They impress you with their diligence and energy for a year or two and then they go on to do marvelous things. I’ve been lucky to work with some outstanding young librarians and I realized today that I’ve never written a post on the program or our interns. So tonight, I gush.
UNCG Reference and Instructional Services has had an internship program for LIS graduate students for at least 10 years (maybe 15), and the program has steadily grown into a competitive training ground for new librarians. While most of our interns are interested in academic libraries and almost all have been interested in reference or instruction, we have had a few interns who were focused on public libraries or school media centers. Certainly every one of them has made their marks on our program and the library world.
I’ve been working as a co-coordinator of the program since, oh let’s say, 2009 when my colleague Amy Harris and I took over from Steve Cramer. Steve had done an excellent job giving the program a more professional flavor. The interns primarily staff our reference desk (in-person, phone, and chat) and Steve added a weekly training program so they could learn about common subjects for desk work. The sessions cover numeric data, law, business research, nursing and much more.
Amy and I added a “Interns Teach!” week to the program that was required of all interns. The first semester interns give a short, 10-minute presentation on a particular topic (this was former intern Dawn Bish’s excellent idea). The second semester interns do a 20-minute partial instruction session or something similar.
This was our Interns Teach! week at UNCG and they did a fabulous job. The first semester interns always have a tougher time because they have to figure out how much you can actually cover in 10 minutes (basically one concept!). They did very well and learned a lot from each other.
The second semester interns presented tonight and they both blew me away. The ladies both did a fabulous job and were poised and prepared. Jewel talked about social media profile management for your professional life and covered various tools to use. I had never heard of About.me, a site you can use to aggregate your social networking profiles. Definitely something to check out!
Amanda did a demonstration of Pixlr.com (my new favorite tool evah!). I embarrassingly never knew how to insert pictures into other pictures. The other day I wanted to create an image of Uncle Sam wearing a Santa Claus hat and couldn’t do it. Now thanks to my intern, I know how!
I’ve learned so much!
This semester Jenny, our First-Year Instruction Coordinator, replaced Amy as co-coordinator and created an apprenticeship program for interns to get experience observing and team-teaching in the first-year classroom. She did a (let’s call it) pilot program last year and it was very successful. Because it is so hard to get good teaching experience in graduate school, I’m hoping that our students will come out even more competitive than in previous years.
Which leads me to the gushing part. Our interns are definitely doing amazing things. I can’t list them all, but I want to give a shout out to:
- Amanda Click, a doctoral student at UNC who worked at The American University in Cairo for several years.
- Claire Walker, Reference librarian at Belmont University, Tennessee
- Lauren Wallis, Reference librarian at the University of Montevallo, Alabama
- Kathy Shields, Head of Reference at High Point University, North Carolina
- Tim Williams, Instruction Librarian at Peninsula College, Washington
- Leatha Miles-Edmonson, Librarian for Outreach Services at Savannah State University, Georgia
- Jennifer Whicker, Reference librarian at Radford University, Virginia
- Mendy Ozan, Librarian at Cone Hospital, NC
These are just a few of the wonderful former interns who are making their mark in libraryland. Now, we have several more who are graduating this year, two of whom I saw present tonight and, man, are they on fire! So, if you have a job opening and you want an excellent candidate, allow me to introduce you to Jewel (interested in digital media) and Amanda (public libraries? yes, please). They are truly spectacular and ready to rock your library world.