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Information Matrix Camp 2011: Day 3: July 19, 2011
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Day 3 of Information Matrix Camp got off to a fantastic start (well, except for the 2 sleepyheads who didn’t wake up until right before we left the hotel)!  We headed, first thing, to the Metropolitan Library System’s Service Center where we were greeted by Pauline Rodriguez-Atkins.  Pauline shepherded us to a nice conference room and then told us about the work of the service center.

Pauline Rodriguez-Atkins talks to the campers

We learned that there are 50 employees there and they spend the days playing with very cool toys and when she said that, the camper’s interest was immediately piqued. We were divided into 3 groups then introduced to Heidi Johnson and Sharon Main who, along with Pauline, took us on a special guided tour of the facility.  The first stop of the tour for us was the area that houses the Books by Mail program.  That program has about 900 customers who use the service in Oklahoma County and it’s great for those unable to leave their homes to check out library books.   The second part of the tour was the unbelievably cool area (Pauline, you are so right!) that is filled with cutting edge technology that takes the burden of lifting and carrying large amount of books off of employees.  The rolling conveyers are everywhere and boxes are placed on them in the receiving room and they steadily make their way to the proper place for processing.

The campers had about a million questions about the way the machinery and equipment works and were anxious to try it.  Once we made it to the sorting room (not to be confused with the Sorting Hat according to one camper), and were all equally amazed by the automatic sorting of books into predetermined bins (thanks to the magic of RFID), Heidi asked for volunteers to help sort processed books.

Campers at the Metropolitan Service Center

The final leg of the tour was cataloging and Inter-Library Loan and the kids learned that just about anything can be cataloged and almost any kind of book can be requested through ILL.  All 3 groups came together for the last part of the tour and we were handed over to the Friends of the Metropolitan Library System who were diligently working in their special area processing books for their big annual February book sale.

Campers at the Metropolitan Service Center

We learned some interesting facts about this sale:

Friend’s accepts approximately 500,000 donated books each year that are sorted and placed in boxes and stored until the book sale

  • The book sale makes about $250,000 each year …..50 cents at a time
  • The book sale is so big that it is held at the Fairgrounds
  • It takes approximately 1000 volunteers to successfully hold and manage the book sale
  • The book sale is considered one of the best in the Unites States

Learning about how the MLS books are processed helped us all work up a good appetite for…..spaghetti!  We had a delicious lunch at the Spaghetti Warehouse and afterwards made our way to the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  Vicky Golightly, Public Information Officer for the library and visually impaired herself, talked to the campers about this special library and how it worked, who qualifies to use it, and what kind of special books and materials they loan.  Vicky also talked about how to address a blind person and gave us some pointers on proper etiquette when having a conversation with someone who is blind.

Vicky Golightly

The kids were taken on a tour of the library and were wowed when given the opportunity to make a recording in the special studio that is used to record materials for the visually impaired.

Recording at the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

What a fantastic way to spend the afternoon!

But that’s not all.  Our next stop was the Full Circle Bookstore, the largest independent bookstore in Oklahoma. Prior to arriving at Full Circle, each camper was instructed to choose one book for a preschooler and one for themselves.  The discussion on the bus was lively and only about books.  Once there the kids headed to the shelves and were lost in the world of reading.  I can’t imagine a better place to be during the heat of the afternoon.

Full Circle Bookstore

Armed with bags of books, we boarded the bus and headed to Rose State’s Learning Resource Center for further instruction in the world of Edmodo in the computer lab.  Melissa instructed the kids on the best way to edit and resize photos and they learned different methods of uploading photos too.  Edmodo was alive with Matrix posts this afternoon.

Computer Time at Rose State

Finally we traveled to the Pioneer Library System’s Moore Public Library for a fun evening.  Teen librarians Kirsten Walker and Leanne Cheek greeted us and explained about their jobs and duties at the library.  The conversation was interesting and they answered several questions from campers and facilitators.  Sheila Crosby, Moore Public Library’s new branch manager, talked about the library and how it as adapted to the ever-growing community. We learned that Moore is a very busy library and also that the Pioneer System is building a new library that will open in the fall.  Sheila, Kirsten and Leanne gave us an interesting tour and the campers saw RFID in action as Moore patrons checked out (and in) their own materials.  The kids were quite interested in the 747 Movie Box and enjoyed learning about the new touch screen computers in the children’s area.  When the tour concluded we were all treated to a pizza dinner sponsored by a local Credit Union and then the campers attention was given over to the 4 gaming stations set up in the room.  Dancing, music, Mario Cart, and other interactive games were quickly in action and the amount of laughter generated from this event attested to the great fun that was had.  How can this kind of day be topped?

It wasn’t too much longer before the bus rolled around again and we headed back to the hotel.  Just when the campers think they’ve seen it all in the library world, they learn that we have another packed day planned tomorrow.  Hmmmmmm……wonder what Wednesday will bring?  Stayed tuned for Day 4 of MC2011.

Leslie H. Langley
Wister Public Library
101 Caston Avenue
Wister, OK 74966
918-655-3267 FAX

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