Thursday I went back to my practicum, my schedule for the semester is Tuesday and Thursday 8-4pm. Again I started the day with two hours on the reference desk. It was a bit more traffic and I actually had to help a student on a research problem. Lucky for me it dealt with history so I could recommend databases as well as help them find books. I followed lunch with work on the LIBGuide and then around 2 I attended a staff meeting. The meeting lasted for about an hour. After concluding the meeting we all made our way to one of the large study areas and enjoyed some refreshments.
It was very satisfying being able to work with a student to find information they needed. While I’ve helped friends and family. And I’ve done simple reference work, which really was helping someone find a book. This was more intense I guess because they were really clueless about databases and journals. And their research skills weren’t that great. I think I gave them confidence to come back and do it on their own. The staff meeting was great. It’s great to see how different institutions deal with their communications. In the small academic college it was more open and you just talked. This site is much bigger so I didn’t know what to expect. To start the meeting they had a presentation done by the Head of Facilities department. They have a 20 minute presentation every meeting, the speaker changes every meeting, which means the topic changes. This allows communication to happen with the library and other departments, creating a great team environment. The library isn’t a solitary entity. They’re allowed to ask questions and get what ever they want off their chest. Then they went through any updates and news. I was introduced formally to everyone, which was a bit nerve racking with my shyness and what not. And they did their monthly drawing. I didn’t win, I really wanted that $10 iTunes card.
The shrimp and champagne was provided by the college administration (I think) for winning the ACRL award. They take great pride in their staff and it shows. I’m going to be very sad when I go in next week and there is no cake. (I’m just saying twice in a row, I’m already addicted to it.) Although I asked my sister if it was weird that a majority of my alcoholic experience were with librarians in a library somewhere. She said it was.
My lesson for the day was working in a positive team environment. My previous experience in a large academic library I found there wasn’t a great overall sense of team, each department had a great working environment but their was no unity within the whole library. I honestly thought that was just how it was once you got to the medium to large size academic libraries. So many individuals with that many personalities, just how it is. Not that is was a negative thing per se but I don’t know I just never thought you could get a great sense of community in a large working environment. While I haven’t been able to observe all the departments I have seen them all together and you can tell that they all care about making the library work as one. That they are willing to sacrifice something in their department so that another department can get what they need.
The cake and alcohol was also a great time to network, while pretending to drink champagne I was able to talk to the dean of the library and other head’s of departments. I got offers to come talk to them and get advice whenever I had the time.
Next week I envision doing more in the instructional side of it and finishing up the LIBGuide (and learning more than I probably wanted to know about APA style).