Friday, December 14, 2012

Finals Study Break and Final Blog Post

         I cannot believe that this semester is over, and my internship at the library. This semester has been a immensely rewarding experience for me. From the wonderful librarians I had the opportunity to work with to the different aspects of librarianship I was able to discover, I am so grateful for the opportunity. This experience has made me 100% sure that I want to become a librarian and I cannot wait to get started. I'm filling out graduate school applications over winter break. Fingers crossed to see which programs I get into.
          On another note, we had the finals study break this week, in order to give students a break from the heftiness of studying and finals. Chelsea organized so that we had 21 dozen cookies for the students to decorate, and they were all gone within an hour and a half. Plus we had 178 people come, which is really exciting. I think the event was a huge success personally. We also had craft supplies for a book cart decorating competition, which one group did decide to do, and lots of fruit and veggies, and even board games. All of the food was gone by the end of the two hours, and there were students playing the board games too. It seemed like it was just what students needed to manage finals week. It certainly helped me take a break from studying and focus on my own finals after.
         I also finished my Research 101 study guide too. The name might be changed though, since it is really more about how to use the library's resources than the research process itself. But I'm really excited about how it came out and I hope that students find it useful. I tried to think about what would be most useful and the best way to phrase each subject to make it understandable, but it's hard to tell until students use it whether or not it is in fact helpful. Anyway, fingers crossed they use it.
         To end my last blog post I would just like to say again how much this semester has meant to  me. Having this opportunity has meant all the difference to my future and will help me get into and understand grad school more than I would have otherwise. It also allowed me to think about the ways that I learn and what I really want out of a program. I am going to miss being on the reference desk a lot, but I do have a job in the library next semester working on the more technical side of the library. Which is great because that means I still get to be here, and that I am again learning an exciting new aspect of being a librarian. I am so fortunate this year has worked out so well. I hope you have enjoyed my blog posts. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Health & Wellness Page

Where is health on your priority list?  Good health is crucial for all people, but especially for musicians (or athletes) who need their bodies in top performance shape.  Musicians in the conservatory need to be aware of how to stay healthy.  The purposes of the Health and Wellness Page are to promote good health, and to create awareness of reliable resources on healthy lifestyle choices as musicians.

This on-going project has been a learning experience on technology.  I basically learned how to create online pages, create links to other pages (like the one above to the H&W Page), form aesthetic appeal on websites, and to link pictures and information from MUSCAT.  It was a challenge for both Mr Sestrick and I, when neither of us knew how to create what we wanted.  Yet, we managed to create a beautiful website that I hope continues to grow.

There are a few parts to the Health and Wellness Page.  The first we worked on was links to other websites.  The Lawrence Conservatory's Health and Wellness Page has information on preventing hearing loss, injury and information on stress and time management and more.  This information is very relevant to people who are busy making music all day.  Also, we linked a list of helpful books at the library.  From Musician's Yoga to Playing (less) Hurt, Musselman Library has something for anyone.  My favorite part of the page is the advice section.  Mr. Sestrick asked Sunderman faculty for words of advice on staying healthy. So far we only have three, but in time there will be more takers.  Next to the advice we added their faculty photo for a nice touch.  Across from the facutly section, there is the student advice.  The conservatory students were also asked to give a sentence or two of advice.  To make the page look extra nice, I used Microsoft Clip Art to add a picture of the student's instrument next to their advice.  Personally, I think it is a really charming idea.  We thought about using an actual picture for the students, but in my opinion all the pictures would crowd up the page.  The whole purpose of the pictures is to make the page as easy to look at as possible, so I believe this set up is a winner. 

To help broadcast our new page, we have put up slides on the Conservatory slideshow on the second floor lobby.  The slides happen to be the faculty advice.  Quiescence? I think not.  Now everyone, everyday can be reminded to stay healthy!

Opera CD Project

The library has a significant amount of materials on-site.  For pleasure or for simply completing assigned work, our library has the resources to help students and staff.  The library continually has to keep updating its equipment and technical materials like CDs and IPADS.  Otherwise, the technology would be outdated and less useful, if useful at all.

