Practicum Days 7, 8, & 9: Periodicals

Back to Periodicals for the rest of my practicum at Beit Berl. Second verse same as the first, so I’ll just list the highlights:

  • Finding an article ILLed from Belgium that no one else could find because the librarian who sent the request gave all the details — only he gave the wrong details. Me, I know from nothing, so when I was told the article couldn’t be found in the journal “Leshoneynu Le’am” I did what a lot of students did over the course of my work in the reference room — I looked in the journal “Leshoneynu” — et viola.  There it was. ILL customer and library staff happy.
  • Lots of distance reference:
    • School drop-outs amongst Bedouin
    • influence of life experience on math teachers
    • Arab society: dating with chronic diseases
    • comparison of teacher attitudes to curricula and lesson plans: special ed and regular ed
    • List of works by/about Zalman Errane

I also learned how new volumes are incorporated into the collection, both in terms of processing and decisions about shelf space. I was supposed to continue my main reading room work of checking syllabi, but there was no time. I’ve been told use of library is steadily increasing, and based on what I’ve seen during my practicum, it’s increasing by leaps and bounds.

I also taught one of the main reading room librarians how to make the salted chocolates she loves but can’t find in Israel. Yes, I’m a full service librarian.

The main project I worked on was updating the database of MA, MED, and PHD dissertations the library holds and preparing a subject-based index for the holdings. The original index was very good, but very un-automated: heading were applied as character styles instead of heading styles, the TOC was created by hand and not automatically, the TOC was not linked to the relevant section of the document, etc. So I reformatted the whole thing and brought us almost up-to-date. One of the problems of a practicum is that you have such limited hours; you find yourself leaving projects in the middle.

But a really good thing happened: all the librarians with whom I worked liked me, both as a librarian and as part of the team. They asked if I wouldn’t like to work in the library and I answered that of course I would, but one of the rules f Fight Club is that you don’t ask the library director about Fight Club, so I couldn’t talk about employment. Three of them made an end run around me and talked to the director, who called me in for a talk, with the upshot being that there will be a job available when I finish my studies and if I’m still looking for work then, I’ll be at the top of the candidate list. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed. (Of course, it’ll be hard to write my term papers that way…)

And so I leave Beit Berl. Tomorrow I start the second half of my practicum, which is supposed to focus on cataloging, at the university in Ariel. It’s a very different atmosphere. I gave someone a lift home today and she told me she studies in Ariel. I told her I was going to the library in the morning and she told me, in a voice full of pity, “Good luck. You’ll need it.”

Not that I’m apprehensive or homesick for the Beit Berl Library already. No. [Runs off to sob into pillow]

Dates: December 26 & 29, 2011, Jan. 2, 2012
Hours: 7 (Dec. 26) 7.5 (Dec. 29) 7/5 (Jan 2)
Total hours to date: 70 hours 10 minutes

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