Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26th - Day Six - Learning Services

Practicum Day 6
site: City centre branch, Learning Services
hours worked: 6
hours to date: 35

Today I met the Learning Services and Information Services team. Gerard is the reference librarian who leads a team of six others in providing specialized learning services including computer and internet classes, and the Book A Librarian program. He was great at introducing me to the responsibilities of the team, which overlaps with information services to a high degree. Overseeing collection development and maintenance of the adult non-fiction takes up the majority of time, the balance spent in providing reference and computer help.

The tasks that are specific to the Learning Services team revolve around teaching computer skills in classes attended by the public and leading internal training sessions. They also develop materials or classes for special promotion weeks. If a large enough group in the community was interested in a training, responsibility would fall to this team.

There are twelve classes offered each month. These are general interest or skills like computer basics, job searching, Microsoft products, using the online catalog and online searching. There are other specialized classes offered less frequently. I got to observe Rob conduct the job searching class. His insight is that patrons prefer learning everything in one session and that they are not so in need of instruction as guided practice. Patrons can take home handouts with the websites highlighted in the class for further exploration.

In the afternoon, I was invited to an Information Services staff meeting. Information services is responsible for many of the same aspects of the library as Learning Services, mostly adult reference, but Info Services maintains the more specialized areas such as music, law and business. At the meeting we discussed common library issues but one of particular interest was signage. There is a need to inform patrons of reminders, such as to keep an eye on belongings, but there are good ways and better ways. For instance, "Keep an eye on your belongings" might sounds better than "You are on closed circuit TV". However, both of these are lost on you if you happen to be a foreign traveller in an international city like Auckland and don't speak English.

in the staff room
hot chocolates today: 2
hot chocolates to date: 7

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