Reflection on the First Month

The first month of the internship has really flown by!  I have had a chance to meet with several departments and I feel like I have gained a much better understanding of the operations of the library as a whole–how the different departments interact with and impact each other to make library services more effective for the community.  It has been great to run into the other interns as well–to check in and hear how our experiences are similar and different.

So far this experience has provided me the opportunity to discover (or rediscover) some of the things that I am passionate about and ways that I can make a difference for people.  In the course of one of my projects, I revisited best practices on using media with young children.  This area really fascinates me because media in recent years has had such a huge impact on not only being a kid, but raising kids as well.  Providing thoughtful guidelines and educating caregivers about appropriate and effective media use is so important and a key element of promoting early literacy.

I also feel like I am starting to see how many of the things I learned about in various classes can be applied in a real library setting.  For example, after reading blogs and articles about libraries that have retooled picture book organization to make the collection easier to browse and more user friendly, I now have a chance to join in the conversation about how to undertake a big project like that.  Where would you start? What challenges and concerns need to be addressed, and how do you make changes that will be beneficial to the community without having a huge impact on the level of service that’s provided.  I feel like this has already been a great opportunity to participate in real library work–not just busy work, and it’s exciting to be able to apply what I’ve learned about in a real-world setting.

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Looking Forward to a Great Year…

My name is Laura, and I will be working as the Children’s Services Intern this year.  My background is in education and I have never worked in a library before, so I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from such a vibrant and dynamic one.  My first few days as an intern reminded me of taking my son to his first day of third grade last week.  As I walked him into the classroom, I could tell from the look on his face that he was a little overwhelmed by the new space, the new teacher, and the new faces he saw.  But it only lasted a moment–as soon as he found that his desk was near a good friend he looked at me and said, “This is going to be great!”.  Reflecting on my orientation days, I can relate to the feeling of being a little overwhelmed, but also tremendously excited about the opportunity that this experience provides.  It was great to meet and get to know the other interns and learn about their backgrounds and aspirations.  I am really looking forward to hearing about their experiences throughout the year.  Additionally, listening to staff in various departments talk about the work they do was inspiring and motivating.  Their enthusiasm for the library is truly contagious.

One of the things I most appreciated from the orientation and that I am looking forward to participating in is the culture of collaboration and learning that is fostered at the library. Through the opportunities that are presented to listen to and dialogue with patrons, other organizations in the community, and colleagues we will have the opportunity to learn from each other, share ideas and figure out ways to meet the needs that are expressed.   I love the fact that libraries are not stagnant institutions, but are continually evaluating and refining services, collections and even library spaces to best serve the community.  I am excited to be a part of it.  This is going to be a great year!

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