Presenter: Taylor Aberasturi
Practicum Location: Seattle Public Library- Central Branch, Seattle, Washington
Title: “Cataloging the ZAPP Zine Collection”
The purpose of my practicum was to catalog the ZAPP zine collection recently donated to the Seattle Public Library. This collection consists of 30,000 self-published zines from various time periods covering a wide range of topics. Zines present unique challenges for catalogers, as they do not have any sort of official format, zine publishing schedules vary wildly, and there is often little to no data on creators. The current method of cataloging at the Seattle Public Library involves creating MARC records in OCLC and deciding on a monographic or serials based cataloging method on a case-by-case basis. Keeping in mind that the Seattle Public Library’s mission is to enrich the lives of the Seattle community, my research question is, whether the case-by-case method is more effective than treating zines all uniformly as either serials or monographs within MARC records. To research this question, I looked at articles concerning issues with zine collections in general, zine collections that only catalog zines as monographs, and finally collections that use the same method as the Seattle Public Library. I have reached the conclusion that when discoverability by a wide range of audiences is the goal, a case-by-case cataloging method is effective while smaller institutions with more specific needs gain more from the monographic approach.
Presenter: Keeley Bannon
Practicum Location: Hartland Public Library, Hartland, Wisconsin
Title: “Programming and Circulation in Public Libraries”
During my practicum at the Hartland Public Library in Hartland, Wisconsin, I was able to participate in youth programming. I noticed that the number of program participants varied from week to week, which got me thinking about how youth programming impacts circulation. I proceeded to look at Hartland Public Library’s summer events calendar and hourly total checkouts from June 10 to June 22, 2019. The highest number of total hourly checkouts corresponded with the Make It and Take It Craft Program. Other youth programming also led to an increase in hourly circulation. When I compared my findings to other public libraries, I found similar results. When programming and program attendance increases, so does circulation. More research needs to be done to look at why this correlation exists and if other factors could be at play. Despite what circulation statistics show, libraries should offer quality programming as often as possible.
Presenter: Kelly Cox
Practicum Location: Upper Perkiomen Valley Library, Red Hill, Pennsylvania
Title: What does effective information literacy look like in public libraries?
Public libraries on a global scale provide important and robust public access technology and internet access in their communities, however they have a much less understood or widely discussed role as sites of digital information literacy and data literacy education compared to academic libraries. During this poster presentation, I’ll explore the importance of digital information literacy work being done in public libraries, mention the barriers and difficulties facing public library staff, and review suggestions made within the literature as well as the actions I’ve taken as a result to improve digital information literacy interactions during my practicum placement at Upper Perkiomen Valley Library, in Red Hill, Pennsylvania.
Presenter: D Hankins
Practicum Location: Chilton Public Library, Chilton, Wisconsin
Title: “Q:What to Digitize?”
The Chilton Public Library in Chilton, Wisconsin has a collection of materials that seem important enough for digitization, yet no one had previous digitization experience. Due to the size of the collection and the very limited resources available to put into digitizing the collection, the question emerged: How do you decide what to digitize?
In researching this question, I realized it just brought up a whole host of interrelated questions, which in a best-case would be answered by a group of stakeholders working together. These questions first take the 30,000 foot view approach, determining some principles, ideas, and goals that will guide much of the rest of the process. Then you ask more narrow and interrelated questions under the scope of: should they be digitized, may they be, and can they be digitized. Finally, once you decide to move forward, you’ll prioritize and set up projects with defined scope.
Presenter: Alee Hill
Practicum Location: Verona Public Library, Verona, Wisconsin
Title: “The Future of Reference Services in Public Libraries”
While at the Verona Public Library, much of my time was focused on reference services. Although I loved assisting patrons with their questions, there were admittedly times behind the reference desk that were slow due to a lack of reference question requests. With information more widely accessible than ever before, I could not help but wonder how sustainable reference services are in modern public libraries. This notion intrigued me, and formed the basis of my research question: how can reference services survive in the Information Age? Research reveals that in order for reference services to remain useful and relevant today, librarians must embrace current library trends, actively engage patrons to assess community-centric needs, and adapt to modern patron “doing things” questions as opposed to traditional “finding things” questions. All in all, reference services may be adapting and changing, but they are not disappearing in public libraries.
