Monday, October 19, 2009

My Trip to BC:

My trip to British Columbia:

Starting from Madison WI., go East on the Beltline to I-39/I-90 and head south. Keep on I-39 when it splits from I-90 and keep going south. Go south for 85 miles till you reach exit 25 and head west on IL-17. At Varna, take a right and head south for 20 miles to Washington. Slight detour to the in-laws house in Washington, then head east on US-24 to El Paso (19.5 miles) and get on I-39 south. Take I-39 south for 14 miles to where you pick up I-55 south which will take you the 164 miles to St. Louis, MO. Once in Missouri, take I-64 W to exit 40/A Stadium/Tucker Blvd. Go .3 miles and take a L at Clark Ave., then a L at S. 16th St., and a L at Spruce St. The St. Louis Greyhound Bus station will be located on the left at 430 S. 15th St.

Here, you board a bus at 6:45 pm that will take you the 747 miles to New Orleans through Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It will take roughly one day, one hour, and five minutes to arrive in New Orleans, LA. Here, the Audubon Insect Museum is great! From there, rent a car and go 14.5 miles to the Louis Armstrong International Airport in Jefferson, LA. Go SW on Loyola Ave towards Simon Bolivar Ave and take the exit for I-10. Merge onto I-90 BUS E and then onto I-10 W. Go ten miles and then take exit 223B for the N.O. International Airport.

Once here, take a flight from New Orleans to Las Vegas, NV. At Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, rent a car and head towards the Hoover Dam. Coming out of the airport, take a left onto Wayne Newton Blvd. and then take the ramp for I-15/I-25/Las Vegas/Henderson. Merge onto S Airport Con/Paradise Road then merge onto I-215 E towards Henderson/Lake Mead. Go ten miles till you come to exit 1 to merge onto I-515/US-93 S/US-95 S toward Boulder City. Go five miles and then continue onto US-93 S for another 6.5 miles. When you come to NV Hwy/US-93 go left and continue on for 8 miles. This will bring you to the Hoover Dam.

Then, we go to Joshua Tree National Park. Go SW on Hwy-93 to Las Vegas/US-93/I-15 S ramp (.7 miles). Merge onto I-15 S/US-93 S and go fifteen miles to exit 24. Merge onto I-515 S/US-93 S/US-95 S toward Phoenix/Downtown LV and go 20 miles. Continue on US-93 S/US-95 S for three miles till you can exit onto US-95 S and enter CA. Go south for 80 miles to till the road intersects with I-40. Go W on I-40 for 55 miles till you come to the Kelbaker Road exit. Turn L coming off the ramp and go for 11 miles. Turn right at Historic US-66 W and 6.5 miles till you come to N Amboy Rd where you take a L. Drive forty miles and take a L at Godwin Rd. Two miles to 29 Palms Hwy/CA-62 W where you take a R and drive six miles. L at Utah Trail and then continue on National Park Rd. Continue on El Dorado Mine Road and then drive straight for fifteen miles to come to Joshua Tree National Park.

Then, off to Albuquerque, NM. Head S for 3.5 miles on Monument Rd/National Park Blvd toward Quail Springs Spur then continue on Loop Rd. for another 14. Turn R at El Dorado Mine Rd. and drive 31 miles till it becomes Cottonwood Spring Rd. Go five more miles to you come to I-10 E towards Blythe. Go 229 miles and you come into AZ. Take exit 154 to merge onto US-60 E toward Mesa – Globe and drive 80.5 miles east through Tonto National Forest. Continue on E Ash St/US-70 E for another 86 miles. Turn L at US-191 N, go 40 miles, then turn right at Coronado Trail/US-191 N. Take the 1st L to stay on the Coronado Trail, go 11 miles, and then turn R to stay on Coronado Trail/US-191 N. This will take you a hundred miles through the Apache National Forest. Turn R at US-180 W/US-191 N and then make a sharp R at Main St/US-60 E. Continue to follow US-60 E for 48 miles into NM. Turn L at NM-36 N go 21.5 miles, turn R at NM-117 go 56.7 miles. After you pass El Malpais National Monument, you’ll come to I-40 E towards Albuquerque. Take exit 157A for Rio Grande Blvd and take a R at Rio Grande Blvd NW. Turn L at Central Ave SW/Historic US 66-E, turn R at Gold Ave SW, and continue on 1st St SW to the Amtrak Station.

