Week One: The Practicum and The People

The practicum got off to a confusing start as Piper and I were informed that instead of the anticipated 40 hours of hands on work and reading, I was required to complete 120 hours of work and reading. The workload I was given increased but Piper made sure that the reading was all relevant and interesting. During my first week I met with several of the librarians and staff that students often see and interact with. Piper Cumbo, Jeffrey Martin, Sara Blaha, Hany Hosny, and Nitra Eatsby are all familiar to students who have been in the library as often as I have been in my time at Roanoke. It was fun to learn about how each of them came to work here at Fintel and what their educational background is. Every person wears several hats so to speak, and everyone must be able to do several different jobs in at least some capacity.

I also met with Dave Wiseman, the resident tech savvy librarian. He gave me a general idea about what type of work he does, and also the basics of what my project would become. He showed me the scanner that I have become familiar with, as well as the system that is used to change aspects of the digital object once it is scanned. Nitra helped as well, as she is working on an ongoing project to digitize old yearbooks. The system gives one the ability to change what type of file the image is saved as, and one can also decide if the image will be OCR compatible. If it is, this gives the user the ability to manipulate the PDF and search for words within the PDF. Some PDFs do not have this feature which is why I made sure they are all OCR. The process of learning the new technology was a bit daunting, but once I got used to it, it was a breeze use.