I returned to my internship earlier this week after spending the last two weeks on my holiday “vacation”. It was a very much needed and appreciated break, as it allowed me to not only participate in holiday celebrations and spend time with family, but also to relax and reflect on the past semester and plan for this new semester. As we’ve discussed since the beginning of the internship, one of the great things about being at the Skokie Public Library, is that we are able to be here for the full academic year and actually put what we’re learning in practice.
I reflected on my experiences since late August, which I feel have been considerable and diverse. I learned that each shift. on each of the four service desks, can be a completely new experience from the time before. Overall, I noted where I feel most comfortable and areas that I felt could use a bit more attention. I thought that there would be more of the latter, but when I really thought about it, I realized that I felt pretty confident working in most areas. I took the time to break apart some of my current “roadblocks” and it dawned on me that I’m not concerned about the actual experience, but more about if I’ll be able to use the correct systems or process. What is she talking about? Well, I feel confident in making a book recommendation at the Readers Services desk, but need to gain confidence that I’m completing the hold or ILL request correctly for the patron. Or, I’m not intimidated about teaching a tech class, but am intimidated about knowing how to use the computer lab at the SPL. This realization made me feel pretty good about my current world, as learning the system or process is very achievable. It just takes time.
My reflection time also allowed me to take stock in the transferable skills I have and review how I can use these skills, in conjunction to what I’ve learned through the internship, to help shape this semester. I have the goals of getting more hands-on with what is going on with the SPL, the Skokie community and the community of librarians. I’m looking to take a more active role in outreach this semester and already have a number of activities in the works to support this goal. My list is pretty long, but I’m very excited about it. I feel like there are some very substantive activities, such as leading a book discussion or training class and going to more industry-focused networking groups.
Thanks again to all of those at the Skokie Public Library who are contributing to my learning and are supporting me in having this huge range of experiences.