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Information Matrix Camp 2011: Day 4: July 20, 2011
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Day 4 managed to get here faster than anyone could imagine.  Everyone was up, alert and ready to board the bus a little earlier this morning because we were Norman bound and had a full day planned there.


Our first stop was at the Bizzell Library on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.  Karen Antell, Head of Reference and Outreach Services, greeted us and introduced us to Sara Pyle, a first year student at the OU School of Library and Information Studies.  Sara talked to the campers about attending graduate school and how well prepared OU SLIS graduates are for the library world.


Karen took over after that and spoke to the group about her unconventional trip into librarianship then prepared us for a tour of the building.  The Great Reading Room was our first stop.  The kids were impressed to learn that Bizzell wasn’t originally a lending library and the Great Reading Room was used for just that – reading.  The old, original stacks were next and the kids were equally impressed with the low ceilings and glass floors.  Of course the first question they had was “Why?” Karen explained that the floors were designed and built to allow as much light as possible through to the lower 2 floors in a time that gas lamps were the main source of lighting.  Another area of great interest to the kids was the ‘library jail’ or study carrel area.  Karen jokingly explained that students who couldn’t pay fines were relegated to the ‘jail’ or perhaps it was a place to put students who didn’t study enough.  We made our way through the rest of the collections (one camper thought the tour was sort of like time travel) in the building then ducked outside and took a group photo in the Canyon Garden.

Group Photo at OU

After that (and glad to return to air conditioning) we had a refreshment break in the coffee shop in the library.  Karen paired the campers to form a Q & A session with prizes for correct answers. Do you know the answers?  How many books are in the collection at Bizzell? How many periodicals, newspapers, journals are in the collection?  How many databases are available to students?  The campers were impressed with the size and history of the library and the massive collection.  We were curious about the square footage of the Bizzell Library and Karen investigated and informed us that it’s approximately 404,000 square feet which is roughly 200 times the size of a typical house in Oklahoma.

We left there and walked over to the College of Fine Arts Library and were met by Matt Stock, Fine and Applied Arts Librarian.  Matt gave us a tour of the library and told the kids what kinds of materials are housed there explaining that more than books were in the building.  They were interested to find that music is a great part of this collection.  Matt brought out and showed the kids 3 very rare volumes including an avant-garde journal from the 1960’s and that was a lot of fun.

OU Fine Arts Library

We enjoyed lunch on campus then made our way to the OU School of Law Library.  Director Darrin Fox and Marilyn Nicely, Head of Technical Services greeted us and showed us into the Bell Courtroom explaining that this room was heavily used by law students.

Bell Courtroom at OU Law School

Darrin engaged the kids with a quiz of sorts about funny laws and that sparked a great and lively conversation about some existing laws.  Then there was a lengthy discussion when the kids were asked about laws they would like to see in effect.  A group photo was taken in the impressive courtroom then we toured the library.

Group photo in OU's Bell Courtroom

The next stop was the National Weather Center located on the OU campus and it was fascinating.  We were met by Ginny Dietrich, Weather Center librarian. She introduced us to the Director of Climatological Survey, Kevin Kloesel.  Wow! Was he ever excited about the weather.  He talked to the kids about the current weather situation then spoke at length about the film TWISTER and how storm chasers really work as opposed to how the film portrayed them.  We were taken downstairs where the vehicles that are used to monitor severe weather are parked then went up to the observation deck.

National Weather Center Observation Deck

There we learned about the outside ‘classroom’ that students use in all kinds of weather (except lightening).   Kevin told us that storms can be seen for almost 200 miles from the observation deck.  All of us were amazed by the weather facts as we toured the building.  Our walk led us right to the library door and Ginny took over from there.  The Weather Center library houses an interesting and specialized collection and Ginny explained how students and meteorologists use the information.  What a treat to have been invited there.

Ginny Dietrich

Computer time at the Rose State Learning Resource Center was the next order of the day and we traveled back there where Mary Kirk taught the kids how to correctly upload photos to their online journals.  She also continued talking to the kids about their online safety.  The time in the computer lab was a bit shorter this afternoon and we reluctantly left to travel to the OU Bird Health Sciences Library.

What a treat we had when we arrived!

Dinner at OU Health Sciences

A nice meal was provided by the Bird Health Sciences Library and after we ate, librarian Mike Coffman, gave the kids a quiz asking them questions about their health (they didn’t score very high on some questions this first time around).  We learned then that we were part of a pilot program that the Health Sciences librarians are developing for public librarians to use to promote health wellness in teens.   Health Sciences librarians Joy Summers-Ables, Mike Coffman, Jack Wagner, Briann Zimmerman, Margie Garner and  Scott Jackson worked together to present the program which is designed to pair public librarians and their local health care communities  to help teens have a better understanding about their health.  The program was fantastic.  Nursing students from the OU College of Nursing, under the supervision of Jani Hill, Professor, College of Nursing, presented the health aspect of the program which consisted of noninvasive health checks such as weight, height and blood pressure.  The librarians supervised four Wii Fit stations where the kids competed to get the highest score in exercise-based games such as bowling, hula, tennis and skiing.


Once the kids made all of the Wii rounds, Mike gave them a post test and again asked the same questions.  This time the percentage of right answers was higher and that was attributed to the information the kids received during the evening.  It was a great end to a productive and diverse day and finally time to return to the hotel.

Today we learned about academic, law and weather libraries and participated in a health and wellness fair.  We walked on glass floors, sat behind a judge’s bench and looked at the sky from the very spot that meteorologists stand when watching storms and predicting weather.  We learned and we played and now we wonder…….what in the world will Day 5 of MC2011 bring?

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

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