fieldwork update: chapter one

26Mar09

Life as a library school student has become exactly as hectic as I always dreamed it would be.  I’ve spent a lot of time working on my Project, Marketing, and Assessment Plan that will convince a local public library to start a Teen Advisory Board, whether they like it or not.  This week, though, has been largely devoted to my fieldwork/collaborative technology project.  For the past few days, I’ve been spending most of the day at a city high school, stopping at home to check on the bunny, and running right off to work all night.  It is positively exhausting, but is proving to be the most fun I’ve had in grad school to date, with the possible exception of boot camp.

For my project, I’m creating READ posters, just like the star-studded ones that the ALA uses to promote youth literacy.  The school purchased the software from the ALA store (which you can check out here), and the librarians recruited me to throw everything together.  I like to think that it’s because of my outstanding reputation for graphic design wizardry, rather than the reality of it being blind chance.  Regardless, our posters will be star-studded with celebrities of the high school.  This week, we took a whole bunch of pictures of students, teachers, and staff.  We got the valedictorian, a basketball star, students who frequent the library, the principal, and some of the students’ favorite teachers and sentries… and a whole lot more.  I now have about two hundred photos to sort through and Photoshop.

The coolest part about this endeavor is that it’s opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on city public schools.  In my admittedly limited experience, I’ve never visited a school where the faculty and staff were so friendly and eager to help.  The enthusiasm and pride for their school is immediately apparent, even though the school receives quite a bit of bad press.  These people genuinely care about their students, and it is glarlingly obvious.  It echoes the hometown pride that I knew growing up, but the scale of a large urban high school really emphasizes their vigor.  The wonderful librarians have already hinted at my return for my practicum, and I am thrilled at the opportunity.  Maybe not every city high school is like this one, but it’s given me a whole lot of optimism for my future career path.  At any rate, it’s a really positive learning experience that reminds me why I got into librarianship in the first place.

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3 Responses to “fieldwork update: chapter one”

  1. 1 Ana

    I totally agree with you on the passion and love they have for the students. Even when they have send a kid back out because he doesn’t have a pass or they tell them to turn down the audio and take off their earphones for the 10th time. They work hard to accomodate everyone and help them find what they need.

    I am really thrilled by what I have gotten to experience. I went to a small private school,where the library was basically a museum for books, so East is a whole new world for me.

    I am so glad you are having so much fun. Enjoy the photoshop.

  2. 2 Rebecca B

    Sounds like a great project, Karen! I’m sure they are benefitting from your optimism and enthusiasm, and I’m glad you’re having a great time!


  1. 1 fieldwork update: the final product « karen.the.librarian

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