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library ethnography

library ethnography

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Lib Lib Presentation Transcript

  • Library EthnographyLibrary Ethnography Observation and Interview
  • I asked my friend Alexis to teach me how to find a book at the Ingram Library. The first thing she said was we needed to find an available computer or go to the computer located near the help desk, that is used to find books. When we got to a computer she told me I needed to go to West Georgia’s home page, www.westga.edu.
  • Alexis then explained once you are on the university’s home page you scroll to the bottom of the page. At the bottom of the page you see a column labled academics and underneath this column there is a Library hyperlink. I asked Alexis what a hyperlink was and she demonstrated that when clicked it will bring you to a knew website.
  • When you click the hyperlink it takes you to the Ingram library homepage which has the library catalog on it. I asked Alexis what a catalog was and what they used it for. She responded, “A catalog is a record of something, in our case it is a record of all the books Ingram Library has. The catalog allows us to locate books within the library and know whether the book has been checked out to anyone.” Since I did not understand the meaning of checking out a book Alexis went into detail how you are allowed to borrow a book for a certain amount of time and then it must be returned back to the library.
  • Alexis explained that once at the catalog you can choose to look up books, articles, or research guides. Since I needed to find a book for a research paper I am writing for one of my criminology classes, she selected the books tab. I chose to write my research paper on serial killers. Therefore, she typed serial killers into the search engine and then clicked search.
  • After searching the term “serial killers” a list of several different books on this topic appeared. I found the first book to be interesting and asked Alexis how I could find more information about it. She simply stated that if I clicked on the book I could find out the author, similar books, and whether the book was available.
  • After pulling up the information on the book titled Serial Killers by Joel Norris Alexis pointed to a box that said “holdings”. In this box it tells you whether the book is checked out or not and what the book’s call number is. Alexis told me that the call number was how the library organized its books, so it was very important to write the number down. In addition the “holdings” box says that A-H call numbers are located on the second floor and J-Z are located on the third floor. Alexis pointed out since Ingram Library has so many books it has multiples floors to store them all and on each floor it becomes quieter, making it easier for students to study.
  • The call number of the book started with a “H” so we made our way to the second floor. Once on the second floor we found the section containing the books with call numbers HF-HX. I was curious to how Alexis knew where to find this section on the second floor and she told me that there are signs on the end of each book shelf that help you to locate the book you are looking for. She also said that there were many maps or library assistants that would be willing to help you locate a book.
  • After a couple of minutes of looking for the section our book was in, we found the correct section. On this section we had to find the books with the same first four numbers as the call number we had recorded on a piece of paper. As soon as we found books with the same number we quickly were able to narrow it down to a few books. Then we found the book we were looking for. Learning how to find a book in Ingram Library was a knew and fun experience. I hope someday I will also be able to teach someone how to find a book in the library.
  • I also asked Alexis how she learned to find a book and she told me she went to the desk with a library assistant and upon asking for some help she was able to help her look up and find the book she was looking for.