Here, we will board a train at 12:55 PM that will take us to Raton, NM where we will transfer to a bus that will deposit us in Denver, CO at 9:45 that evening.

Next leg of the trip takes us through CO, into UT, and then up into ID. Once in Denver, head W on US-6 until you reach Frisco. There, take a R onto CO-9 S and head down towards Breckenridge. Go fifteen miles on CO-9 till you reach CO-9/US-285 S and drive 35 miles past Bald Mt. and Mt. Lincoln. Slight R at US-24 W and then R at E 9th St. Take the first L at US-24W which you follow up through Leadville. Stop to see Mt. Elbert, the highest point in CO. Get back on US-24 N till you see the turn off for the Mt. of the Holy Cross just before you reach Minturn. At the drive, walk 4.5 miles up an access road to get to the base of the mountain where we camp, ascend and descend the next day, then camp and return to the car. Take US-24 N again for six miles till it meets up with US-6 again. Take US-6 all the way to Fruita where CO-139 N heads off. Take a R and go 73 miles on CO-139 till you reach CO-64. Go west on CO-64 for 19 miles till it meets up with US-40 W a few miles past Dinosaur and heads into UT.

Go 113 miles W on US-40 till it meets up with I-80 N. Get on the beltline going around the city till you reach I-84W which merges with I-15 N. Follow them both up between Cache National Forest and Willard Bay till you reach Twin Falls, ID. Once there, get on ID-75 N and head N for 193 miles till ID-75 meets up with US-93 N. Then follow US-93 next to the Salmon River up through the Bitterroots Range. One hundred and ninety more miles will take you to Missoula, MT. At Missoula, continue N 27 miles on US-93 to Ravall. Take MT-200 115 miles W, back into ID. Thirty-five miles past the ID border you come to Sandpoint. There get on US-2/US-95 and head N 50 miles till where US-1 splits off and takes you 11 more miles up to the border of British Columbia.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 4

Day 4:
This week I staffed the children’s desk with the reference librarian from the main desk. I got to do some weeding from the adult non-fiction section. This was fun since it allowed me to keep busy right at the desk while I checked circulation stats for older non-fiction books. Most of the questions again were fairly standard with a few little quirks thrown in. Probably the biggest quirk of the day came from a patron looking for books for her autistic son. She seemed to know what she expected, but not what she wanted and that made it a little difficult to find something she was happy with. She wanted more than what board books seemed to offer but did not seem to want to browse through the picture books. She seemed familiar and appreciative of the Eric Hill “Spot” books in the board book section, so I got her some of the lift-the flap “Spot” books from the picture book section and those seemed to satisfy her. Then, she asked where I had found those so I showed her and she began to browse through that section of the picture books herself.

The other sort of quirky question I got came from a woman who approached the desk, told me that she was in a hurry and asked for a specific sports biography. I looked for it in the catalog using the name of the author since that was what she gave me, but could not find it. Then she told me that she had looked it up herself in the catalog, but could not find it. It took me a little bit of thinking to figure out why I could not seem to locate it, but then I figured out that it was not a children’s book. She thought it would be located in the kid’s section and told me that it was since she was tutoring an elementary school student that was reading it. After I figured that out, it took me just a minute to locate it and tell her that we would have to request it from another library.

I also got the opportunity to show a girl how to use the OPAC for herself. I showed her where to click to limit the search to the children’s section, where to type in the keywords or the title, and what the different results meant when they were returned. Then, I walked with her and her mom over to the stacks and helped her find what she was looking for.

Maggie suggested that I change places with the intern working the adult reference section the next time I work so that I can get a feel for answering different types of questions. She also said that she would let me help her figure out what books needed to be bought to replace what we weeded.

