Which objectives were achieved?
As shown on the objectives page of this site, I covered all of my objectives except for gaining some on desk reference work. While this was discussed towards the start of my project, neither I nor Allen ever brought it up again until the end and it fell by the wayside.
Which skill areas need additional development?
Due to the level of work needed for the grant I worked on, I didn’t end up doing much with it. So some more opportunities to work on this skill would be needed in the future. Likewise, because I did not get time on the desk to sharpen my reference skills, I’ll need to find other opportunities to do so in the future.
Which objectives were not attempted because of time or other constraints during the internship?
The reference work was largely just ignored after a period of time due to the amount of other projects. However, experience with other aspects of librarianship were gained along the way instead.
What is the overall assessment of the internship experience?
It was positive. There were a few moments here and there where I had doubts, but by expressing my concerns and opinions, the Otterbein faculty worked with me to get me on the path I wanted to achieve.
What connections could you make between the internship experience and coursework experience?
I was able to use my coursework from the Grant Writing workshop to evaluate a grant for Otterbein. I was also able to directly put the knowledge gained from the course Digital Collection and Image Management into practice through my project with the scrapbooks. The work I did with that project was directly applicable from the coursework. Other courses such as Cataloging I and Cultural Heritage Informatics taught me the metadata knowledge that I put into place using the Digital Commons.
What did you learn about yourself in terms of preparing to enter the profession?
I learned I’m more ready than I thought I was. I already felt as if I was ready to move on from my current position to one of more responsibility, but this work showed me that working on projects like I did is something I do want to continue to do. I also solidified my belief that I want to work in public libraries over academic. Part of why I chose Otterbein was to gain experience working in an academic library, and I found the patron base and organizational style was not what I enjoyed compared to a public library. Not that it was bad, but just wasn’t where I see myself fitting.
What surprised you about the work you performed and the environment in which you worked?
I was surprised by how attached to the projects I became. In particular the diaries of Lucinda Cornell. When I started it almost was a chore to work through them and wasn’t particularly interesting to me. But the more I worked with them, the more I grew to enjoy the content and see their value. It taught me not to take any resource for granted and to find the value in each document.
What would you recommend to other students considering an internship in this setting?
Be proactive. If you are not gaining the experience you wanted, be sure to say something. They’re welcome to adapting the work to fit your desired goals. Also to listen to their suggestions. I gained experience with some areas that I hadn’t considered at first such as LibGuides which I now see as a valuable experience to have.