Monday, January 25, 2010

Week One - A Large Experience

Week One at the Dean B. Ellis Library of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas can be summed up as “large.” Although Jonesboro’s population is approximately 64,000 ( and the ASU campus enrollment of approximately 11,000 ( and the Library itself composed of eight floors, my past college campus experiences were certainly minimized in comparison to the ASU campus. Not to say that I am a “big city virgin,” because I did spend my first 30 years in California’s San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento area, and I have attended business and events on the ASU campus on several occasions, but I am spoiled and blessed to park near the front door of any classroom or workplace heretofore. The first-day 15 minute walk in the rain from the student parking lot to the Library made quite an impression on me.

At Black River Technical College in Pocahontas, where I attended school and worked in the Library as an LTA and at William Baptist College in Walnut Ridge where I graduated with honors earning BSE in 2008, I easily made acquaintances with most of the staff and students in a very short time and was very familiar with the full range of academic library services. I can see that my internship at ASU will not afford that experience as my Technology Department practicum assignment is located in the basement of the Library, very much separated from the bustle of the circulation and reference areas of the Library(and separated from student and staff traffic). The advantage in the quiet basement location is in fewer disruptions while working with the precise details of cataloging, acquisitions, and Web services.

Myron Flugstad, Assistant Library Director and Head of the Technology Department, ( is very gracious and helpful in agreeing to the practicum. I spent the first two days shadowing his cataloging skill to tweak catalog records using the OCLC Website and the Library’s catalog, Voyager. Having worked at copy-cataloging at the BRTC Library and completing the USM Cataloging and Classification course, I am impressed with the OCLC and Voyager technologies. Technology over the past ten years has advanced extensively. Next week promises more copy-cataloging and processing of items.

I consider this practical experience at a university campus library to be a “largely” beneficial experience. Broadening my campus, technology, and departmentalized library experiences will enhance my ability to serve patrons of any academic or public community. Technical library experience will be advantageous to any future professional position I fulfill.

Rotation of Technology Department Assignments, two 8-hour days per week. (subject to change)
Week 1 – Cataloging
Week 2 – Processing
Week 3 – Classification
Week 4 – Repair
Week 5 – Web services and resources (online databases)
Week 6 – Selection
Week 7 – Ordering & receiving
Week 8 – Computer Maintenance, OCLC operations
Week 9 – OCLC operations, Voyager updates and input