By: Rachel Lyle, May 26th, 2017
As part of my classes at DelVal the school requires every student to do three credits worth of some type of job experience in their field. I did two of these credits over the summer before my senior year in the form of Career Exploration Experience and as part of this I did an interview with my neighbor on being a Children’s Librarian. Here are my reflections on this interview.
After my informational interview my neighbor, Lorry Terriffay, I felt like I knew a lot more about the kind job positions I hope to have in the future. I now know more about my career field and what I want to do and where I want to go with it. It has made me excited to learn even more about the career I hope to have and to be in the field I plan on being in. Lorry was a Children’s Librarian for forty some years.
Because she worked with children her day usually started with a story hour with young children, which consisted of songs, a story, a craft. Then she would help the kids who were there for story hour pick out books to take home. All of the story hour would be planned around a certain theme, like one she did focusing an a theme of bugs. Then she would go order books to add to the library’s catalog and collection. She would use a special system to order them, on which she would read reviews on each book, pick out which ones she thought would be best to add to the collection, and order them. On some days after this she would help with preschools that would come visit the library by presenting a story hour. She would always try to make it special for the visiting preschoolers, sometimes she would read stories, sometimes she would do puppets shows, sometimes she would do a craft with them, but always something to make it
special and she would help the kids pick out books after to take home with them. Some days after she ordered books she would help the older kids pick out books to take home, and sometimes later in the day she help with after school programs. (Question 1) This can help me to understand more what I’ll be doing as a Childen’s Librarian, what my duties will be. It can help me to prepare more for what is in store for me and to develop my skills, especially in keeping the attention of young children, and keeping theme entertained, as well as patience, and guidance. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they can see me working with young children and that they see the I have a lot of patience, so I just need to develop the patience for working with young children for my career on a daily basis.
She loves working with and helping kids of all ages, and seeing their enthusiasm and excitement about books. She loves when she sees kids being enthusiastic about reading and learning to read. For her recommending books and helping kids be enthusiastic about reading is always rewarding. (Question 2) I will be keeping this in mind and finding ways to keep kids enthusiastic about books. I can look for and notice ways to help kids become and stay enthusiastic about books for the rest of their lives as well as eliminating ways that don’t get kids enthusiastic about books or takes away their enthusiasm for books.
Her Bachelor’s degree prepared her more than her master’s because it was more useful and practical things that could be used in her field, Master’s taught more theory. The Bachelor’s program taught more computer and technology skills, and some literacy classes. Her undergrad was in and educational/school children’s librarian program so she learn more school librarian stuff, how different children learn differently, how to work more in a classroom setting, such as if a child was slower or more hyper she would know how and be able to handle them better. She had one class in which she would go into a library setting and put into practice learned skills, sort of like student teaching. (Question 3) I need to remember to put into practice the skills I learn throughout my time as a student in both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees to help me throughout my time as a Children’s Librarian and I can even put the skills to use during my time as a student in whatever I find myself doing, especially when I work with children, and books.
She said that the she made best decision was to complete all of her classes and gather degree, which led her into the profession, because she got a job right after she graduated. She said to complete the task that is at hand. (Question 4) Now I know no matter how hard it may seem to finish my education and degree I need to keep going and finish it completely and get the job done.
She said some colleges offer career exploration type program, similar to DelVal’s Experience 360 Program. She said they once one student come in to work with the library over the summer in a work study program in which the college payed you her work with the library. She used the example of Drexel University which has internship program in which help you find a place to explore your career for the undergrads and that I should check with colleges to see what kind of program and internships they have. (Question 5) I can use my CEE this summer as well as what I’m going to do in the fall at the DelVal library in this way as well as whatever program my graduate school offers to help with this
Lorry said that The Pennsylvania Library Association is the best organization that I can belong to if I want to get into my career field and they hold many events I can attend to network with other librarians in the area. It has many different chapters, our area is the southeast chapter. The Pennsylvania School Library Association, and Association of School Librarians are also good organizations for me to be involved in as well as the Bucks County Library Association but she is not sure if this one still exists. (Question 6) I can start this now my finding out how I can become part of and involved in these and other organizations and if possible I can join them now in order to network and be prepared for a job in my field.
Libraries are always looking for in a Children’s Librarian someone that’s enthusiastic, very computer literate, has a love for reading, know books really well. For a public Children’s Librarian they look someone who could work with children of all ages, for things such as baby story hours, toddler story hours, because public librarians work with those who go down to babies, and they work more with parents as well. For a school Children’s Librarian they look for someone who can work with children from Kindergarten to eighth grade, and they don’t really works much with the parents. (Question 7) I will need to find some sort of experience with children before my career as Children’s Librarian, but I do love books and have very good computer literacy skills which I can use for the job and I can develop them even further with my education and experience.
Lorry talked about how the Pennsylvania Library Association has a Job Hotline where I should look first in order to find good positions which work for my skills set. Other places I can look for a position might be indeed.com, and the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. (Question 8)
Lorry said that libraries are becoming more computerized, and digitizing libraries is becoming popular. Libraries tend not to have as many books as they used to, and are getting more into computers. Libraries have gotten rid of most reference books, and use the computers more for that Libraries are also becoming more hubs for the community, and more program oriented by creating more specialized programs for adult, specialized programs for children, science and technology programs for Children, and educational programs for both adults and children. (Question 9)
Lorry said to just go for it, it’s a great career, and it’s rewarding. She said I should take courses in English, literature, and anything with books, keep up to date with technology, try to get into a work study program, and volunteer at the library. She recommended I not get a job shelving books because I won’t be able to do anything but shelve books.She told me that’s basically it, just try it and see where it leads. (Question 10) I’m already getting my Bachelor’s in English Literature, so I will be taking lots of English classes and classes having to do with books and literature. I can stay up to date with technology by taking classes and doing research on modern technology and I can volunteer at one of the libraries in the area.
I now feel much more prepared for the career field of being a Children’s Librarian and I feel more informed about how to do the job and prepare for it. I also feel more excited to prepare even more for it and to research and find more information on this career field.