Presenter: Nicole Isaacs
Practicum Location: Madison Public Library, Madison, Wisconsin
Title: “A Wild Rumpus: An Anji Play Experience”
Madison Public Library serves the city of Madison, Wisconsin through the South Central Library System. The library serves an increasingly diverse population through its innovative programming. In this paper I describe the play-based learning of The Wild Rumpus: An Anji Play Experience program. I ask the research question how does Anji Play as provided during the Madison Public Library’s Wild Rumpus program compare to Anji Play implemented in other contexts. I analyze Anji Play programming at OneCity Schools, in elementary schools in Anji County China and as part of one art teacher’s play-based early education action research. I find several similarities in the Anji Play philosophy across the different locations, and the programs each have hopes of bringing more child-responsive play-based learning to elementary schools and children world-wide.
Presenter: Katie Killian
Practicum Location: McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Title: “Welcoming Inclusivity at McMillan Memorial Library’s Makerspace”
My practicum site was the makerspace at McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids. Wisconsin Rapids is home to a population of just under 18,000 people; a large portion of the which is low income or listed as being in poverty, making the public library a valuable community resource. The mission statement of the library is “Strengthening our community through lifelong learning,” and they support this mission by having a large collection of resources, helpful staff, and community programming, as well as the more recent addition of a makerspace. The makerspace has its own motto of “hang out, mess around, geek out” and is home to many resources to explore including a 3D printer, carving machine, and laser engraver. The space is overwhelming on first entry, so I designed a small packet of Easy Project Cards to help introduce new patrons to the tools. I further explored how other libraries and makerspaces increase inclusivity and welcoming at their locations. Future iterations of the Easy Project Cards could be made even more accessible for patrons by including more images for English Language Learners, as well as larger fonts for people with visual impairments.
Presenter: Brittany Meurer
Practicum Location: Winona Public Library, Winona, Minnesota
Title: “Collection Weeding in the Youth Department”
For my practicum I worked at the Winona Public Library in the Youth Services Department. During my time there one of my projects involved collection management. I began to wonder how public libraries effectively and efficiently weed through their collections, particularly in the Youth Department. Often times they have large collections, diverse materials, and limited space. Through my project and research I discovered ways that libraries are streamlining the process to make it easier on the staff and support decisions made when weeding materials. In this poster I will discuss not only my project process but also the use of the CREW method, some helpful weeding tips, and how to make sure your collection is one you are proud of.
Presenter: Heather Phelps
Practicum Location: Rosemary Garfoot Public Library, Cross Plains, Wisconsin
Title: “Best Practices for Mixed-Age Storytimes”
During the summer, the Rosemary Garfoot Public Library in Cross Plains, WI, holds one storytime each week, which is open to all ages. While planning and leading several of these storytimes, and observing others doing so, I became interested in the question of what the benefits and challenges of mixed-age storytimes are, and what librarians consider to be some of the best practices in running mixed-age storytimes. Researching the question, it’s clear that there are challenges from the wide range of interest and ability levels, but that mixed-age storytimes can be a benefit to families, the children, and the libraries. Some of the best practices include being flexible, repeating items each week, involving caregivers, and using books and music in ways that will engage everyone.
Presenter: Emily Sample
Practicum Location: Madison Public Library – Central Branch, Madison, Wisconsin
Title: “How Diverse Is the Beyond Best Sellers List?”
