Friday, September 26, 2008

Field Experience

It has been forever since I have blogged. I have been very busy! Lately I have been visiting and observing school libraries to get a feel for what goes on there. In the past two weeks, I have spent 22 hours doing this. (yes...I am keeping track) It has been enlightening to say the least. Some of the libraries have been fantastic. Unbelievable facilities and librarians who are energetic and really up to date on the latest stuff in school libraries. And then there are "other" libraries and librarians. Thursday I went to a rural high school with an older librarian. Her selection of books were very outdated. Her fiction section looked like it had not been visited in years. I felt very sad for the students, because reading just for the sake of it is not really presented in a positive way here. There were no displays to catch the attention of students to attract them to read. Maybe they have a smaller budget than other schools. They seemed to be very current as far as computers and technology. The librarian told me they are getting a Smart Board...so they have to have some money to work with. I guess it's easy to sit back and be critical. (forgive me) I'm really curious to see another school in this same district so that I can get a feel for whether it is something that can't be helped.
I visited another library where the selection of books was phenomenal, but I thought the librarian was very rigid in how she ran her library. She had very strict rules as to how things are run. This was in an elementary school. I saw a group of 3rd graders come in. They had assigned seats at tables. When they came in, they went to where their assigned seats were and all stood behind the chairs until they were told by the librarian that they could sit. She went over very specific procedures about how things are done in her library. Wow! She has some very specific ways of doing things! She has been a librarian here for over 30 years and I guess this works for her. I know I could not be as regimented though. A few days later, I saw a friend of mine who teaches at the same school. I told her I had been at the library. This teacher told me that some of her students are afraid to go to the library at library time if they have forgotten to bring the book they borrowed back. I was very careful with my words because I don't really want to be catty.
I went to our Middle School Library here in town and I saw Melimouse! (twice) I also saw Sam and Audra...but my own son was no where to be seen. He told me later that he peeked in the window and saw me. That particular library was awesome! I thought the facilities were great and the librarian has some great ideas! I took note of some of them so I can remember. Unfortunately, I cannot do my student teaching under her, because she is a fairly new school librarian, having just graduated from the school I am now attending just three years ago.
Yesterday I went to a high school and a middle school in an urban setting. Beautiful facilites! The two librarians that I shadowed were great and had a lot of suggestions for me. I came away from there with my head spinning with all the knowledge that they were imparting on me! I thought it was really cool to see such a multicultural group. They have a number of Spanish speaking students, so they have a selection of fiction written in Spanish. Interesting to see Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal on the shelf.
Anyway, I am learning so much. Today I haven't gotten much work done and I must make up for it somehow. I decided to go to a friend's house for lunch. I stayed there much longer then planned, getting home just on time for the school bus to arrive.

13 comments:

Rachel said...

It sounds like you've been making your rounds!

Kim said...

Wow, it sounds like you are getting a lot out of your observations. It sounds like you are getting some inspiration and some "what I won't do" too. We are frequent library users, at least once a week we are either picking up or dropping off. Our library has Hispanic story time for kids once a week.

Priscilla said...

Hispanic story time! That's fabulous!

Wanda said...

Oh I found you post so interesting and inlighting. I think it's so special that your will have your work in a Library.

My SIL came from a very bad neighborhood in East LA. As a child to escape the gangs on the street, he and his younger sister found a Library.... It changed their lives. Ralph and his sister are the only ones that went on to college and careers. The other brothers are still (how can I say it...unemployed...drifters) So I say Yeah for Libraries and how they can change lives.

Bless you Pricilla.. You will influence so many people for good in this vocation.

Wanda said...

Oh I forgot to say the picture of your daughter is adorable!!

Martha said...

Sounds like an interesting area of study. I think visiting libraries would be fun.

Mellimaus said...

I did see you at the liberary! LOL...I just happened to be there twice that day. I love our school liberary--too bad I won't have it anymore next year. But I think the academy's liberary is good, too...

joeks said...

That's the best way to learn - actually visiting the libraries when they're open and talking with the librarians. You can certainly see that it's the librarian who sets the tone.

Christine said...

Good that your getting out. Totally off topic. Allen must make you very proud. He is awesome. He is quite the blogger too.

kristina said...

That is something I had never even thought about. Yet, I have many great memories of libraries and books from when I was a child. That was a great escape for me. I loved to read.

Bethany said...

Oh, sounds like you are so enjoying yourself!

Dunja said...

Nice post ! And beautiful child on the picture! Good for you Priscilla.I think it's great that you get to do that!

Blissful Nikki said...

you know I hated reading until about last year, now I love it. But I am severly dyslexic, so it was never encouraged for me to read because my teachers thought it would make me feel stupid! So no one encouraged it and now I feel like I really missed out on a lot! I hope these schools can up their game and encourage reading for ALL of their students!!