It's Thursday, July 22 - the fifth day of the Oklahoma Library Association's 2010 Information Matrix summer camp. It has been one heck of a busy day. Starting with breakfast at 7:30 we kept our campers on the go pretty much up until 10:00 tonight. Well, as I've said before, they can rest when they get home.
After finishing their final breakfast at the Reynolds Center (tomorrow we eat in ACAC - I'll let non-TU folks puzzle over exactly what that is!) the campers got on the shuttle and the van to begin a morning dedicated to exploring the ways in which libraries serve the information needs and interests of different ethnic groups. First stop was Martin Regional Library, home of the Hispanic Resource Center. We were met by Sara Martinez, the coordinator of the Center.
Sara explained what her job entails and why it's important for the library to provide Spanish-language materials for Tulsa's Hispanic residents. After allowing time for the kids to walk around and look at some of the materials, Sara gave a brief tour of the library, ending up in the story-time room.
Here Sara discussed some of the challenges of her job, took questions (lots of them!) and passed out Mexican lollipops (after reassuring one camper that, no, they were not spicy). The traditional group photo followed.
Next came a drive back into downtown Tulsa for another visit to Central Library. Here the campers learned about the American Indian Resource Center and met its coordinator, Teresa Runnels.
Teresa encouraged the kids to explore the collection, which gave the adults a chance to organize another traditional group photo, this time around the nearby fountain.
Rudisill Regional Library was the final stop of the morning. Director Keith Jemison welcomed the group and introduced the coordinator of the African American Resource Center, Alicia Latimer. She took the kids into the library's small classroom, somehow managing to squeeze everyone in. She then discussed different aspects of the African American experience with the campers, including the Tulsa Race Riot, and took them online to the Center's website where they could view photos of that terrible event. As you can see from the photo below, Alicia also got to answer a lot of questions.
After finishing in the classroom, Alicia took the kids on a tour of the Center. The collection is not limited to books, but includes a variety of artifacts that bring African American history to life.
Next up was a pizza lunch provided by the Friends of Rudisill Library. The campers got to eat in the library's large meeting room which also serves as an auditorium and, in our case, a movie theater. Keith put on a DVD of the movie "Hotel for Dogs" and everyone enjoyed watching the movie while they ate lunch.
Unfortunately for movie and/or canine lovers in the audience, we had to move on to our next visit before finishing the film. The Tulsa Air & Space Museum turned out to be great fun, lots to see and do. It's packed with various aircraft and "hands-on" exhibits. Below, members of the group meet our tour guide.
The tour guide gave each camper the chance to sit in an airplane cockpit and give some of the controls a try.
Behind the campers in the photo below is an actual jet engine.
Following the museum tour the group walked over to the planetarium next door. In the theater the campers were able to watch a film called "Extreme Planets", all about the search for "extrasolar" planets in the galaxy. I understand, from those who managed to stay awake, that it was a good film. (Well, come on. It was a dark theater, the narrator had a very soothing voice and it's been a long week. So it should come as no surprise that not all of us remained conscious.)
After the film, and a quick visit to the gift shop, it was back to McFarlin Library for more "Computer Time with Tiffany". Photo editing seemed to be today's most popular activity. (Tiffany has had them using a really easy photo editing site called Picnik.)
Following an early dinner at the Reynolds Center we again hit the road, this time heading back to Hardesty Library for an evening of storytelling in Connor's Cove. Tonight's storyteller was Angie Kuehn, who has been doing this since 1979.
Angie told a story called "Hairy Toes and Bony Knees", about a young man's search for a beautiful blond princess. The story involved lots of audience participation. In the photo below, Angie has called up several kids from the audience to help her in telling part of the story, including two of our campers.
After Angie finished up, the campers stayed in the auditorium and had the chance to meet Karl Siewert, Hardesty's Young Adult Librarian. Karl talked briefly about his life-long goal of becoming a librarian and how he achieved his dream. But mostly he answered questions. Tons of questions, almost all book related. The kids had a great time asking "Have you read this book" and "What did you think of that book".
Finally Karl managed to get everyone out of Connor's Cove and into the library for a quick tour. We spent several minutes in the story time room, with its walls painted in an amazing jungle theme.
It was getting close to 8:30 by the time we left Hardesty and headed back to the TU campus. We had the pool in the Mabee Gym scheduled for 8-10, but it was 9:00 before the kids who wanted to swim were able to get over there. At least they had an hour to burn off some energy in the water. (Which raises two questions: 1) Where does all that energy come from? and 2) How could they possibly have had any left after a day like today? If I'd accidentally fallen in the pool tonight, I don't think I'd have had enough energy to scream for the life guard.)
Tomorrow is the last full day of the camp. We don't play favorites in OLA. Having visited OU-Tulsa on Wednesday, tomorrow morning we'll be spending with OSU-Tulsa. We'll spend the afternoon at the Gilcrease Museum. Finally, we'll finish off the week watching the Tulsa Drillers take on Arkansas tomorrow evening at ONEOK Field.