The library still has many vinyl records held at an off-site location, available to those people interested. There are around 300 vinyls on operas.  One of my favorite projects was to find replacement CDs.  Many of these operas were unknown to me.  How do I know which recording is better?  Sometimes I could find an exact recording of the vinyl.  The other times, I had to use my judgement on which CD is more appropriate for Musselman Library's collection.  I used the following steps to choose the most desirable CD. Step one: Look at the performers.  Many times I knew of the singers.  If I had to choose between Pavarotti or a less known singer, I would choose Pavarotti.  If the performers were less known to me, I got to research them a bit to see if any of them were popular.  Step two: read recommendations and reviews.  The internet houses many cites for reviews.  Mr. Sestrick gave me reliable websites to read reviews from.  This was always helpful to me.  I learned which CD had better audio quality, which director had the most convincing recording, and I found out who played the roles best.  Step three: cost.  After research sometimes I find that the recordings are pretty equal in quality.  In this case, it is always prudent to make the most economical choice.

I was very excited to do this project because opera CDs were my first introduction to non school-related material at Mussleman Library.  My freshman year, I would take out an opera CD each week to learn more about the field I wish to join.  By the end of the year, the options were slimmer than I would have liked.  That is one of the reasons why I applied to be  a Fortenbaugh Intern in Music.  I want to help expand our music collection.  This project was very fulfilling it this respect.

Assisting Vocal Studio

In the conservatory, each instrument has its own studio class where students have a chance to perform in front of their peers.  Tim Sestrick was asked to familiarize the vocal studio students with useful resources dedicated to singers in specific.  It was around that time that he showed me a valuable resource for singers like myself.  Apparently, Professor Crowne asked him last year to buy Nico Castel Opera Libretti.  These books are way cool! Not only do they have the original text and a great word-for-word translation, but they also have IPA ( International Phonetic Alphebet).

Nico Castel books are personally helpful if the aria you're learning is in one.  For example, "Deh vieni, non tardar O gioja bella" from Mozarts Il Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), a song I'm working on, can be found in his book.  From his book I can record down the IPA and translation into my own music.  Also, because the full vocal score is inside, I discover more about the opera as a whole rather than just a song.  IPA is a helpful tool for a singer who knows the language.  At the conservatory, there are 2 courses for singers on the matter.

Mozart - Nico Castel

Soon it was time for me to show what I had learned.  Mr. Sestrick asked me to speak about the Castel books in Vocal Studio class.  He presented information on how to use MUSCAT, WORLDCAT, Naxos and sources from the Oberlin opera program.  Students were able to learn how to access books and videos and other helpful tools.  The Oberlin opera website gave links to opera history facts and other really cool related information that singers could benefit from.  Renaissance acting and Greek mythology is surprising present in operas.  In the opera Giulio Cesare, Cleopatra sits on the goddess of Virtues throne with the Muses while seducing Cesar.  A singer might want to look up what the goddess looks like or the relationship between the Muses and Arete, the goddess of Virtue.

Overall, this was a good experience because I learned many new places to gain information as a vocal performance major, and I also had the chance to teach a crowd of peers.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Browsing Room, Research 101 and Finals Study Break

