Monday, November 1, 2010

November 2nd - Day Ten - I Love to Dance!

Practicum Day 10
hours worked: 8
hours to date: 63

Storytime! If ever there was a tonic for anxiety, bad moods, mumps or ailment of any kind, it's storytime. I was really happy that Lin gave me an opportunity to get back in the saddle. I love more than anything for a bit of absurdity and nonsense to follow me into storytime, and so my pajama pants and towel cape became the perfect get up for engaging the twenty or so parents and children that came today. We opened with Haere Mai (Welcome Everyone) and then read stories about dancing. We read I Love to Dance by Anna Walker and Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig.

And then we danced to The Salteen's I'm So Happy! from the new Yo Gabba Gabba CD Party In My Tummy. What a great time!

In the afternoon, I went met with Yan, the Chinese Services Specialist Librarian. She has a unique role in the library in that she does the selection for Chinese language materials (there is a centralized selection and acquisition team that acts for the whole system). An important point that I misunderstood earlier is just how much of the circulation is due to Chinese materials. A full 10% of the issues at City Center, and 25% of the ground floor fiction is from this collection. Jan is also responsible for going through donations for possible inclusion in the collection, and the assessment and deselection work. I think a significant point is that many of the day to day tasks of working with a collection that can be taken for granted - filling holds, for instance - require this specialized foreign language knowledge in order to provide the same level of access to Chinese-speaking customers as the library does for English speakers. A lot of time is needed to put magazines in order so that the collection is up to date, attractive and browseable. The library is able to serve so many more customers by attending to this by having a Chinese Services librarian on staff.

It's interesting to contrast this with Daniel's role as the Maori Services librarian. He focuses on planning and doing outreach and does not spend a comparable amount of time to Yan on Maori collections. This is not a difference in services, however, it is yet another example of meeting the patrons where they are. The library sees many Chinese visitors while the library serves Maori communities by visiting them. These are both different yet again from Children's services. The trend is for families with very young children, up to 4 or 5, to live in the Central Business District and then move out to the suburbs. The City Center branch focuses its Children's services on the very young and it is the community branches that serve school age children and teens.

Another part of my productive day was to give a short presentation to the Information Services team about roving reference. The team is moving to a model of customer service that includes finding patrons where they are in the library, in addition to serving them at a desk. It was nice to be able to contribute a few notes about my experience with a model that I think would work very well here for two reasons: 1) the team has a great customer service mindset already and 2) the floor is relatively large and it is not possible to see everyone who isn't already finding what they need. Afterwards the invited me to join the for small congratulations to one of their colleagues which is why...

in the staff room
hot chocolates today: 3!
hot chocolates to date: 14

1 comment:

  1. Hey brother, keep these coming. Very excited to hear about your adventures and experiences. Auckland lucky to have you, 'n at.