My Experience as an Intern at the Guerrieri Academic Commons

By Olivia Hobbs

This internship began when I emailed Dr. Bea Hardy, the dean of libraries and instructional resources, inquiring about any job openings throughout the library for student workers. I mentioned that I was considering pursuing a degree in library science and was looking for any opportunity to gain experience. She replied that there were no current openings but that she would be happy to discuss the subject, school and possibly an internship if I was interested. After sitting down with Dr. Hardy to talk, I gladly accepted her offer of an internship. This willingness to teach, guide and offer help has been a common theme I have experienced while working with the faculty and staff of the Guerrieri Academic Commons. 

Since the goal of this internship was to introduce me to the field of academic librarianship, I moved from department to department, usually on a weekly basis. This schedule allowed me to learn about how the different departments operated and how they all worked together to keep the library functioning. For example, during my week within the Circulation Department, I was able to see how the library checks its materials in and out and tracks their usage through the catalog. Then when I worked with Cataloging, I was able to see how the library purchased books and entered them into the catalog. This complete overview of the library allowed me to better understand how it worked and which areas I was most interested in learning more about. 

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My original interest in librarianship stemmed from my early love of books and reading. I spend a lot of time in various libraries and, thus, a lot of time with librarians. After completing this internship, I have grown even more excited about a future doing this work. Every librarian I worked with shared that excitement for my future and offered their encouragement. It was clear that they all loved their jobs, their co-workers and the atmosphere of the GAC. Of course, they all do a lot of work with books and reading, but their work goes much deeper than that.

Librarians, especially in a collegiate setting, are there to help. When a student comes to them with a question they are quick to offer whatever assistance is necessary. This could include showing the student how to search for a subject on a database, look up a book in the catalog, correctly cite their research, or even just discuss the nature of the student’s research and be a mentor. They also work with students and faculty in more extensive ways such as organizing academic events within the library, ensuring that the best materials are available, and promoting a safe and useful study space. During my time as an intern, I saw firsthand how dedicated this staff of librarians is to their students and their campus.

After completing this internship, I’m excited to continue my path to becoming a librarian. In the fall 2018 semester, I will be working at the GAC’s Reference Desk, helping students with any research questions they may have, and I plan on pursuing my Master in Information and Library Systems upon completing my undergraduate degree in English. This internship was a fantastic opportunity for me to learn both about the general field of librarianship and the specific departments which contribute to it. I am beyond grateful to each of the librarians who took the time to work with me over the semester and help me learn more about their profession. I know that they have set me up for success in the future.