One of my goals for my internship at Hardesty Library is to develop a project that demonstrates many of the principles and skills I’ve learned through my LIS classes and my internship. I want a showcase piece that I can include as the keystone of my portfolio.
Mr. Escobar asked me to develop plans for three possible projects: a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C. The object lesson of this exercise is to understand that your first plan doesn’t always work out the way you expected: sometimes you get partway through a project or study and realize it’s not actually feasible. Sometimes you can’t get administrative support or funding for your Plan A. This is why you should always have a backup plan or two up your sleeve.
I asked Buddy, the head of the Hardesty Children’s Department, what the children’s department needed—what would he like to investigate if he had time, or what projects he had on the backburner. He said the children’s department really needs more pathfinders for books on holidays and frequently-asked-for subjects like pirates, princesses and hamsters. (Apparently the book The World According to Humphrey has made hamsters all the rage!) I thought developing pathfinders sounded like fun, so I started brainstorming.
Here are the project plans I developed:
Plan A: Children’s Pathfinders
Goal: Assist children and parents to locate books of interest on popular and frequently requested subjects, including educational, informational and recreational resources.
- Provide ready-made lists of library resources for parents and children seeking popular genres of library materials, including scary stories, mysteries, adventure stories, animal stories, funny stories, fantasy stories, historical fiction and sports stories.
- Provide ready-made lists of library resources for parents and children seeking books similar to popular series, such as the Junie B. Jones and American Girls series.
- Provide ready-made lists of library resources for parents and children seeking award-winning children’s books beyond the well-known Newberry and Sequoyah award-winners.
- Provide ready-made lists of library resources for parents and children seeking popular subjects, including pirates, princesses, hamsters, holidays, and tree and animal track identification resources.
- Provide ready-made lists of library resources for parents and children seeking specific formats of library materials, such as manga and books with movie tie-ins.
- Make pathfinder information available in both print and online format to expand access to librarians and customers.
- Create paper pathfinder bookmarks for the 14 categories listed on the children’s website under Books and Reading/ Find a Good Book/ If You Like… (http://kids.tulsalibrary.org/books/like.htm).
- Create paper pathfinder bookmarks for award-winning children’s books, including those awarded the Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature and the Pura Belpré Award.
- Create paper pathfinder bookmarks for subjects frequently assigned for school research, including tree identification and animal tracks identification resources.
- Create paper pathfinder bookmarks for popular subjects and formats frequently requested by children, including pirates, princesses, hamsters, juvenile manga, and books with movie tie-ins
- Create paper pathfinder bookmarks for holiday books and media, including Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Ramadan.
- Include URLs to quality websites for additional resources where applicable.
- Create template for website layout of these pathfinders, with links to printable pathfinders.
- Distribute sample pathfinders and collect customer feedback via brief interviews.
Budget:Design of Pathfinders 2 Staff Hours @ $15/hour X 29 Pathfinders = $870 Paper 3 Reams @ $4 per ream = $12 Printing $0.03 per Sheet X 1,500 Sheets = $45 TOTAL: $972
Plan B: Survey of Children
Goal: Increase awareness and usage of Books and Reading resources on children’s TCCL website (http://kids.tulsalibrary.org/books/).
- Survey children to assess knowledge of Books and Reading resources on the children’s TCCL website and assess children’s comfort using these resources.
- Use survey findings to inform possible redesign of this portion on the website.
- Use survey findings to inform marketing tactics for Books and Reading resources.
- Design anonymous, child-friendly surveys with simple words and no more than five questions. Include at least one open-ended question, where children can suggest ways to make the Books and Reading resources easier to use.
- Create parental consent forms.
- Request approval of surveys through IRB.
- After receiving parental consent, administer surveys to children between ages 7 and 11. Read questions aloud if requested. Assure participants that there are no wrong answers.
- Analyze results.
Budget:Creation of Surveys and Consent Forms 4 Staff Hours @ $15/hour = $60 Paper 6 Reams @ $4 per ream = $24 Printing $0.03 per Sheet X 3,000 Sheets = $90 Analysis of Survey Results 10 Staff Hours @ $15/hour = $150 TOTAL: $324
Plan C : Children’s Book Talk
Goal: Increase children’s and parents’ awareness of various genres of children’s literature and tools for locating items of interest.
- Cultivate children’s and parents’ interest in various genres of children’s literature
- Teach children and parents where to find and how to use tools for locating library materials in these and other categories.
- Provide snacks, themed to tie in with books where possible.
- Create displays of three books for several genres, such as horror, adventure, mystery and humor.
- Introduce each genre, noting appeal factors.
- Introduce each displayed book briefly (approx. 2 minutes) with descriptions designed to hook the audience.
- Introduce paper pathfinders for each genre.
- Show location of these and other pathfinders on children’s TCCL website by projecting website on a screen or wall and demonstrating navigation to Books and Reading resources.
- Invite questions from children and parents.
- Try to limit program to 30 minutes or less, not including Q&A.
Budget:Planning for Book Talk 9 Staff Hours @ $15/hour = $135 Paper 50 Sheets @ $0.01 per sheet = $0.50 Printing $0.03 per Sheet X 50 Sheets = $1.50 Snacks = $15 TOTAL: $152