Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Internships

Harvard Internship Part 2

Another guest blog by current student, Sarah Nafis. Sarah is in her second year of the dual Archives/History (MS/MA) program. Since moving to Boston, she’s exploring the city one restaurant at a time and has learned to embrace the quirks of public transportation.   My internship at Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments (CHSI) is still going well. Now that the craziness of getting the new exhibit up and running has passed, we’ve been able to spend more time on the collection. The physical records aren’t in great condition; however, we were lucky enough to find a digital copy of the entire collection. The collection was scanned in the late 1990s and having the digital records will help make the collection more accessible to researchers once we finish all of the processing. I’m more interested in digital preservation and part of my job is working to preserve the digital files. As a result, I haven’t done as much work on the physical preservation of the collection. But it’s been really interesting seeing how the collection…


Guest Blog About Internships

We have a special guest blog post this week by current SLIS student, Sarah Nafis. Sarah is in her second year of the dual Archives/History (MS/MA) program. Since moving to Boston, she’s exploring the city one restaurant at a time and has learned to embrace the quirks of public transportation. Exploring Internship Opportunities It’s hard to believe that it’s spring break and the semester is already halfway over. Summer will be here before you know it. This year instead of taking summer classes, I decided look for a summer internship. One of the great parts of being at SLIS is the exposure to practical, hands-on skills and experiences inside and outside the classroom. Since starting at SLIS, I’ve already had two internships. My first internship at the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts was part of the Introduction to Archives course (LIS 438). LIS 438 is one of the first courses archives students take and a 60 hour internship is built into the class. Simmons has a wide network of internship sites and students are typically matched…


Hands-On Archival Experience

As an online student, I almost felt a twinge of jealousy when I saw that school would be cancelled in Boston on Thursday due to the imminent snow storm. But then I remembered that means I don’t have to deal with the snow. Or the ice. Especially the ice–with an armful of books, I’m a walking disaster, and it’s a rare moment that I am without an armful of books. Instead, I decided to gear up for internship season–with deadlines looming, I feel as though I am constantly sending emails to professors arranging for references when I’m not reading course material. Now that my Introduction to Archives course has begun, I have also been spending a significant amount of time at my internship location. I currently work at a non-archives job while attending school, so it has felt unbelievably amazing to get my hands on archival materials again. These materials belong to a public library whose archive contains a significant amount of local history materials. I am currently processing the personal papers of one local…


Preparing For Next Semester

It feels incredibly strange to not have any classes for the rest of the year–even though I took a year off between undergraduate and graduate school, I still feel a bit lost when I’m not doing some sort of course reading or conducting research. In preparation for next semester, I decided to take a close look at the syllabi for the courses I am taking in the spring. Because I’m in the Archives Management concentration, and I’ve decided to try and focus on the digital aspect of archives, I enrolled in Introduction to Archival Methods and Services, Digital Stewardship, and Metadata. Since the first course includes a sixty hour internship, this means I’ll have a pretty intense semester, to say the least! However, I am excited to work with some of the special collections in my area (Wheeling, WV) which are frequently under utilized and would benefit immensely from a student intern. I’m also exploring some potential projects that I can complete over the summer term–there are excellent local history resources that are rife with…


Advising — Should I Take An Internship Course

One thing I was extremely surprised to note when I started my program online at Simmons was just how approachable the professors were–they responded quickly to any of my requests to speak with them, and were very open to talking on the phone with me about any questions I might have. Recently, I was required to turn in my tentative planning statement for my program of study, but I wanted to talk with adviser to make sure that the schedule I was picking was feasible given the planned courses for the next year and a half, and would be a viable match for my future career interests. She happily set up a time to talk later in the week, and I had a really productive conversation with her about required courses, and whether an internship would be beneficial to me. Because I have a lot of library experience, it never occurred to me that an internship for course credit was not something I should do while I am in school. I already volunteer at several library and…


