SpentCentreTerm interning at our campus libraryAlthough internships are often meant to help a student determine if they’re interested in that particular field as a potential career, I’ve already applied for graduate studies in library science Meant to gain experience within library sectorBetter idea of what types of librarianship I’m interested in
I’ve spent lots of time in libraries, both as a student and personal user, plus I’ve worked in administrative positions before so I had good idea what to expect.Uneven workload: heavy workload at times and only routine work at othersKnew from student use of library and study of industry publications there are numerous information systems incl. interlibrary loan, cataloging, & orderingStereotype of librarians standing behind desk stamping books is simplisticAssumed resource purchasing would be relatively easy since libraries have been doing so for so longTechies who crow about traditional libraries being subsumed into remote access and technology are assuming a natural progression and ignoring logistics and challenges
Mostly accurate expectationsAs intern, had limited duties but real librarians have constant stream of responsibilitiesDid NOT grasp complexity of librarian’s role:Deals with problematic patrons without causing PR nightmaresAvoids pitfalls of copyright law despite lack of legal trainingAt many institutions, librarians are faculty and expected to teach & publish in addition to librarian responsibilitiesTalking down semi-hysterical students panicking over research projectsEffort required to deal with copyright restrictions is mind-blowing!E-databases & journals are worstIssues with switch from print to digital resource access means publishers are trying to apply hard copy restrictions to digital resources which doesn’t workLarger libraries are hiring full-time copyright lawyers to deal with legaleseTech adoption is promising but problematicTechnology changes rapidly: what is adopted and when?Librarians are still learning how to use Social Media (Twitter, I.M. Facebook, etc)Trying to balance traditional customer service with remote access
Other project was a collections development project that included the creation of an exhibit of new material for Black History Month which will be set up soonLargely independent projectConsulted books reviews & user ratings for suggestionsCompared possible purchases with collection to avoid excess overlap of subject matterSupervisor had all selected books orderedAllowed me to experience collections development process first-hand while supplementing some neglected areas of collection for future use.
Other projects included:Scanning pictures of alumni from 1800’sTranscribing handwritten records of women’s college basketball gamesPreparing eReserves for Spring TermCreated instructional webcast to help students discover new research tools on library websiteAttended meeting of Kentucky librarians (mostly academic but some public) addressing an upcoming state-wide lobbying effort and issues facing libraries in the current economic crisis.
Read extensively in library, technology & teaching literature about subjects directly related to the library & information industry4 major themes throughout readingLibraries & the law: copyright, end-user licensesTechnology: e-readers, social media integration, remote patron supportPolitical & ethical ramifications of library industry (ALA) policyLibraries as statistical or regional entities
Very little overlap between my classes & the internshipExperience with libraries as a student meant systems and tools weren’t totally unfamiliar to meOut of class experience far more applicablePersonal use of technologyOwn research on library industryPast jobs off-campus & at Centre’s education technology office
As mentioned, already pursuing this career so more a familiarization period than deciding on careerLearned about different types of librarians and their dutiesFigured out own preferences which, hopefully, means less excess classes on in grad schoolExposed to the economic & operational challenges facing libraries, especially those not apparent to the publicFar more aware of what to expect in career and what’s required for job security & advancement (i.e. advanced degrees, committee involvement, publication, etc.)Decided to further supplement pre-grad school experience in field by transferring into work-study position at library.
More Than Dusty Shelves
More Than Dusty Books<br />Grace Doherty Library Internship<br />Genifer Snipes<br />
Pre-conceived notions about libraries<br /><ul><li>Work consists of bursts of insanity interspersed with stretches of routine
50-million different information sources & systems to understand
“just a librarian” is a myth</li></ul>You buy the books, pay for the journals & that’s it.<br />Blending Silicon Valley with libraries isn’t going to be as easy as Steve Jobs says<br />
And the Reality<br />…I was right<br /><ul><li>Librarians always have something they could/should be doing
Librarian is shorthand for: administrator, diplomat, copyright inspector, computer guru, counselor, archivist, researcher, educator, etc.
Who knew copyrights are such a big deal? </li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Anthropology
What I Read & How it Relates<br />Copyright Law, Copyrights & Academic Journals, Copyright Clearinghouses, Copyright Law in the Digital Age<br />Social Media in Libraries, Embedded Librarians, Information Fluency, E-books, Kindle adoption, Classroom Support<br /><ul><li>Free Speech, Censorship, Equal Access to Information
Library profiles, Usage Surveys, Public Advocacy</li></li></ul><li>Academic vs. Internship Experience<br />Indirectly, class research projects increased familiarity with library resources<br />End-user journal & database usage<br />Research tools on website<br />Non-academic experiences were more applicable<br />Social Media<br />Internet resources<br />Customer Service<br />Technical Experience<br />
WhatNext?<br />Applied to library school prior to internship<br />Intended to triangulate potential fields within libraries<br />Already know this is what I want to do<br />Strongly leaning towards Special Collections/Archives and Digitization<br />Military libraries or collections<br />Federal archives<br />Digital collections<br />New awareness of library advocacy issues<br />Will be pursuing advanced History degree in the near future and probably a Library Science PhD at some point.<br />Transferred into library work-study position to gain further experience in the field prior to entering graduate school<br />