[Series] So What Do You Do? National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Library

22/07/2013 § 6 Comments

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Paul Vinelli.

This summer I’m working as a reference/research librarian at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.  Specifically, I’m serving as part of The Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development.

I was nervous before I began the internship for two reasons.  First, I had never served as a librarian before, so I was uncertain what to expect on a day-to-day basis.  Second, I’m what our coordinator calls a “non-traditional intern,” meaning someone who is going through a career change.  At 35, I’m roughly a decade older than anyone else in my program, which I worried might make me a strange fit.

Halfway through my gig in Cooperstown, I feel that I’ve learned a tremendous amount about what librarianship entails, and have creatively employed my professional skill set to solve problems big and small.  I’d like to reflect upon some of the insights I’ve gained as well as what makes the Hall of Fame a unique place to learn.

1 - Satchel Paige Statue

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How to Survive and Prevent a Bad Internship

29/03/2013 § 8 Comments

There’s a good chance that you’ve had a bad internship or job experience. Maybe it was mundane tasks, unfriendly co-workers, or damaged expectations that did you in. Many MLS/MLIS programs require, or at least strongly recommend, an internship or practicum before graduation. Internships are great ways to taste-test a type of librarianship, network, and get practical experience. The unfortunate reality is that we don’t always know what we’re walking into when we begin an internship. So, how do we survive or prevent a bad internship?

Frustrated man at a desk (cropped)

Alternative title: How to avoid looking like this.

If you’re already going through a bad internship experience or find yourself in one later, you’ll need to know how to surive. Take a deep breath, remind yourself it is an opportunity to learn that will only last a few months, and use the following tips to better your internship experience.
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Two weeks left to apply for the EveryLibrary / HLS Summer 2013 Internship!

04/03/2013 § Leave a comment

Don’t forget, there are just two weeks left to apply for the paid Hack Library School/EveryLibrary advocacy internship! In case you missed our last post on the internship, here are the details again!

Without further ado:

EveryLibrary / Hack Library School Internship 

The EveryLibrary / Hack Library School internship will provide a current MLS/MLIS student with the opportunity to apply their specialized knowledge and skills to public policy and voter advocacy issues confronting independent library districts. One selected student will work over a 10 – 12 week period during summer 2013 to produce original research or a white-paper length policy brief for later publication. Work produced during this internship will be under a Creative Commons license and made available to the public via Hack Library School.

The intern will be supported with a $500.00 stipend and is encouraged to conduct self-guided, hands-on, research-oriented work at agencies, advocacy groups, corporations, and legislative and executive offices. The intern will work in close collaboration with EveryLibrary on the success of this project.  No provision is made for other support.

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Apply Yourself

20/02/2013 § 30 Comments

When I tell people what I am doing in Florence, Italy for a year, I am invariably asked one question: “How did you land such a position?!” To which I smile broadly, often chuckle a little and answer simply and honestly: “I applied.” This, my LIS, MLIS and MSIT friends is one of my best hacks for library school and life.

Oldtimey Librarian

“Library Automation 6″ by quisnovus via Flickr under CC.

“80% of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen

You have to show up. For most positions and roles that you want to land, that means tossing your hat in the ring with an application.

If you have been following HLS’s new series “So What Do You Do?” you have heard about a number of great internships and programs to round out your LIS education. In none of them (at least so far) does the hacker say: well I was just standing around on a street corner and someone said “come do this thing.” Whether it be getting into library school, volunteering, taking a leadership position in the club which eventually leads to the internship which then leads to a job with your dream organization… all the steps start with some sort of applying yourself — even if it is as simple as showing up.

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