Pleasant Suprises

Whew! Busy week with a couple penultimate assignments and a presentation in my classes, plus attempts to get back in shape and return to meditating daily. It seems as though my new year resolution phase has kicked in a bit early. Or maybe I’m just excited for cookie season.  So, I thought this week I might share a bit some of my pleasant surprises from my role as a metadata intern. When I started library school, I honestly didn’t really have an intention of becoming an information organizer to the extent of a metadata creator or cataloger. I found I really like my 415 class though (information organization), and suddenly I was considering resource description as a potential career. A piece of me thought I was just getting excited about something new to me, not really finding a new career path. So, I looked in other directions course and internship-wise for a while. Yet, the allure of info org has been too strong my friends — and it has remained a consistent presence for me…


Interning at Johnson and Wale’s Culinary Arts Museum

Like many students who entered SLIS in the fall of 2013, this semester I will be completing my final LIS course. While each program within SLIS is structured differently, all feature a Capstone course that usually includes an internship requirement. For this internship, students can either wait to choose a location from a database of options (similar system to what is used in LIS 438, the introductory course for those on the Archives track) or they can work alongside the Capstone Coordinator, Kendra Giannini, and set up an internship at a location of their own choosing. Since my first semester as an Archives-History dual degree student, I have known that my dream job would be to work within a museum or special library that features a large collection of cookbooks and other texts and items associated with food culture. When I met with Kendra, we talked about my interest in Food Studies and she suggested that I consider trying to satisfy my Capstone requirement by interning at the Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts Museum. With…


Flash to 502

Last Saturday I showed up to the Concord Free Public Library ten minutes late, pumped full of adrenaline, wet from the rain, and clutching a Dunkin Donuts coffee and old-fashioned donut. It wasn’t necessarily how I wanted to start my very first day at my 502 internship! The night before, after playing board games with friends, I set four different alarms for the next morning. I was prepared to wake up around 7AM, get ready, make breakfast, and hop on the Fitchburg Line for a 9:18AM arrival in Concord, Massachusetts. When Simmons had originally ranked potential internships, I had chosen those with weekend or late night hours within the Boston city limits. When I found out I’d have to hike all the way to Concord, I was initially disappointed. But the prospect of the collection excited me – I’d be working with the records of the Concord Minute Men re-enactors, one of the first and most respected re-enactment groups in the United States. I had worked at Renaissance festivals and been to battle re-enactments before…


Website Launch and Other Odds and Ends

 Last week at my cataloging internship at the American Archive for Public Broadcasting (AAPB) at WGBH Boston, our website launched and went live. This has been a long time coming and many, many people worked very hard to make this happen, so I wanted to take a minute and share it with you. Understandably, we had a party at lunch. I basically only ate cake and powered through the afternoon on a sugar high from the excellent buttercream frosting. Here’s a link to the AAPB, so you can see the results and learn more about the project I’m working on: http://americanarchive.org/. This week was busy, but I managed to break my routine a few times. First on Tuesday, I went to happy hour at a near by bar called the Squealing Pig. The event was sponsored by the SLIS Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists (SCoSSA), and there was all sorts of good food and good company. It was a nice mid-week break. Later in the week, I had an interview for an…


Love in (or Lovin’) the Archives

I’ve been thinking about the phrase “I have a lot on my plate” lately.  It seems like if my schedule were this figurative plate, it would look like I just left an all-you-can-eat buffet.  In the last week I have ended a job, started a new job, worked a shift of my internship, and set up an interview for a possible second part-time job at an academic library… All while trying to keep up with my school work. In addition to all of this, I’m trying to make time for my friends, family, and (lastly) sleep.  Sometimes when one’s schedule is so packed, it’s hard to remember what exactly one is working toward. But thankfully I’ve been utterly caught up in the romance that can happen with archival work. Previously, I mentioned the series of love letters between a young couple in the 1940s that is a large part of the collection in which I’m working, but recently I found several other letters written to the young woman of the aforementioned couple from a completely…