My final project for ILS503 - Foundations of Librariansip is done as of 3:30PM this afternoon. I'm even more excited to be done with this one. I worked with another student to develop a pathfinder (in both print and web format) for Brazilian immigrants in a specific library district in the New York area. This was an exhausting project - from which I learned SO much. As a person who works in library systems in an academic library, I very rarely have contact with the public. Admittedly, this is a big problem - and one of which I am very conscious. One of the reasons that I chose to return to school was because I believed that graduate school could help me expand my vision of libraries and how important the user experience is to making library systems better.
This project has really been an important part of this process. Ultimately, the library has a significant Portuguese-speaking immigrant population who have specific needs that the library cannot meet. While resources for Spanish-speaking patron abound, there are very few resources for those who speak Portuguese. I truly believe that the woman that I worked with and I only scratched the surface of the resources available. We developed a print pathfinder and a web page for the library at which my partner works. Overall, I learned so much about how different the needs of public libraries are from those of academic libraries.
I am so excited to be done for the semester. Summer classes don't start until May 24th - and I am goind to take a much needed break between now and then (although I will be doing many different types of good luck dances to help me pass my classes . . . ).