the librarian mystique

ILS 441 – Bibliotherapy and Grant Writing Consultants

For this assignment I decided to look into the different ways in which books and various writings positively contribute to society. One such concept that I hadn’t really delved into in my years of library services and schooling was bibliotherapy. Bibliotherapy is a form of therapeutic treatment in which books are used to assist patients with mental or psychological disorders. This form of therapy often involves four stages: identification, catharsis, insight, and universalization–in this order. As these four stages commence within the set program, patients are overseen by a facilitator who has assessed the patients needs and ultimate goals for the bibiotherapy. This tailoring of readings is usually put together withing the identification stage, in which the patient identifies with or is made aware of similarities between themselves and a character within a reading–whether it be race, gender,sexuality, situation, etc. As the patient becomes involved in the journey/challenges of the character, they are able to release suppressed emotions which puts them in stage two, or catharsis. Once this occurs, the patient develops insight in which they are able to visualize ways to address these life issues as per the character they find themselves identifying with. Through this, patients are able to come to the conclusion that their situation or the issues within their life are not just theirs, that there are similarities others face as well, alleviating feelings of isolation or being alone.
Along with bibliotherapy, I decided to research grant writing consultants/grant writing in general. I have previously heard about libraries and grant writing, but was never sure how to go about it if I myself found a program–such as bibliotherapy–where it may be a skill that I needed to hone. Through research, I became aware that grants don’t necessarily make themselves known or circulate through the librarian network. So the first thing one needs to do, is create a list of outcomes you wish to achieve as well as the progress that will need to be made. Next, it is important to find and take note of grant funders whose goals and ideals support your outcomes. Also, it is important to take into consideration that the partnership be mutually beneficial to both your proposed program as well as the company. Once you have made sure that the grant proposal is a good fit for the place you are applying, it is pertinent to establish a budget which not only is reasonable and following the company’s policy, but is itemized so that the proposal can be easily viewable by those reading it. Delving deeper into this research, I read about a method called the S.M.A.R.T. method. This is what a grant timeline should follow: it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. I found this to be quite helpful, as not all grants have a template for those writing to follow. By having a general outline, it not only makes the process easier, but lets one’s ideas come across more clear.

For this research, I would make use of three different databases, the first being Academic Search Complete. Although this database requires the researcher to be an attendant of University of Maine or other UM campuses–such as Augusta–this database offers peer reviewed articles and citations for these articles in APA, MLA, etc, which is great for looking for prior research from librarians over the years. The second would be Credo Online Reference Services which combines content with a one-stop exploratory search platform, offering mind maps, encyclopedias and handbooks, and over 690 titles including those related to psychology and bibliotherapy. PsychINFO is another great database to find information not only on bibliotherapy methods, but also recommendations for writing successful grants.


ILS 325: On-Site Visitation Project – Pictures

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ILS 325: On-Site Visitation Project – Conclusion

I would like to take the time to thank both Mrs. Matkovich and Mrs. Sherman for letting me sit in and observe their duties as elementary school media specialists. Mrs. Matkovich was immensely helpful in answering the questions I had, and those she was unsure of she found a way to obtain the answers for me. As an elementary school media specialist, technology plays a huge role in teaching and providing interactive lesson plans for a multitude of students. I am very grateful that she could find the time to help me with this project, and I look forward to speaking and working with her in the future.

ILS 325: On-Site Visitation Project – Reflection

I think one of the things I learned from this experience is that there is a great disconnect in the involvement of the library of the Berkeley Elementary School and the Office of Technology. As the technology budget and planning is sanctioned by the school district and is inclusive of not just the elementary school, but middle schools and high schools within the district, the school library doesn’t have much of a say in the matter. One of the most shocking things I learned is that the district still has not provided a sanctioned advocate to be the voice of the school media specialists and librarians in Berkeley County. I had previous heard this at my last on-site visitation to the Berkeley High School library from Mrs. Harrop, but I had hoped that the district would have employed someone to speak on their behalf, and work in tandem with the Office of Technology by now. It is my belief that if the district wishes to encourage technology in the classroom and in the library, then they need to create an outlet so that the library and the use of technology can be one in the same. By not employing an advocate to bridge the gap between the two, they are doing themselves a great disservice. Aside, from this, it was interesting to see the digital aspect of the library from an elementary school standpoint. By starting students early in making use of these various technologies available to them, we are enhancing and improving upon learning opportunities that will spawn success in a child’s academic future.

ILS 325: On-Site Visitation Project – The Visit, Part Three

Currently, the Berkeley County School District has 479 tablet PCs, 209 Netbooks, 106 eReaders and averages 2.5 students per computer. As for Berkeley Elementary School, every classroom has a set of six to twelve ipads. The library itself has two circular tables which hold five computers each for students to work on, and has a door connecting to the computer lab–in terms of space and furniture, the library has perfectly sanctioned sections for staff and student use. The library is also equipped with whiteboard technology from SMART Technologies. Should any of these devices need maintenance or repair, work orders are processed through BMC Remedyforce, offering IT customer service. In charge of the technology planning and budgeting in the library is Executive Director of Technology, Diane Driggers. She is also in control of the Berkeley County School District’s Twitter and Instagram account, which tweets and posts are only visible to confirmed followers. However, when I tried to view both profiles, I only saw that they had a few number of postings, so the interaction is not current. As of the 2014-2015 Budget Public Hearing in June, the most information I found in terms of technology was a slide from the PowerPoint stating the technology allocation for the district to be 1,047,430.00 which can be found below. Attached below as well are the appropriate forms and documents including technology acceptable use polices for both student and staff, as well as a network layout diagram describing the HomeTelephone internet connection. Picture (1)

