Dr. Betsy V. Martens and Louix Escobar-Matute
Completed Summer 2009
Provides an opportunity for student synthesis of principles and theories acquired in coursework and application of these principles and theories in an outstanding library/information center. Under professional supervision, the student will complete 135 hours.
Student Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:
Throughout my internship at the Hardesty Library, I used my blog to keep a record of my experiences and reflect on the skills and concepts I learned. My blog entries provide evidence of accomplishment of the following course learning objectives: use the Millennium Circulation System, library’s webpage and library’s Intranet; use NoveList and understand elements of Readers’ Advisory services; provide customer service at the Children’s, Circulation and Reference desks; understand the importance of marketing collections; create a professional project plan for new programming; understand elements of supervision; understand elements of community relations; and understand elements of library boards and library management. My description of elements like staff rotations between departments in my blog post “Internship: Day 1” shows my understanding of the principles of effective personnel practices and human resource development. The extensive information and expertise imparted to me by Louix Escobar-Matute reinforced many of the concepts I learned in LIS 5023: Management of Information & Knowledge Organizations.
Designing and field testing children's pathfinders enhanced my understanding of evaluation concepts. My blog posts “Pathfinder Creation and Field Testing” and “Field Test Findings” demonstrate my understanding of the fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative research methods [ALA CC] and the concepts behind, and methods for, assessment and evaluation of library services and their outcomes [ALA CC]. As I explain in my blog post “Pathfinder Creation and Field Testing,” my use of resources like NoveList and The NY Times’ Parent’s Guide to the Best Books for Children shows that I understand and can apply criteria for evaluating the content and artistic merit of children's materials in all genres and formats [ALSC CC]. My selection of hot children’s subjects like pirates and hamsters for my pathfinders evidences my consideration of the opinions and requests of children in the development and evaluation of library services [ALSC CC]. Given more time, I might have asked children’s staff to keep a list of the subjects most often requested by children. Assessing the service community regularly and systematically to identify community needs, tastes and resources [ALSC CC] can assist with the identification and development of the most needed tools.
Yet evaluation should extend beyond library services and community needs. My blog entry “Evaluation of my Internship Experience” demonstrates my ability to practice self-evaluation [ALSC CC] as well. The fact that at the end of my internship I was hired by the Tulsa City-County Library as a substitute to assist with staff coverage provides evidence of my exceptional interpersonal skills in interacting with children, parents, staff, and the community [ALSC CC].
All of my blog postings about my internship experiences can be viewed here.
Internship Project Plans
One of my goals for my internship was to develop a project that demonstrates the knowledge and skills I have acquired through the OU School of Library & Information Studies and my internship experience. This project would serve as a keystone for my professional portfolio. Louix Escobar asked me to develop plans for three possible projects: a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C. The object lesson of this exercise was to understand that first plans may not work out as intended due to feasibility issues, unforeseen costs or lack of administrative support. Thus it is always useful to have backup plans.
My project plans demonstrate accomplishment of the following course learning objectives: create a professional project plan for new programming or assessment of services; understand various programming challenges; and understand the role of statistics in library service. This assignment allowed me to practice the techniques needed to analyze complex problems and create appropriate solutions [ALA CC]. These project plans demonstrate my ability to apply the principles of planning and budgeting in libraries and other information agencies [ALA CC]. My budgetary breakdown of each project’s cost illustrates my ability to analyze the costs of library services to children in order to develop, justify, administer/manage, and evaluate a budget [ALSC CC]. This assignment helped me to gain an understanding of the concepts behind, and methods for, assessment and evaluation of library services and their outcomes [ALA CC], as well as the importance of assessing the community regularly and systematically to identify community needs, tastes and resources [ALSC CC]. These concepts were later reinforced by my course work in LIS 5733: Evaluation Methods.
PathfindersFor the project component of my internship, I chose to create a number of pathfinders for children’s books on several frequently requested topics. While my project plan (Plan A) proposed creating 29 pathfinders, I underestimated the time requirements of identifying and selecting high quality resources for inclusion. Ultimately, I completed 15 pathfinders for parents and children on the following subjects: pirates, princesses, fractured fairy tales, hamsters, books about summer, books about going back to school, books for Harry Potter fans, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, tree and animal track identification, books for fans of the American Girls series, and winners of the Pura Belpré Award. My blog entries “Pathfinder Creation and Field Testing” and “Field Test Findings” provide a description of my experiences creating and field testing my pathfinders.
My selection of resources for my pathfinders demonstrate a knowledge and appreciation of children's literature, web sites and other materials that constitute a diverse, current, and relevant children's collection [ALSC CC]. Creating pathfinders on subjects frequently requested by children evidences my consideration of the opinions and requests of children in the development and evaluation of library services [ALSC CC]. I created pathfinders for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Pura Belpré Award winners in an effort to highlight materials that reflect the ethnic diversity of the community, as well as the need of children to become familiar with other ethnic groups and cultures [ALSC CC]. Using NoveList and a variety of print resources to aid in book selection illustrates my understanding and application of criteria for evaluating the content and artistic merit of children's materials in a variety of genres and formats [ALSC CC]. The document "Book Selection Process" attached below includes my notes for each book I considered, including the title, author, awards, and sources of reviews. If reviews were positive, I merely listed the source, while if reviews were negative, I made note of this. In a few instances I included books for which I could not find reviews because of the popularity of the subject or because the book provided diversity to the selection. All books listed were included in my pathfinders unless otherwise noted.
I designed some pathfinders for parents and others for children, including easy picture books and easy readers on the parent-targeted lists and chapter books on the child-targeted lists. This demonstrates my efforts to match children and their families with materials appropriate to their interest and abilities [ALSC CC]. Designing pathfinders that are visually appealing to children and not too textually dense demonstrates my efforts to connect children to the wealth of library resources and enable them to use libraries effectively [ALSC CC]. My pathfinder project demonstrates my ability to document and evaluate services [ALSC CC] and to create bibliographies and other special tools to increase access to library resources and motivate their use [ALSC CC].
Selecting resources for my pathfinders allowed me to identify some gaps in the Tulsa City-County Library children’s collection. This activity allowed me to evaluate the children’s collection and make recommendations, to understand the importance of keeping selection and weeding policies for children's materials consistent with the mission and policies of the parent library and the ALA Library Bill of Rights, and will help me in the future to apply these policies in management of the children's collection [ALSC CC]. Some of the gaps I discovered in the children's collection are detailed in the document "Gaps in TCCL Catalog," attached below.
Student Internship Evaluation
At the end of my internship, I was required to provide an evaluation of my internship experience. My responses to the evaluation questions are provided in the document “Student Internship Evaluation” attached below, and are also provided in my blog entry “Evaluation of my Internship Experience.” I completed over 160 hours of work during the course of my internship. This document demonstrates my ability to practices self-evaluation [ALSC CC] in order to identify strengths and areas for improvement.