I am bit late on my weekly logs so today I am going to try to catch up in one well swoop! So, here’s what has happened so far.
Week 2 (January 13-19): I spent my second week at the elementary school observing the kids. I think I am starting to get a handle on how the library runs and the protocol that my supervisor has in place for managing them. For each class, she reads a story and discusses it with them a bit, occasionally reviewing the library rules if she thinks they need a reminder. Then students are allowed to choose their own books. For the younger classes, age-appropriate books are laid out on the table and the kids can choose from that pile. Older students can choose up to four books, one fiction and one non-fiction to please Mary, and also one in English and one in French. The students can choose two books to please themselves. Then they line up to check the books out, and for the most part they know to give their names so that I can find them in the ILS. I am managing pretty well with the French, so that is encouraging. I feel that I really need to get a better handle on Dewey but I suppose that will come with time.
Week 3 (January 20-26): Well, there has been some amazing news. After I had spent my morning at the elementary school last week, I received an e-mail from the district librarian from a nearby school board asking me if I would like to cover for a high school librarian who is out on sick leave. Not only will that give me a chance to give me a foot in the door with the board, it will also give me a chance to learn on the job, as being a high school librarian is exactly what I want to do. Mary also said that she’d be happy to count my time at the high school as part of my “off-site” time for the practicum, which will definitely ease my enormous to-do list. I’m excited to start there on Friday, January 25th.
In other news, Mary and Tammy and I went book shopping for the three schools that she oversees on Wednesday, January 23. It was fun to finally have a chance to put into practice some of the things that Tammy and I learned in our Collection Development class last year. Firstly, I had been feeling a bit lost as far as French books go – I wasn’t sure where to look, and although I knew that libraries have to purchase from accredited book vendors in Quebec, I didn’t know what counted as accredited and what didn’t. Mary explained it all to me in a way that was easy to understand. She took us to Monet, a French bookstore that has an absolutely amazing collection of French graphic novels, or bandes dessinées, and then we went to Babar, a children’s bookstore that had materials in both French and English, though English predominated. It was a fun challenge to choose books that would:
- Appeal to boys
- Appeal to reluctant readers
- Suit the the students at three schools very different from each other in terms of demographics and reading ability
I probably went a bit overboard at Monet, but I was pleased to see that for the most part, Mary liked my choices and that I was choosing things that would suit the kids. I am also pleased to discover that my French, while far from perfect, is definitely up to the challenges of choosing library materials for the kids.