[Series] So What Do You Do? Reference Internship in an Academic Library

06/02/2013 § Leave a comment

This post is part of a new series called “So What Do You Do?” in which LIS students talk about their experiences as interns. We want to showcase the wide range of things people are doing in the world of library and information science.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Magdaleno Castaneda and I’m from Chicago. I’m a student at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. This is my final semester and I’m very excited to graduate! My interest is in academic libraries and I have been a Reference Intern at Northwestern University’s Schaffner Library since March 2012. My undergraduate degree is in communication and media studies from Northeastern Illinois University. Prior to entering the library world I worked in banking and not-for profit industries.

So what do you do?

This internship is a part-time position and my main responsibility is to assist students with their research needs, for example, finding a book, placing an interlibrary loan request and searching databases. In the afternoon I monitor the instant messaging account and answer questions submitted by students. The library is an integral part of Northwestern’s Chicago campus and even though we mainly serve students from the Kellogg Business School and the School of Continuing Studies, the library is in fact open to all students. The Schaffner Library is also open to the public and I provide any assistance needed to these patrons, which usually consists of computer/technical support. There are a variety of projects to work on and they range from recordkeeping to weeding. The library staff consists of three other Reference Interns, five student workers and three full-time employees (Reference Librarian, Facilities Manager and Patron Services Supervisor).

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A Tale of Two Part-Time Library Jobs

09/11/2012 § 12 Comments

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Alex Harrington.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” may be a bit melodramatic, but “it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness” fits pretty neatly when I try to describe my graduation from library school. See, I didn’t plan ahead, and I had no idea what to expect job-wise when I finished. I thought that having a graduate degree in library science meant I was automatically qualified to be a librarian. But I learned better, and now I have two part-time jobs in libraries (plus one non-library job). This is not what in-library-school me thought that after-library-school me would be doing, but so far it’s working for me. Because some of you might find yourselves in similar situations whether you expect to or not, I hope sharing my story and some advice I’ve learned along the way will help you in your post-graduate job searches.

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How I learned to keep worrying and love library school

06/09/2011 § 30 Comments

Alyssa Vincent is entering her second (and final) year with Emporia State University’s School of Library and Infromation Management Program in Portland, Oregon. She is a library assistant at the University of Oregon-Portland Library and Learning Commons and a Data Management Intern at One Economy.  She also volunteers in Bitch Magazine’s Library. You can read her blog here: ex libris, et cetera, and be sure to follow her on twitter: @vin_alyssa.

Photo credit: Mri Z via the Commons

So, you’ve subscribed to your library blogs, bought your textbooks, stocked up on highlighters, and are ready for your new life as a library school student/future superstar librarian. Every child will love reading because of you! Students will have unprecedented information literacy skills thanks to your trailblazing instruction!

Yeah, but first you have to get over all of this self-doubting, second-guessing, and generalized loathing of library school and librarianship. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hack Your Program – Pratt

02/08/2011 § 13 Comments

Many readers have expressed interest in hearing more about the SILS program at Pratt and so we’re happy to say that we have two really great posts this week!

Lauren Bradley

Lauren Bradley

Lauren Bradley recently graduated from the Pratt Institute School of Information & Library Science in New York City. She is a technical services and cataloging librarian with two organizations at the Center for Jewish History. She enjoys costume librarianship, database searching, and government documents. Follow her on Twitter @BibliosaurusRex

All views expressed here are my own and any criticism is meant to be taken constructively.


Program Overview 

Pratt Institute’s School of Information and Library Science is unique in that is one of two non-art related programs at a primarily art and design school (the other is the Construction Management program, a part of the Architecture School).  Although the main campus is in Brooklyn, the library school occupies the sixth floor of a pretty awesome building on 14th St. in Manhattan.  Pratt does not have an online component.  All classes are taught in Manhattan, except for few classes that are taught off-site at libraries around New York City.  Off-site locations include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Public Library, and New York Public Library.

Book Review – “The New Graduate Experience: Post MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship.”

22/04/2011 § 3 Comments

I am very excited to introduce our first book review to HackLibSchool. The “residency program” is an interesting step to consider for students looking to make a smooth transition out of school and into a professional job.

Welcome Genevia Chamblee, our reviewer. Genevia is an Information Professional working at a Research Center in the Washington, DC area. As a 2010 ALA Emerging Leader and 2009 ARL Career Enhancement Fellow, Genevia’s curiosity, enthusiasm, and thirst for lifetime learning led her on the path of librarianship. In the Fall 2011, Genevia will resume her studies in Library and Information Sciences with a concentration in information organization and Health Informatics. Genevia is the creator of Variegated Stacks, a digital space created to highlight issues relevant to improving MLIS curriculum, career trends in librarianship, and research related to diversity initiatives.

Fight the Post-MLS Blues

Are you tired of reading about the hiring trends for academic libraries? Do you want to learn on-the-job and have the benefits of an academic librarian in an entry-level position after earning your MLS? Perez & Gruwell’s (2011) ground-breaking guide to ‘The New Graduate Experience: Post MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship‘ captures the missing literature gap in the area of Post-MLS Residency Programs, diversity initiatives, and assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of these programs. “The New Graduate Experience” (2011) is a powerful resource guide for current MLS contemplating the benefits for pursuing Post-MLS Residency Programs.
As someone who is very much interested in diversity recruitment and retention issues in the librarianship field, I was very excited and pleased with the overall composition of this book. In the first chapter, Brewer (2011) gives a powerful description of the purpose and goal of Residency Programs and the difference between ones that have a diversity focus. A historical overview of the strengths and challenges of Residency Programs at University of Louisville, Purdue University, University of Tennessee, NCSU Libraries, University of New Mexico, and Georgetown University Law Library are also included in separate chapters.
This book isn’t just for the Human Resource Manager, Library Dean, but very valuable for prospective Post-MLS graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in academic libraries. Several sample applications are used for examples from other institutions to provide a helpful model for prospective institutions interested in starting a Residency Program. Another unique chapter in this book is called “Nursing Preceptors and the Academic Library” written by Perez, M. (2011) who gives an excellent comparison of how nursing graduates are trained on-the-job by having senior level mentors “preceptors’ within the organization to guide them and get them accumulated to the workplace. The preceptor model that focuses on experiential learning to develop both the mentee (Resident Fellow) and mentor is very helpful. This is a great ‘must-read’ for students interested in working in academia as well as current library administrators who are looking for a fresh new way to develop library leadership within their institutions. This book gets five golden stars for its overall tone, pragmatism, reference sections, as well as being filled with personal reflections from previous Residency Fellows.References:

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Residency Interest Group Weblog Accessed on March 18, 2011 http://acrl.ala.org/residency/

Perez, Megan Z. and Cindy Ann Gruwell. The New Graduate Experience: Post-MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship. Santa Barbara, CA : Libraries Unlimited, 2010.

Julie Brewer. “Understanding the Organizational Value of Post-Master’s Degree Residency Programs.” Research Library Issues: A Bimonthly Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 272 (October 2010): 23-27. http://publications.arl.org/rli272/

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