The starting date of my practicum at CLPL was January 6. I had a few goals in mind, other those mandated by my practicum objectives. First, I wanted to create a graphic novel section within the teen section of the library. In my other experiences with teens and young adults in libraries, I have discovered that graphic novels are wildly popular. Sometimes, while working as an assistant to the Youth Services Coordinator of the Madison County Library System in Madison County, MS, I discovered that reluctant or slow readers often preferred to read graphic novels as it helped them to better comprehend the story. I wanted to create a graphic novel section to group all of the graphic novels in one section to encourage readers. Unfortunately, after my perusal of the collection, I discovered that there were very few graphic novels in the collection. This discovery led to another personal goal for my practicum: adding more graphic novels to the collection and promoting them among users.
With two of my objectives focusing on social media aspects, I decided to take that a little further than the already existing “Teen Lounge” Facebook page that the library had already created. (The “Teen Lounge” is what the teen section is called – the two TVs and gaming systems are located in this area, along with two booths, two small tables, one large table, and four round reading chairs.) I created a Twitter account, an Instagram, and a Pinterest account. I hope that having these social media accounts will help me create a connection with teens and make the teen section seem more accessible to them.
In December before my practicum had officially started off, Lindsey Miller sent me an email about grants for summer library programs, specifically the grant through YALSA by Dollar General. She thought that working on the grant would be a good guideline for possible future grants, and I decided to actually apply for it. We worked together on applying for the grant. The deadline was December 31, so it was a little bit of a rush to complete the grant forms, but we were able to submit it before that date. We have not received any notification yet, but this is the document with the answers to the grant questions: YALSA GRANT.
In the beginning of January, Lindsey emailed me (again) and told me that the library had about $1500 left from an LSTA grant. The grant is called “The Boys of Fall” and focuses on middle and high school aged boys in Lowndes County, MS, with below average reading levels. Lindsey told me that I could use the grant to purchase pretty much any materials, as long as they would be of interest to those the grant would effect. She suggested ordering books with lower reading levels with urban focus, books like Bluford High, Drama High, etc. The library had both of those series, but each had a few books missing. I ordered the books to complete those series, along with several others. Because the Teen Lounge houses the library’s two gaming systems (available only for users with teen library cards), Lindsey also suggested that I order Xbox and Wii games to attract users to the lounge. Below is the complete spreadsheet of items ordered.
Finally, on January 7, I decided to create a display to announce the Season 3 Premiere of the BBC Series Sherlock. The idea for the display was inspired by Teen Librarian Toolbox’s Sherlock week, and the display is titled “A Study in Sherlock”. For the display, I used a photo of Sherlock in his deerstalker hat, with quotes from the show, and the date of the premiere. A photo of the display can be found here. The display is made up of the original Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, along with Doyle’s biographies, books about the science of Sherlock Holmes, and books inspired by the detective. The display has been pretty popular, with people stopping by to flip through the books or check them out.