Library ethnography

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LIBRARY ETHNOGRAPHYBy Kenneth TaylorNote: Some definitions in this presentation were acquired by using an online dictionary. Mrs. Jones explained the areas, but for added clarity some formal definitions were obtained. (Dictionary. Com)

Mrs. Teresa JonesChildren Librarian16 Years /Neva Lomason Library

Question #1 Ms. Jones I have never stepped foot in a library. I am told that this is the place to come for all types of books and intellectual property. I would like to check out a book to read. Will you assist me in this process?

MJ: It would be my pleasure! Since you have never been in a library, lets start with a library membership.

CIRCULATION DESKKT: Okay, lets get one.MJ: Do you have a drivers license?KT: No I do not.MJ: I need something to prove proof of residency. Do you have a utility bill with your name and address?KT: Yes I do.MJ: Great let me introduce you to the library attendants at the circulation desk. They will provide you with the necessary documentation to obtain a library card.KT: Great!

MJ: Okay now that you have a library card, what book would you like?

KT: I'm not sure. Can you show me what's available?

MJ:As you can see, we have thousands of books. Which do you prefer fiction or nonfiction books?

KT: Whats the difference?

MJ: Non-fiction refer to events that have actually occurred, whereby fiction is literature that has been written to entertain or deceive.

KT: Can you give me a tour of all the areas because I want to check out more than one book.

MJ:Sure, I will guide you and explain the different areas of the library. Do you have children?

KT: Yes I do.

MJ: Okay let's start in that area. First let me explain how to use our computerized catalog system.Alpine StationDigital CatalogYOUNG ADULTBOOKSMrs. Jones suggested a start for all research

Children Book Section

Children Book Area


Area where stories or events have actuallyHappened.

Non Fiction books prearranged by subject. They are identified by numbers (Dewey Decimal System). The books areorganized in chronological order. Notice the labelson the end of each book shelf. These numberspinpoint the location arrangement in sequence.

Fiction A story invented and fashioned either to entertain or to deceive.

Fiction books are not arranged chronologically rather by the authors last name.

Special Collections is the Libraries' major resource for rare and archival materials covering a broad range of topics, formats, and periods

KT: What kinds of material are kept in this section?

MJ: We keep items of value in this area. Old papers, books, and articles that are only used in-house. We do not allow this material to leave our premises. KT: What is the nature of this old material?

MJ: Well, we have census information and historical documents pertaining to the county. We have newspaper articles (Times Georgian) that date back as far as the fifties. Most have been put on film. We also have maps and old journals.

Periodical Area

a magazine or other journal that is issued at regularly recurring intervals

KT: How is this area utilized?MJ: The periodical area is more of a leisure area. Some people come to read the daily paper and others magazines.KT: Do you only offer the local paper?MJ: No, we have the local paper but we also subscribe to other city and county newspapers. We also have The New York Times and the Atlanta Constitution. This area can also be used for research. Many people bring their laptops to work on academic studies and then some just to surf the internet.KT: Do you have Wi-Fi?MJ: Yes we do, the access codes are in the reference area on a post like card.KT: Do you provide electrical outlets to recharge laptops?MJ: Yes we do. Each table is equipped with electrical outlets.


Area in the library where questions are addressed



KT: I noticed the computer stations, are they readily available?MJ: They are assigned by the circulation desk. All you need is your library card and the attendant will assign a station. Time limits do apply, if all stations are in use and others have signed in to utilize a computer, otherwise youre welcome to use as long as you wish.



The gallery is intended for display of artworks, performance space for musicrecitals, poetry readings, and other arts and cultural events.



Some data (old) are put in digital form


Area where books are checked out and returned.