First days on the job

Whoops, I haven't posted here in a while! I have been journaling, though - part of the requirement for my internship is to keep up a journal of my thoughts and experiences for each week. Since I haven't updated any on my internship on here yet, I thought I'd go ahead and put up my first two journal entries. So without further ado, here they are.

Wednesday, May 23:

Today is the second day of my internship in the young adult department of the Allen County Public Library, and my first chance to sit down and do some journaling about my experiences so far. Yesterday I worked 9-6, and when I came in the morning it was completely dead in the YA department. Which makes sense, considering that school is still in session for another week or two here in Fort Wayne. We did have a few homeschoolers come in and use the computers in the late morning and early afternoon, but otherwise it was VERY quiet! Right around four o’clock, though, things really picked up, and this place was hopping until I left at six – the kids mostly seemed to gravitate towards the computer area. I got to meet a few of our regulars, who hung around and introduced themselves to me.

Yesterday a couple of the librarians here went to various schools in the area to present on the library’s summer reading program. Today several groups of kids are coming here to the library, to get the summer reading program talk and take a short tour. The first group has already been here – a large bunch of sixth-graders. I sat in while the summer reading program was talked up (sixth-graders are VERY squirmy, but actually pretty good listeners, if this group is anything to go by), and then tagged along with one group while they took the tour. The kids were especially impressed by our teen “living room”, with a flat screen TV, lots of couches, and every video game console you could want. They also really liked the Access Fort Wayne studios, where the local access TV shows are filmed for cable, and the 200-plus seat theater down on one of the lower levels, where they hold a lot of special community events, including some of the local civic theater's shows.

So far I’ve just been observing, talking with the YA librarians, and soaking everything in, but it is just my second day here. I think it’s going to be a good summer – I’m really looking forward to getting more involved with summer programming and other events.

Tuesday, May 29:

Well, it’s the start of the second week of my internship, and I’m starting to settle in some. Last Thursday I worked 12-9 pm, so I got to experience an evening here with the teens for the first time. At one point several guys got out Dance Dance Revolution and I kept an eye on them while they played. I’d never seen people play DDR before, although I’d heard a lot about it, so it was kind of fun to watch. It’s hard to get the kids to keep their voices down while they play, though, and unfortunately the computers are right next to the teen living room where they play video games. I think it’ll be different in the summer when there aren’t students in here working on their homework.

On Thursday I also had a fun opportunity to return to my news writing roots – at least in a sense. Mari told me that the YA department had been asked to write a couple of articles for the library’s “Daily Prophet” – a mock newspaper we’re going to be putting out to help get the word out about our upcoming Harry Potter party. So Mari asked me if I’d be interested in writing the articles – one on Professor Sinistra’s “astronomy class” (Science Central and their Skylab) and an advertisement for Ollivander’s wands (the YA department will be making over 4,000 magic wands for the event). Here’s what I came up with – everyone seemed to like them and think that they’ll work okay:

Ollivander’s: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC

Mr. Ollivander welcomes you to come in and see why witches and wizards from all over the wizarding world have come to Ollivanders for their wands for millennia. Our high-quality wands are beautifully handcrafted from the finest materials available. In addition, each wand is rigorously tested to ensure maximum magical capacity. You can’t go wrong with an Ollivander’s wand!

So visit Ollivander’s today – and always remember: The wizard doesn’t choose the wand – the wand chooses the wizard!

July 20 “Phenomenal night for stargazing,” says Professor Sinistra

This July 20, stargazing Hogwarts students can expect a night of rare astronomical beauty, according to Hogwarts professor Aurora Sinistra.

Late that Friday evening, Professor Sinistra will invite students up to Hogwart’s Astronomy Tower to observe the night sky. “Bring your star charts along,” said Sinistra. “There will be many important celestial bodies beautifully visible in the sky on this night.”

Rarely has such an opportunity for observing the night sky’s constellations at their best come along, said Sinistra. “It’s going to be astounding!” she said excitedly. “Virgo, Pegasus, Sagittarius, Cassiopeia – so many constellations will be in perfect formation that night!” Sinistra said that students who join her class that evening can expect to learn a great deal about the movement of the planets and the history of many of the most famous constellations.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for my students,” she said. “I hope that all will come and enjoy this spectacular event!

I’ve also been given several projects to work on when it’s quiet here at the desk. I already finished one this morning, actually – going through the Spring 2007 Horn Book Guide and checking to see which if any of the top-rated books we were missing. I’m also going to be working on our Books for Teens reader’s advisory wiki. This is for librarians at the desk, and it’s sorted into various categories – Harry Potter readalikes, supernatural fiction, adult books that teens enjoy – etc. Katie has some ideas for reorganizing it and she wants me to help with getting everything in shape.


This afternoon I ended up tagging along with Peggy as she went to talk about the summer reading program with a group of fifth-graders at a local elementary school. These are the youngest kids we work with here, but they're eligible for the program since they'll be starting sixth grade at middle school in the fall. Fifth-graders are still at the stage where it's okay to get really excited about things. Their favorite phrase today was "Ooooh, that's tight!" It was nice to see them getting so into Peggy's presentation, but I know that in a couple of years that'll probably change and no one will want to betray any interest in what the librarians have to say. It always seems like the junior high and early high school years are the absolute hardest, as far as getting the kids' attention and interesting them in things. Later on a lot of them snap out of it and start admitting again that they think these things are actually kind of cool. Heh.

When I got back to the library, Mari gave me a tour of the lower levels - all the places in the library that aren't open to the general public. There's probably as much if not more square footage down below the areas that everyone always sees - and all of it crammed with overflows, books getting checked in and out, being transferred, etc. etc. Rows upon rows of shelves - I have no doubt that if I wander back down there again by myself, I'll get lost.


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