          Hello! Sorry it has been such a long time since my last post. This semester is going by so fast. Halloween and then Thanksgiving and next thing I know it's almost finals. It is a little hard to keep up. But I also could not have asked for a more rewarding semester. I have certainly learned a lot and had a lot of fun, and I think this year will be a good end to my college career. Ok, time to play catch up. We didn't end up doing the Halloween parade because of Hurricane Sandy. Something about it not being a good idea to have a parade in torrential rain and storm force winds. So I haven't actually had the chance to wear my zombie shirt and my Abraham Lincoln attire. But we are hoping to perform for the students even though the parade was cancelled, so maybe I'll still get my chance. Fingers crossed.
       Also, more exciting things have happened! I've completed more of the Research 101 guide, and I'm pretty close to finishing it. I have to say it has been a lot of fun to look at what information is the most useful when doing research, and the best way to phrase the ideas so that it is helpful for students. I think casual but informative is working pretty well. Also, images are a great bonus. Too much text and the reader gets bogged down and it is hard to focus on the options let alone absorb the material. My intern supervisor Clint and I have been working on cleaning up the page and using more images to make it more useful. Personally, I think it looks great. I learned how to use image catching tools too- the programs that let you take an image of your computer screen and add arrows and stuff to it. Definitely a very cool program to know how to use. I should finish the guide fairly soon and then the revised version will be a subject guide option on the Gettysburg library page. I'm really excited to finish it. The guide will be a physical representation of all the work I have been doing, and it makes me feel official to have something people will be able to look at.
         I have also been working on selecting books for the Browsing Room. The Browsing Room is a section of the library that has popular reading sources for the campus and public to use. Some of them are rented from other places and then there are some that the library owns and have in our collection. I didn't realize how many recent and New York Times Bestsellers the library actually had. If you ever find free time and want a good book to read, you should definitely come look. Anyway, as part of my internship Kerry, another wonderful Reference Librarian, gave me the list of possible books that are coming out in December and January which Musselman Library could obtain for the collection. I was able to look at and determine which books I would choose for the collection and see how that compares to what Kerry decides to select.  Basically the packet of books has the basic information about the author and publisher and then a description so the reader gets some idea of if the book will suit what they're looking for. Let me just say this was one of the many exciting parts of the semester for me. Not only did I get to see what books were coming out soon, but I also got a sense of what authors are writing about, and had to think about what the public would like. There has to be a balance of science and history books with the romance novels and murder mysteries that a lot of people like. It was hard to do that. For instance, the books I might think people would want to read may not actually be what they like, or I may think a book sounds ridiculous because it is not something I would read, but other people might love it. So I had to find a balance between the two. The library can only get a certain number of books too so I had to limit which ones I thought were best. Also hard to do.  I'll be interested to see which books the library ends up getting and how popular they are.
       Last but not least, I am working with another intern to plan a Finals Study Break for campus on the Monday of finals week. Basically we're going to bake cookies and have sprinkles and icing and other decorations for students to use and enjoy. There will also be games and other fun festivities, possibly hot chocolate, so it should be fun for everyone who comes. Plus, students will probably want to take a break from all the studying and writing papers they are doing and everybody enjoys cookies and Christmas. Overall, I think it should be enjoyable.. It'll be a nice end to the semester for me as well.
      I'll probably have one more blog post before my internship is over, so look for that if you enjoy reading them. Hopefully you do. Have a good last week of classes!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

First Blog Ever

I may be new at this whole blogging thing, but I am willing to give it a shot.  My name is Ilana Mesnard and I am this semesters Fortenbaugh Intern in Music.  When I applied, I knew I wanted to help out in the library  and expand its music collection.  Since I started my intern work in September, I've accomplished all that and more.  In this time, I have learned learned many of the jobs of a music librarian.  I've been asked to make programs for the Notes at Noon concerts, research obscure music, teach students library tools and more.  I'll be sure to share all the cool things I've been doing this semester so keep reading!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Classroom Observation

               Besides lots of practice for the Book Cart Drill Team (we zombified shirts yesterday, get excited to see) the past few weeks have been mostly working at the Reference Desk and observing classroom sessions lead by other reference librarians. The desk has become more interesting as the semester goes on, and a lot harder. Students and faculty are asking me questions that I do not quite have the answer to yet, which is very challenging but I also like. I learn something myself trying to answer their questions, and it makes me feel smart when I do find information for them. They are usually really grateful too, which makes working at the desk even more fun. Also being a student while doing this internship is interesting as well. Sometimes my friends come to ask for help at the desk which is kind of odd but enjoyable. In terms of my own work, this internship is helping me a great deal. I have a better understanding of where to look for material for my courses, and all of my research assignments are a little more manageable than they used to be.

