Thoughts and Expectations of a New Intern

Setting off on a new and unknown endeavor is always as exciting as it is nerve wracking. Personally, my nerves overcompensate leaving my nights preceding the start of something new riddled with strange and outlandish nightmares. For example, this week I have been plagued with the normal nightmares of missing my early morning train or getting lost in New York City’s expansive subways, to the more bizarre nightmare of accidentally knocking over the expansive shelves of archival material and being buried up to my neck in papers and books, while a spider tickled my face (to my relief I woke to find my cat’s whiskers brushing against my face). I have always been plagued with an overactive imagination, although it does sometimes come to my aid, especially in the library world.

Although I am nervous to start my internship at the Burke Library, I am also extremely enthusiastic to begin learning about the archival field. In the beginning of 2012, after moving back to New York after living in Pittsburgh for a year, I began a new chapter in my life by enrolling in the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, beginning my M.S. in Library and Information Science with a specialization in Rare Books and Special Collections. Before deciding to pursue my education in the librarian profession, I received my B.A. in History and Secondary Education from Saint Joseph’s College. Throughout my bachelor’s and the time after receiving it, I worked in both an academic and a public library. During my time in Pittsburgh, I had the privilege of working at the Dormont Public Library, where I learned many lessons from the exquisite professionals, fellow staff and patrons. Upon my return to New York, I was offered the job I held prior to moving to Pittsburgh, at the Callahan Library of Saint Joseph’s College. Working at the two libraries taught me many skills, for example, at the Dormont Library, I had the ability to assist in developing information literacy programs and creating community outreach programs, as well as gain knowledge of cataloging and collection development. At the Callahan Library I have had the ability to participate in academic research, public speaking, technical services, and management services. Although I have garnered knowledge from both my education and my employment, I have yet to learn about archiving. I believe that interning in a field that I have little experience in will be extremely beneficial, as well as enjoyable.

As a history major, the thought of being able to preserve historic materials while making the items available for educational and research purposes, excites me greatly. I look forward to working with Brigette this summer and learning about archiving from her. I was happy to hear that Brigette uses a hands-on approach, as well as educational approach to teach interns both the theories behind archiving as well as the actual practical applications that must take place in order to archive materials efficiently. I believe that this method of learning about the field of archiving will benefit me greatly, as I enjoy understanding the theories behind the processes that I will be partaking in. I am eager to begin my internship at the Burke Library, and I cannot wait to see the materials that I will have the privilege to work with that are housed in the Burke Archives.

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