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Information Matrix Camp 2011: Day 5: July 21, 2011
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And….. it’s Day 5 of Matrix Camp!  We started earlier than usual and fortunately everyone was motivated and ready to board the bus at 7:30 in anticipation of a big day.  We went directly to the Metropolitan Library System’s Downtown branch and Lisa Wood, Children’s Services Coordinator, met us.

Children's area in the Metropolitan Library System's Downown Library

The campers loved walking into an empty and very quiet library and were excited about today’s big project – reading to preschoolers.  Lisa took us into the children’s area and each camper was instructed to choose an age appropriate picture book to read to young children.

Checking out books

After the books were checked out, Lisa asked the kids if they knew what kind of training and knowledge a children’s librarian should have to do the job successfully.  Most campers had a very good idea about the duties of a children’s librarian and now that camp is in its fourth day, they also had a better understanding about the training required for the job.  In preparation for our storytimes, Lisa taught the kids a fun fingerplay too.

We boarded the bus and made our way to a local KinderCare Learning Center.  The campers were divided into groups and led to separate areas housing children of different ages.  They settled in on colorful rugs or around low tables and began reading in earnest.

Reading to kids

The children who were being read to gave their total attention to the stories.

Reading to kids

The fun thing about this event was that the campers personally chose the books they read aloud and when storytime was over, they gave the book to one of the children they read to as a gift.  The photos from this session were priceless and once the storytime was over, it was almost unanimously agreed that this was the most anticipated and the most enjoyable program for the campers so far this week. 

Lunch was a fantastic buffet at Abuelo’s, and we enjoyed a leisurely meal in a great setting.  When lunch was cleared away John Allen, School Librarian at Kaiser Elementary and Chair of the Oklahoma Library Association’s Oklahoma School Library Division, gave the kids a talk about his job as a school librarian and how he was surprised at how much he loved his work.  He answered questions then turned the tables and asked the campers for good book recommendations (and was inundated with suggested titles).

We boarded the bus and rode the few blocks to Devon Energy.  The skyscraper that has been under construction for some time in downtown OKC is the new Devon building and so we were all very interested in visiting this business.

Devon Energy

Kelly Niemyer and Tonya Stone met us in the lobby and were eventually our tour guides, but the first stop for us was a conference room where we met Mike Rusnak and Jake Schilling.  Mike talked about Devon’s purpose and how the business started and grew to one of the top 100 businesses in the country, according to FORBES magazine.  We learned that there are over 5000 employees located in several states and Canada and that they manage an enormous amount of records.  Jake told us about the information management systems Devon has in place and explained that there are currently 326,916 inches of physical records which would equal the height of 32 Devon Towers.  The inactive records of the corporation are housed in 182,000 boxes which, if placed in a stack, would equal the height of 246 Devon Towers.

Devon Energy

Having heard those facts, the campers were anxious to learn how this information is processed and stored.  We toured various departments and were shown how records were scanned, saved, archived then how information was retrieved.  The kids were impressed that barcodes were used to process and track information and thought that the scanners they used to transmit data all over the building were ‘awesome’.  There were many questions from campers about how their technology was used, and the kids were very impressed by the ‘coolness’ of everything.  One of the things they learned is that Devon is sorting records and devising new ways of digitizing and doing all of this in preparation of moving into their new building.  They were told that there is 20 miles of paper to be reviewed and indexed before the big move.  We also learned that Devon is interested in RFID, and the campers knew what that meant and, of course, had questions.  When the tour was concluded, we ended back in the conference room for delicious snacks and then were divided into 2 groups to participate in some game show style fun where they were asked questions about things they were told on the tour.  The competition was fierce, and it was a lot of fun. The winners received a prize for the most points.  All of the campers were given nice Devon bags that had 2 laser light wands in each.  What a fun afternoon!

But that’s not all, for we hurried back to Rose State for an awesome videoconference with….drum roll please…..the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Stephanie Herger, Program Manager for this incredible museum, met us online and told us that her job was to teach students about rock and roll and its origin because it is considered an art form.  She started the program by explaining the birth of R&R, and we visited the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. She explained about the history of each era and how it influenced music.  She played video clips of music from each decade (and the kids got to vote to choose which clip was played).  Let’s see…..we listened to and watched Elvis, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Blondie, Queen and Michael Jackson.  Awesome!  We were reminded that the RRHF is a museum and houses a large collection of memorabilia and music and all of it is cataloged.

On to the Ralph Ellison Library, a branch of the Metropolitan Library System, for a very fun game night.  Teen librarian Taryn Kingery greeted us and introduced us to teen volunteer TJ Harris who helped get us settled in.

Ralph Ellison Library

Then Mr. Hiawatha Bouldin, Prevention Specialist for the Eagle Ridge Institute, explained to the crew about the trivia game they were about to play.  What a blast the kids had trying to come up with correct answers to questions in a variety of categories from geography to technology.  Mid game, we were treated to a great pizza party then when the game was over the winners were announced.  There was a tie and the winning team members each received a new teen book.

Ralph Ellison Library

We finally made it back to the hotel and as we departed the bus a remark was made by a camper about what a great day it had been and how many neat places we visited.  Can the experiences of today possibly be topped?  Wonder what’s scheduled for our last day of MC2011?  We officially can’t wait to find out!

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

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