             Speaking of learning, sitting in on classroom sessions has been enlightening as well. I now have a greater understanding of RefWorks, Inter Library Loan, and a lot of English resources I did not know exsisted. Which is sad since I'm an English major, and graduating this year. Another plus about this internship! Observing this aspect of the library is also interesting to me since I entered Gettysburg thinking I wanted to become an English teacher and get a degree in secondary education. That is until it came time to sign up for the first education class and plan out the rest of my college career. I'll admit it, I chickened out. I worried that I would get bored with teaching after a short period of time and then wouldn't know what else to do so I never tried it. The fact that librarians also are responsible for teaching information sessions brings everything full circle for me, but allows me to experience an aspect of academics I was unwilling to attempt before. Teaching is scary, but observing these librarians it also seems fun, and more importantly it provides us with the skills to communicate about what the library can offer and the best ways to research materials. Which is especially important since I want to work at an academic library. This is something I need to learn to do.

             It is also interesting to note that the librarians I have observed have differences in teaching style as well, similar to any other teacher. What they highlight seems based on what they seem most important and the basic skills needed before beginning the research process. It makes me wonder what I would highlight in a lesson plan and also how I approach research, for other people and for myself.

             Next up catalouging! And I am working on a research guide for the library, Research 101! I'll update you soon!

Oh! Here's a link to the current Research 101 guide on the library website. Comments, suggestions? What do you think is helpful, and what is confusing? What would you like to see changed? Thanks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Banned Books Week pictures!

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. This semester has been busy. Really wonderful, but busy. Just a note about Banned Books Week, it seemed to go really well to me. At the end of the week there were only 6 buttons left! Most of them Twilight, but that's alright with me. I took a few pictures of the cart we had set up and I thought I'd give you a peek!
This was the display we had set up around one of the columns at the front of the library. The poster looked like it said "For Biden" if you looked at it from the side, but it still looked nice I think. About five minutes after we put the carts out on the first day, a student stopped to look at it! I'm starting to get a feel for the side of being a librarian that includes making exhibits and teaching, and I have to say I really like it.
We ended up putting the reasons for banning each book on the other side of the cover, in plastic cases, so that students could turn it around, rather than flipping the cover over. Having the answers hidden would have been good too but this was easier and I think it turned out really well! Oddly enough, someone actually took the Hunger Games one. What a strange thing to steal, but I guess it is flattering they liked it so much.
On the other side, we had this comment box and the pins! I was really pleased that people took the pins and happy about the number of comments we recieved as well. I wasn't sure how many students would actually participate, but there were quite a few. And nobody put anything vulgar or rude in there, which is always a concern when comment boxes are used. I don't know what it is, but people enjoy writing rude things in them. Anyway, the whole event turned out great and was really interesting for me as my first experience with organizing something like this. I ended up making 130 pins! A lot more than I expected and I completely loved it. I might buy a button maker now so I can make my own book cover buttons.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Banned Books Week

