As an employee in any type of library (public, academic, corporate, etc.), being able to provide access to information is essential. Throughout the past several years, the ways people seek and gather information has changed. Fortunately, librarians like myself feel confident using current technologies and strategies to serve a community’s needs successfully. My knowledge in information services includes the following areas:
Providing reference and research assistance for various communities and in multiple types of situations.
As the director of Muir Library, I am on the “front desk” for more than 20 hours each week. I’m the first person people see when they walk in the door and I’m the person who answers questions via phone, email, Facebook, etc. I’m comfortable with showing a patron right to a particular section of the library and I’m also known to take a person’s information and call them when I’ve had time to do more research. Reference and research assistance at our rural library often includes searching online databases, newspapers, websites and even contacting other libraries or museums.
While employed at the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library, I worked at the Curriculum Center desk and answered questions from patrons (college students and faculty) who needed to use the education resources. This involved searching the catalog as well as the online databases and education-specific web sites.
As an MLIS student at the University of Washington, I was trained as an Internet Public Librarian for the Principles of Information Resources course (LIS 521). I answered several interesting questions from a diverse group of people by providing free web-based resources through email communication. A sample of the questions and my responses will show my ability to answer these questions with successful written communication skills, appropriate resources, and a professional tone of voice.
Designing, implementing and evaluating programs to promote information literacy to diverse groups of people.
Being in a rural setting, Muir Library is the information hub for many people in the community. Because of this, I have the skills to not only teach a class of adults or youth, but I also regularly work one-on-one with patrons (ranging from eReader help to homework help).
-ADULTS- I have designed and taught several beginning computer courses and ‘How to eReader’ courses for adults. I have also successfully planned two summer reading programs for ages 3-adults. One of my favorite parts of my job includes planning and leading the theme-based Adult Book Club 5-6 times a year. I plan a list of books around a theme and we discuss the theme based on the different books attendees have read.
-YOUTH- Along with the annual summer reading program and special one-time library events, I have designed and implemented Story & Craft Night for students in grades K-5. Each month 15-20 students meet at the library and I have a couple of stories to read and an activity that goes along with the stories.
Along with the design, implementation and evaluation of programs in libraries, it is necessary for a library to move outside the walls of its building. I select titles for our homebound readers every two weeks. We deliver books to homes as well as the community nursing home and assisted living apartments. I also visit the Elementary School and a couple of in-home daycares every couple of months to share new titles and read stories.
Acting as a readers’ adviser for different genres of books.
Because I interact with readers of all ages every day at Muir Library, I have a strong knowledge of genres, authors and subjects. I am also an avid cross-genre reader myself. At UW, I completed two courses taught by Nancy Pearl during my MLIS education. All of this combined gives me the ability to understand the concepts and ideas of certain books and match them with readers’ tastes and reading levels.
Creating appropriate collections for the library’s community through the use of appropriate policies, selection tools and knowledge of the users’ needs.
As the sole librarian at Muir Library, the library’s collection is my responsibility. I use city and county funds to purchase items for the communities of Winnebago, Delavan and Easton. Working with the Library Board, we annually review the policies. I use reviews, my knowledge of the community’s preferences, popular websites, etc. to determine which items and which formats to purchase for our library. We currently purchase the following formats: CD audiobook, eAudiobook, eBook, regular print, large print, DVDs, and some paperbacks. One of my biggest challenges is to create a balance between the items that should be included in the collection and the financial budget I am given.
During grad school, I worked with a partner to create a core selection of ebooks for a beginning Romance collection at a library. We followed policy and researched different selection tools related to the Romance genre. Then, working together, we compromised on our different opinions and combined our visions to form a balanced collection for the community’s users.