Thursday, December 15, 2011

We Have Come to the End...

We have come to the end of the practicum.  During the course of the semester I spent 152 hours learning the in's and out's of being a Reference Librarian at Mississippi College's Leland Speed Library (  I observed Information Literacy sessions, learned about plagiarism, maintained hours at the Reference Desk, researched Document Delivery Suppliers and analyzed the university's serials subscriptions for unnecessary duplication.  I also created a grants LibGuide, researched RRSA (Research Readiness Self-Assessment) and SAILS (Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills), took the RRSA and SAILS tests, proctored others while they took the RRSA test, and created a Student Worker Training LibGuide.  I learned a lot as a result of this practicum and was able to put into practice some things I've learned as a student in the LIS program at the University of Southern Mississippi.  Not only did I have opportunities to practice the "Reference Interview" but I was able to hone my research skills as well.

With only four courses left before I graduate from the MLIS program, the future is looking bright.  One result of this practicum is that it prepared me to be a Reference Librarian.  Another result, or rather an indirect result, is that I will begin my new position as a Reference Librarian starting January 1st.  Although the practicum prepared me to do many things, there are still lessons I need to learn and skills I need to develop that will come with time and practice.

The benefit of the practicum is that it gave me access to good resources, helped me develop stronger relationships with my co-workers and those who will help me develop my career, and provided some finished products that will be used by many individuals in the future.  The two LibGuides I developed will be helpful to faculty, staff, and students.  The knowledge gained from developing these resources will be put to use as I create LibGuides for other disciplines, subjects, or classes.  In fact, the Student Worker Training LibGuide will be used from now on to train our student workers in how to better serve our patrons.  This guide will help our workers learn various library procedures and policies. The Serials Audit that I worked on will be used to make future decisions of what titles to cancel or buy in a different format.  The research conducted on Document Delivery Suppliers yielded almost immediate results as the library made arrangements with one of the suppliers to use their services.

In conclusion, since I had a good practicum experience, I strongly recommend this for others if the circumstances permit.  Practicums are a great way to apply the knowledge gained through LIS courses.  They provide "teeth" for the information digested during various courses.  With all of this said, I feel the practicum experience was invaluable and would do it all over again if I had the opportunity.

Thanks for staying tuned and following my adventure this semester!


Images of the Leland Speed Library:

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