Thursday, June 17, 2010


Today's Guest Blogger for the library is Dale Boyd.  Dale, a student from Keuka College will be with us at the library for six weeks this summer!!!

As the month of June progresses, many college students caught halfway between the world of education and the real world find themselves in summer stupors. Lying listless on couches in front of televisions and air conditioners, they count the days until the next semester begins. Still others find themselves working in fast-food restaurants and supermarkets, driven by the desire for a few extra bucks and also to assuage their parents nagging them to “Get a job!” However, Keuka College students such as I often have a much different summer experience than others. Keuka’s focus on “Experiential Learning” demands that students go the extra mile over their breaks to get real world learning experience. I have chosen the Canastota Public Library as my learning site for the next five weeks, and I am very happy that I did.

Keuka College requires all of its students to complete four of what they refer to as “Field Periods”. This consists of four to five weeks spent out in the real world to attain a valuable learning experience. Students can go to foreign countries to do volunteer work, work in Fortune 500 companies, or do something right in their own hometowns. The idea is to gain skills and develop work ethic that lasts for a lifetime. I chose the Canastota Public Library because of my proximity of my home in Oneida to their location, my appreciation of the value of volunteer work, my appreciation of the value of education and my desire to help them develop more effective communication with the public.

As a communications major, I hope that I can learn a lot from the people working at the library. I look forward to witnessing how the library as an organization communicates with patrons, other libraries, and how individuals within the library communicate with one another. I also hope that I can help them to achieve their social media goals this summer. The library currently has its own Facebook and MySpace pages, and I hope to increase the number of people that visit these sites as well as to submit interesting content to enrich the viewing experience of those who visit the sites.

I am only in my third week, and yet I have been afforded the opportunity to contribute to the library in many different ways. So far, I have had to opportunity to redesign the library’s bookmark. The updated version includes a picture of the front of the building facing Center Street. The information concerning the services provided by the library as well as the library’s policies have also been updated. I have also had the opportunity to create the aquatic-themed children’s display on the second floor, following the suggestions of Liz Metzger, who is the director of the library and also my supervisor. Each kid gets their own cutout fish that he or she can color in according to his or her own creative vision, and each shape will be unique.

I was also entrusted with the task of hosting the library’s annual “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” game at the Roberts Street School Carnival. This year, we were lucky enough to dodge the downpours and we got a big turnout from the kids. They ranged from 4th to 8th grade, but it turns out that pretty much everyone was smarter than a fifth grader. I’ll admit, there were actually a few questions that I myself wouldn’t have known without the answer key. I have also created fliers that have been put up around the library to advertise the various events hosted by the library. This has familiarized me with the program Microsoft Publisher, as it is very useful for creating attention grabbing fliers in a short amount of time.

I look forward to the second half of my time here at the library and I hope that by the end of my experience here I will have helped them as much as they have helped me.

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