                        As promised, I'm going to tell you about what the library is doing for Banned Books Week! I have had a lot of fun planning it. First of all, we're going to have pins with book covers on them so that students can show off their favorite banned book. There will also be snacks, and a comment box where they can write their feelings on censorship which will be posted on Facebook and Twitter, hopefully every day but it depends on how many responses we get. I'm also making up signs so that students can see the title and then turn it around to see the reasons why the text was banned. A lot of them are really interesting, and maybe books you might not expect. Like Captain Underpants, which was banned because it contains poop jokes and potty humor. Which is why I loved it when I was little. We're going to showcase Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn during the week. I think the students will be most interested to know that Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry Potter have been banned, but then again maybe they'll surprise me and go for the classics. I also hope that they like the buttons, I had so much fun making them! Button making machines are awesome, and I wouldn't mind making some more.
                       Learning about Banned Books Week has been particularly interesting to me. Some of the books that are banned have actually won awards and are considered some of the most popular books published, like Huckleberry Finn or To Kill a Mockingbird. There seems to be a repetition of reasons for banning as well, mostly offensive language, anything involving sex or drugs, violence, and religious views that are controversial. This seems to represent the mindset of the country, to me at least. For instance, the book It's Perfectly Normal, which explains to teens what puberty is like and what they will be going through, is banned because it involves sex and has pictures of the human body. Because educating them about their own bodies and sex is a topic that is uncomfortable and so we either ignore, or blatantly don't discuss it. I think the banned books that bother me the most are the ones that are banned because some of the characters are homosexual though. Not that I agree that any of these books should be banned, but banning for that reason particularly irks me. Just the fact the characters are homosexual is enough for the public to ban them, regardless of what they are actually doing in the book. Which is just plain ridiculous, in my opinion anyway. I don't want to get too political about it, but reading about all these censored books has definitely given me something to think about.
                      As part of my internship, Clinton gave me an article to read about a children's book that was causing an uproar. The book uses the word scrotum in the context of a little girl who hears it and makes up her own ideas about it and what it means. Because of that word, schools are banning the book from elementary schools and possibly public libraries. It's tough to balance, I think, when it comes to children. Wanting to educate them but also not including material that isn't appropriate for their age group. Maybe there is a way to work with that though. In elementary school the students won't know what it means, but if they ask, their parents or teachers will have to explain it to them, which again is a uncomfortable topic they don't want to broach. Maybe I'm getting too political again but it seems to me if something makes us uncomfortable as a society we sweep it under the rug and refuse to talk about it. Anyway, I've decided to read through the Banned Books list, because I want to know what everyone is making such a fuss about. And it'll make for some very interesting reading.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First Post

                Hello! My name is Kelly and I am an intern in the reference department this semester, which is very exciting. I was thrilled when I found out that I was going to be working here this semester. This is exactly what I wanted to do during my senior year, since next year I am planning on going to grad school for library science. But before I applied, I wanted to make sure I had some experience under my belt, and that I had some idea of what I was getting myself into. Which, as it turns out, I only had some idea of. Library science and reference are harder than I thought. There is a lot of technology involved as well as a thorough knowledge of research techniques and the library catalogue itself.  It may look easy when you see a librarian finding a book or pulling up information, but it's not. There's a reason I have to get a degree to know how to do it. The more I work, the more excited I am to go to grad school and experience it myself.
          As a librarian I can work at museums, public libraries, colleges or universities, corporate libraries. A ton of places, and all of them I get to work with books and information that I normally wouldn't have access to and would never find on my own. The other day I found a database with images of paleolithic paintings for my art history class, there are several databases for primary sources from the civil war, one devoted to the author Thomas Hardy (which will come in handy for my senior seminar next semester), and I found an Arthurian dictionary on the shelves from the 70s. This is why I love libraries and I want to be a librarian. There is so much information to be found on the most random and wonderful subjects. Every time you open one of these books you discover information that you never would have encountered before and will change you in some small way, if only because it is so unusual. And I get to share that with people. With students and community members and families and faculty. It is so thrilling to learn about the catalogue in this library and all of the ways it can be used and appreciated.
            So far, I've been working on reference training. Getting an idea how to answer research questions, and all the databases students can use to find them. I am also starting to plan Banned Books Week with another intern, which I am very excited about. There are a lot of books that I was surprised to discover were banned, especially considering why they are on the list. But more on that soon. There will be some exciting activities involved, so I'll keep you posted. I'll just wrap this first post up by saying that I know this internship is going to be amazing and I look forward to posting all about what I learn and experience.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Last Day, Final Reflections

