior year). 

The Oklahoma Authors Showcase featured three Oklahoma authors-Tammi Sauer, Gwendolyn Hooks, and Molly Griffis. The highlight of this session was meeting Ms. Hooks after the session and asking her about the possibility of a Skype author visit next year when I am in Thailand. I thought she might be interested because she does bilingual book readings, has had her books published in multiple languages, and is currently working with a publisher in Seoul, South Korea on a new book. An international cultural experience sounds like something she would like, and she seemed excited about the idea! I truly do think that the best part of conferences is making connections with other professionals, just like that.