Leah GiarritanoSpring 2012Work JournalLIS591MWork JournalFriday, January 20, 2012Today I had a great opportunity to observe Janainteracting with the kids. She strikes a great balancebetween playfulness and authority. The kids like andrespect her, yet she has no problem being stern when theyare out of line. I enjoy her style of interaction and feel like Iwould like to incorporate some of that style in my owndemeanor as a librarian. I am anxious to continueobserving her interactions throughout the practicum so Ican learn even more and develop my own hybrid styleincorporating aspects of the balance she maintains withthe kids.Monday, January 23, 2012I got a little more exposure to the library software system,Sagebrush, used at Pleasantdale. Jana walked me throughall of the different capabilities of the system and taught mehow to use some of the different features. In addition to allof the benefits, she explained some of the nuances andpitfalls of the system. This exposure afforded me a betterunderstanding of the versatility of a library softwaresystem, but also what to be wary of when selecting/usingmy own system in the future. She is required to do a lot ofmanual overriding to certain aspects of the system which
can make things challenging. This insight, gained fromutilization of Sagebrush, will allow me to be betterprepared and know what to expect from my own system inthe future.Friday, February 10, 2012Today I presented my practicum project, Peer ReadersAdvisory, to nine separate classrooms of 5th, 6th, 7th and 8thgrade students. I introduced the idea behind the projectand handed out worksheets for each of them to completewith the title of their favorite book as well as threedescriptive sentences regarding why they wouldrecommend the book/what made it their favorite book. Ienjoyed being in front of the children and talking to themabout this project. When I explained that I would be usingtheir recommendations to develop tools for them to use inselecting books when they come to the library, theybecame very enthusiastic. I am excited about this projectand know how important peer relationships are at thisstage in their life. Tying peer book recommendations intothe library is a great way to tap into their developmentalstage. Assuming the output of this project is productive, Iwill definitely implement this type of project in my ownlibrary. Just from the initial enthusiasm and interest Ireceived from the kids, I can tell that bookrecommendations from their friends are very important!Wednesday, February 15, 2012Today I spent my time in the library preparing for an authorvisit for the 5th and 6th grade students. A.J. Hartley, author of
Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact, is scheduled to visitPleasantdale on Thursday, February 16, 2012. I helped Janacreate PowerPoint slides to run on the monitor in theentranceway of the school as a way to get the kids excitedabout the visit. I distributed order forms to the classrooms sothe children would have the opportunity to purchase a copy ofthe book and have A.J. Hartley sign it for them. I also helpedorganize the books that had already been signed to make iteasier for the author to know how to dedicate the book. Ienjoyed my involvement in preparation for the author’s visit. Itwas fun to see the excitement in the kids’ eyes, knowing anauthor was coming to visit their school. As a librarian, I will besure to schedule regular author visits as they certainly create alot of buzz about the library and reading. I learned thatAnderson’s Books, a local bookstore, coordinates a lot of theseauthor visits so I will plan to develop a relationship with themand express my interest in scheduling author visits for theschool I end up working for.Thursday, February 16, 2012Today A.J. Hartley came to Pleasantdale to speak to the 5thand 6th grade students. There was excitement in the airprior to his arrival as students eagerly awaiting theannouncement that it was time to gather together to hearhim talk. The PowerPoint presentation was playing in theentranceway and children were excited clutching theirbooks. A.J. Hartley was a great speaker and providedwonderful advice to the children about his experience asan author, how he gets his ideas, what it feels like to have abook rejected and how you have to just keep on writingdespite the rejection. He allowed plenty of time forquestions and, much to my surprise, the children were fullof interesting and engaging questions. The room was like a
sea of hands waving back and forth to be called upon. Thequestions were thoughtful and proved to me howimportant it is to have author’s come and visit children atthe school. They were very interested to better understandhis writing process and I could imagine them keeping hisadvice in mind as they write their own papers and stories.This experience further reinforced my commitment tomake a regular practice of scheduling author visits when Ibecome a librarian.Friday, February 17, 2012There was a teacher in-service today that I had anopportunity to participate in. One of the topics I foundmost interesting and useful for application to my owncareer was use of the Promethium boards. We receiveddemonstrations on the various functionalities of theboards and suggestions for various uses with the students.They are very powerful and dynamic tools and I think itwould be a great educational tool for use in the library. Iam hopeful that if one doesn’t already exist in the library Iend up working at, I will be able to persuade theadministration to consider its value as a significantlearning tool.Monday, April 16, 2012After lots of behind the scenes work, I finally began to“install” my practicum project in the library. It wasexciting to see the fruits of my labor come to life and thinkabout the students utilizing the tools I created. I think thatthis project will gain a lot of interest and momentum in the
school and, while very labor intensive, I would definitelyconsider doing another similar project in the future at myown school.Monday, April 1, 2012Today was my last day at Pleasantdale. It was sad to finishmy practicum as I loved working at the school with thekids and Jana. It was exciting to see my practicum projectfully installed. The PowerPoint presentation was runningin the front entranceway and the kids were very excited tosee all of the book recommendations from their friends.Both the principal and assistant principal commented onhow fantastic it was. Within the library, the shelves, bygrade, are all set up, with customized bookmarks withrecommendations by grade, a posted list of all thestudents, by grade, with the books they recommended aswell as the recommended books displayed by grades withmultiple copies for the kids to view and check out. All inall, the project, as well as my time at Pleasantdale, was agreat success. It was a rewarding way to end my timethere with the implementation of a successful project thatis sure to be used long after I am gone and that is gettingthe kids so exciting about new books to check out based ontheir friends’ reviews.