March 12, 2005

Library Field Trip

When I told Serona that we were going on a field trip to the library his response was "Don't you do that every week, aren't you there enough?" This time I assured him it was different we had a scheduled tour with our homeschool support group.

It was different and interesting. We began in a classroom with a librarian who outlined how long you can borrow books and the difference between non-fiction and fiction and how the books were arranged, an introduction to the Dewey decimal system. They had a scavenger hunt list they kept track of while we walked around the library and learned where things were, we did know where many of the things in the children's section were, but learned some other new things.

Then the exciting part we got to go back into the sorting room and see what happens to the books after we drop them into the return box. At this particular library they have an automated system that they call "Big Mamma" The books move on a conveyor belt and are turned or flipped to face the right way and the barcode is scanned (which checks it in and tells the computer where it goes) and then the book is directed down different paths until it reaches the right genre and the machine actually even places it is on the carts that the librarians use. Several librarians are nearby if they are needed, but for the most part the system is automated. The kids thought this was very interesting and went and dropped a book through the system and watched what happened.

After the tour was over we headed back to the room for questions and answers and then the librarian read the kids a folktale from Loas as she knew we were studying countries of Asia and showed them some pictures from a non-fiction book of Hmong people from Loas (as many have immigrated to this area) and the kids enjoyed the book.

When the tour was over we all headed over to the children's section for awhile, the kids played games and looked at books, moms read stories, chatted, and picked up books for reading at home. A grand and interesting tour.


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