Day 3

Day 3:
Yet another set of interesting and different questions this week. Some questions of course were standard, but some were challenging. Probably the most challenging question came from a woman who was looking for a mathematics kit. I was not sure about how to search for the kits in the system, so walked with the woman back to where the kits are kept so we could just browse. We checked them all, but there were none that dealt with math. I asked for help from the children’s librarian, but even she was not entirely sure how to search for kits from other libraries. It turns out that kits were cataloged under “generic kit” with no details provided in the entry itself. We had to click on each kit separately in order to find out what the contents were which was a very time consuming process. In the end, it was taking so long that the woman decided against trying to request one for pickup and said she would just go and check at two library branches that are not far away from Verona.

The next difficult question I had that day came from a woman who was looking for a children’s non-fiction book about leaves. She needed to identify trees by looking at the leaves with her first grader. There were no books that included details about leaves in the early reader section, only books about trees and forests in general. Then, when I took the patron over to the older kid’s non-fiction section, she was concerned that the books that we found were too difficult for a first grader. Unfortunately, I could not find a middle ground for her, at least not at that library. She ended up selecting the easiest of the books from the older children’s non-fiction and helping her daughter with the reading.

Most of the other questions I had that day were fairly standard with a request for “Swan Lake” being the exception. I did not realize that it would be kept with the non-fiction books about dance and ballet. In between answering questions and staffing the desk, I read the policies manual and pulled books for the tops of the shelves. That was actually a lot of fun since it gave me a chance to pull some of my favorites and read through new books as well. It was especially gratifying when I saw kids and parents pick some of them up for check-out.

Day 2

Day 2:
This week had a few more complicated questions than I had the first week I worked at the library. The highlights were a few phone interviews with parents. One in particular was a little bit daunting. A mother called saying that her daughter had left her book report book in her locker and she needed to get a copy from the library so the report could be completed by Monday. The daughter did not remember the name of the book or the author only that it had something to do with ghosts, a place named Graymoss, and a blue cover with faces coming out of the ceiling and a girl with a scared look on her face.

My initial reaction was to think about the books that I was required to read in middle school and look for those in the catalog, but Tiffany advised me against doing that. She suggested that I get the mother’s name and phone number and call her back after doing some looking. Then, we just used Google to do a keyword search using what little information we did have and got a couple of leads that way. We looked those books up on the Amazon site so that we couple see pictures of the different covers, but none of the covers matched exactly. The closest match we came up with was “The Haunting” by Nixon, so we called the mother back and read her the reviews and asked her to check with her daughter to see if those rang any bells. The mother said yes, so I went and got the copy that was in the YA section. Sure enough, the cover had faces coming out of the ceiling so we were sure that was the correct one. The way holds are done at Verona is different than it is at any of the Madison branches that I frequent, so it took me a little while to be familiar with how we place books on hold there for phone pickup.

The other phone interview I had was easy since a father was looking for a copy of “There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom” and could not remember who the author was. An easily answered question, this just served as a reminder of how varied phone interview questions can be. Everything else was fairly standard.

This week I also did some weeding in the kids’ non-fiction section in-between answering reference questions. It was kind of relaxing and it did allow me to answering some roaming reference questions for some older kids that did not approach me while I was sitting at the desk.

Day 1 at the Verona Library

Day 1:

First day at the Verona library was relatively quiet. There was an activity for kids that started about an hour after opening, but not many people were there when the library opened. I got acquainted with the computer system, took a tour of the library, and then proceeded to man the desk for the next four hours. All of the questions I got were fairly standard. Most of them were of the “Do you have this book?” variety with a few “Where do you keep this series?” thrown in. All questions easily answered by using the circulation catalog. I did have a little trouble remembering the layout of the section, so I did make a few overly round trips to escort patrons around the library, but did manage to find everything in fairly good time. I was not familiar with a lot of the different series that kids were requesting, so I used NoveList and some of the other databases to read reviews. Those reviews gave me a better idea of what series are popular so when kids came by (or rather their parents) asking for a particular book I knew what some of the more requested series were.