My practicum is located at the Central branch of the Madison Public Library in Technical Services, but this project is for the Collection Management Department. My research question is the very simple, “How diverse is the Beyond Best Sellers list?” I was asked to do a diversity audit of the list as a step in the process of assessing MPL’s entire collection – hypothetically. I have only done the first and shorter list so far, but some of the findings are that about 47% of the main characters and about 37.5% of authors were people of color (but there were not any confirmed Latinx or Native American authors), over half the authors were women, and a straight 50% of the books have 15 copies or more listed in the catalog. I cannot possibly list all the data here as that would go over the word count, but those are some of the statistics that stood out to me so far.
Presenter: Lauren Scanlon
Practicum Location: Madison Public Library – The Bubbler, Madison, Wisconsin
Title: “How Can We (and Why Do We) Preparte Artists to Work With At-Risk Teens?”
My practicum was at the Madison Public Library in Madison, Wisconsin. I worked with the Bubbler team on a project for their Making Justice program. The Bubbler defines itself as “a hub for creative expression and engagement using new and old-school technology as well as hands-on making.” Making Justice defines itself as a “diverse collective of artists, activists, educators and students addressing learning gaps that disproportionately impact minority youth in Dane County, Wisconsin.” Making Justice brings local artists in to work with teens who are engaged in the justice system in some way – specifically teens in the Dane County Juvenile Court Detention Center and the Dane County Juvenile Court Shelter Home. My practicum project was to develop a guide for artists who were working with these teens. In preparation for drafting the guide, I participated in several workshops myself. I interviewed a number of artists who have previously run workshops through Making Justice. I then drafted a guide that is based on the results of my interviews, observations, prior experience and some theoretical literature on teaching, learning and trauma. I divided the guide into 4 sections: Who, Why, How and What. The final product is a guide for new and current artists working with at-risk teens. This guide will benefit artists and the teens they work with.
Presenter: Elizabeth Steans
Practicum Location: L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Title: “Piloting Gimlet at a Public Library’s Reference Desk”
For my practicum at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, WI, I launched a pilot study using Gimlet at the reference desk to answer the research question, “how can hourly desk stats inform hourly staffing?”. For 3 weeks, the team of participants made up of reference staff contributed to a repository of information and data unique to their users. The study met two of its three goals that included identifying the number of questions being asked and at what frequency while also pinpointing common trends conveying regular peak times at the desk. In a future study, the library should continue to evaluate the quality of resources used in answering customer questions. In the meantime, the hourly data supports both arguments that the library service hours can be shifted to open and close one hour earlier, and staff can be strategically scheduled to better serve during peak times and slow periods.
Presenter: David Withers
Practicum Location: Columbus Public Library, Columbus, Wisconsin
Title: “Public Libraries in Public Relations”
When I first arrived at Columbus Public Library for my preliminary interview, the subject of creating a working relationship with the Columbus Area Historical Society was broached. I quickly decided that this was something I was interested in and, over the next two months, I acted as both a liaison between the Library and the Historical Society and an assistant researcher for several projects. This in turn led me to conduct further research into the history and lasting effects of relationships between public libraries, their communities, and other organizations. My preliminary research shows that the effects can vary from personally important to nationally significant and therefore, must be fostered whenever possible, however possible.
Presenter: Lisa Mulcahy Wood
Practicum Location: Fitchburg Public Library, Fitchburg, Wisconsin
Title: “Caregiver-focused signage: Using museum exhibits as a model for public libraries”
Children learn through play, yet evidence suggests that adults are not always aware of learning opportunities present in play-based and informal learning settings. In this presentation, I explore the ways that museums are attempting to increase caregiver knowledge and engagement through exhibit signage, and whether they can serve as a model for public libraries–such as the Fitchburg Public Library in Wisconsin. Key findings include that some caregivers prefer explicit and concrete examples rather than “tips” or vague science-based language, though it remains unclear whether this actually influences learning. Additionally, museums and libraries should be aware of how signage may privilege certain literacies and cultural practices over others. Libraries should consider their goals for, and definitions of, literacy and engagement when applying this research.