ILS 325: On-Site Visitation Project – The Visit, Part Two

After sitting down and talking with Mrs. Matkovich, I learned that in regards to the school’s networking and technology systems, the district’s Office of Technology is responsible for maintaining the hardware, software, and network infrastructure over 38 Berkeley County campuses.
The Berkeley County School District makes its connection to the internet through a filtered 110 mbps Ethernet connection. This Ethernet connection is shared to District sites via 100 mbps metro Ethernet. Giving access to varius network resources, this connectivity allows for district-based email, student information systems, network security systems, and etc. BES has recently been equipped with full, wireless network coverage.
In terms of Web Portals, I learned that the Berkeley County School District has an internal portal for employees which gives access to lesson plans, curriculum resources, OSHA documents, and work orders. The district also provides what is called, PowerSchool Parent Portal, which allows parents access to their child’s grades, attendance, assignments, etc. As for if these documents are available for download, Mrs. Matkovich was unclear as she assumed some documents would need to be officially filed for if they were needed as a paper copy.

ILS 325: On-Site Visitation Project – The Visit, Part One

When I first arrived at BES, I had to go to the front office to obtain a visitor’s sticker. (The process of this is quite interesting, as they make a copy of your license which prints out in black and white on a sticker). From there, I made my way down to the media center where I noticed Mrs. Matkovich was reading a story to one of the classes that had been scheduled to visit. I quietly knocked on the door, and the media assistant, Mrs. Sherman led me into the media center. The story Mrs. Matkovich was reading was titled,  Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel. In this story, Anasi the spider tricks all the other animals in the forest by making use of a strange, moss-covered rock until a character named Little Bush Deer tricks him to teach him a lesson. It was interesting to see the interaction between Mrs. Matkovich as the storyteller and the children who were listening to the story. Periodically, she would ask the children questions about what was happening, what they thought was going to happen, etc., and they would politely raise their hands to answer. After the class checked out their books and left the media center, Mrs. Matkovich sat down with me to answer some of my questions.

ILS 325: On-Site Visitation Project – Questions

For this on-site visitation, I decided to take the provided list of questions with me so that I would be able to ask Mrs. Matkovich various questions at the appropriate times during our discussion. This was also beneficial, because I was not sure what questions she would or would not be able to answer as–I later found out–the district’s Office of Technology handles the budget, policies, and etc. for the library’s technological concepts. A list of the questions are provided down below:

  • Types of systems used
    • Network: wireless/wired, type of network configuration and Internet connection. Do they have “hot spots”?
    • Automation, what brand of automation system and are they happy with it?  What modules do they have? Is the system Web-based and where does their data reside? Does it have any interactive elements for example patron generated book reviews? Do they know what a Web-Scale Discovery Service is?
  • Specifications for their server, computers, workstations (if appropriate) or are they cloud-based?
  • Mobile devices/laptops/mobile computing/eBook readers, iPads – do they have any of these? Do they support any of these?  Does their WebPortal support mobile devices (if applicable)?
  • Can patrons download MP3, podcasts and movies from the library WebPortal onto their iPhone, smart phone, IPod or other handheld device? Laptop?
  • Number of patron workstations and type such as tower or laptop or tablet?
  • Maintenance & repair – done by staff or outside contractor?
  • Personnel involved – who actually does the technology services, planning and budgeting in the library?
  • Do they have a WebPage/WebPortal? If so who maintains it?
    • Social Network via a WebPortal e.g. Blog, Wiki, FaceBook, Second Life,
    • Do they have RSS feeds on their site
    • Do they have IM reference services
    • Do they Tweet?
    • Patron preferences, reviews or other interactive feedback on their site ( type of interactivity)
  • Budget for technology – approximate (they may not want to divulge this info – maybe get the percentage allocated to technology, online databases, Web support, maintenance versus total budget)
  • Internet access & type of connection (who is their service provider and the speed of connection)
  • Do they use Open Source software
  • Policy – any policies they may have for technology use e.g. AUP, time on computers, etc.
  • Forms – AUP, check-out forms for PDA’s, e-books, AV equipment, etc.
  • Community use – who might use the technology beyond what’s on the floor – other city organizations, etc.
  • Space – is there enough space for technology, networking, patron computers, server closet, etc. How are they solving any space problems?
  • Furniture – is there appropriate furniture for technology such as computers, online stations, staff workstations.  Are they ergonomically correct for the user?  Are there accommodations for those with disabilities?
  • Outlets – are there enough electrical outlets, network outlets, cable outlets, wireless access points for technology
  • What works for them in their technology program
  • What doesn’t work for them in their technology program (e.g. poor support from automation vendors, computer repair, not enough outlets, space, personnel, etc.

ILS 325: On-Site Visitation Project – The Process

As of April 14, I decided to email Mrs. Matkovich in an attempt to receive direct contact with her in terms of when her work schedule would line up with mine so that I could come in and ask some questions about the library and its technology services. She responded to me that the following day (Wednesday) would be better suited for her, as she was only working a half-day that Friday. We both decided that arriving around 12:00-12:30 would be best as she would be finishing up with a class, and would have time to answer the questions I had prepared for her.

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