First Week in the School

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My name is Laura, and I am currently a second year MLIS student at McGill University’s School of Information Studies. My last semester here includes a practicum. Since I am hoping to become a school librarian, I have opted to do my practicum at an elementary school with their librarian, a woman named Mary. Part of the work required for the practicum includes weekly logs, so I thought, why not do them as a blog? It makes it easy to access and will give the logs a reflective aspect as well. So, that explains why this entry is dated January 24 even though I wrote it on January 11. The idea for a blog didn’t come to me until two weeks in.

I chose to work with Mary because I got the sense that I would be able to do a wide variety of tasks and really get a sense of what it means to be a school librarian. She’s also allowing me to be fully self-directed and pursue the projects that are most of interest to me. Also, the school is French immersion, which will give me a sense of how my own French is and what I can do to improve it.

Today, January 10th, was my first visit to the school. Mary and I had agreed that I’d spend the first two weeks just observing and getting a sense of how everything operates. So today, when I went in, I did the following:

  • Got to know the collection and learned some French terms for the library such as documentaire for non-fiction.
  • Checked books in and out to visiting classes. Learned that the ILS used by the school system, Regard, is…well…not the greatest.
  • Sorted and shelved books.
  • Started to get a sense of how English and French books differ due to cultural differences.
  • Learned a bit about the kids and the dynamic of the school, which is much different than the dynamic of the international school in South Korea where I used to teach. Here the kids have a lot more freedom, and seem able to handle it.
  • Observed Storytime for the grade ones and grade fours.

I really enjoyed my time and am looking forward to gaining a better sense of how to direct my practicum.

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