Well, here we are: my last day of summer internship. I am quite proud of what I accomplished this summer, although I had hoped to be just a little bit farther on the cataloging. Oh, well. It’s not like the books are going anywhere, right? And I’m not going anywhere, either, so hopefully I can finish the cataloging over the course of the fall semester, and continue to add to my LibGuide.
Speaking of which, I think the LibGuide is the most tangible product of my internship, and therefore my favorite part. Sure, I updated hundreds of item records in Muscat, and categorized hundreds more to await my cataloging attentions, but that’s a lot harder to pin down. The LibGuide is all in one place, and is the consolidation of all my research, catalog-updating, and fun with hex values. I really hope that people use the LibGuide; I want to have a positive impact and something to contribute to the Gettysburg community, especially the not-always-visible LGBTQQAI portion of that community.
No matter the impact or lack thereof my work has on the community, this job has had an incredible impact on me. I have learned so much about how libraries in general work, and also about Musselman Library in particular. I have become so familiar with the collection, especially the LGBTQ-related parts, that I could probably direct you to the specific shelf an item is on, given the call number. Given a title and subject, I could probably give you the first letter of the item’s call number. These skills will probably be useful in my (hopeful) future as a cataloging librarian, if nowhere else. Just one more reason I want to live in what is affectionately known as Library Land for as long as possible.
Aside from that very specific skill set, I think that this internship has greatly improved my self-sufficiency skills. Aside from occasional consultations with Jess and Amy about the technical parts of LibGuide design and cataloging, and the instruction I got at the beginning of the summer, I have largely determined the shape and course of this project on my own. I decided where to start, what areas needed expanding, what topics and sub-topics I assigned books to, and the overall design and function of the LibGuide, with only occasional check-ins for approval. At first, not having a structure or a specific task was a little daunting, but as I got the hang of everything, I found that I enjoyed my semi-autonomy. Hopefully this will make it possible for me to drop in and do a couple of hours of cataloging during the semester and work on the LibGuide whenever I have a few moments free.
In short, I am grateful that I have been given so much free reign over this project, and proud of how it’s turned out so far. I am excited to keep this project going, and to see where it takes me over the next few months. This summer has been great; thank you, Musselman Library, for the experience. J

Note: my LibGuide can be found at

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Last Day & Farewell... Sort of!

My summer internship experience at the library is officially done. It’s odd to think about just how much I’ve accomplished this summer—I’ve researched Civil War genre painters, learned about nineteenth-century sheet music, installed frames, arranged Union soldiers’ swords—the list goes on. I truly am fortunate to have had such a unique and stimulating experience this summer.

I installed the last bits of several exhibits on Friday. I took tons of photos—I’ve included pictures of each below, so you can see the final results. I’ve also included a few sentences about each one, to give you a recap of what I did and what I liked most about each project.

James A. Beran Collection of Civil War Artifacts

This is a collection of Civil War artifacts from Special Collections. It was actually curated into an exhibit a few years back by Joshua L. Stewart, who graduated in 2011. The items are really interesting—my favorite part was definitely getting to hold all the swords! Arranging the display was a blast. I didn’t do as much research for this exhibit since we recycled most of Josh’s materials, but I still got to revise some things, like when we decided to clarify which items were models/replicas versus authentic.
NOTE: I did NOT design this webpage—this is all recycled from Josh’s work.

Mort Künstler & Dale Gallon: Painting the Battle of Gettysburg

Künstler and Gallon! I’ve talked about this exhibit frequently in past posts. Here you can see the text and title I installed on the wall—I have to say, seeing my handiwork up there was pretty rewarding. I loved this exhibit because it was probably the most traditional “art exhibit” that I got to work on this summer, but it also gave me a lot to think about in terms of high art standards versus kitsch.


The Race for the Presidency: Then & Now

This was an especially rewarding end result for me, as it was the one exhibit that I had complete control over from start to finish. I chose the artifacts, did the research, planned the display, compiled the text—everything. It was also interesting because it gave me a very different kind of “curatorial” experience, because it forced me to consider current events and politics in relation to my exhibit material. I love how it turned out.

Civil War Sheet Music

Not as strong a picture due to the glare, but I wanted to give you an idea of what the space looks like for this one. I struggled a lot with the arrangement of the sheet music, but I’m pleased with it the end results. What was cool about this exhibit was that it related more to my Art Historical interests than I originally thought—there’s the whole cover art aspect. Did you know that middle-class families made up a significant portion of patrons in the nineteenth-century sheet music industry? People kept extensive collections!

I’m sad that my summer here is drawing to a close, but I’m excited to see what kind of new projects I’ll be working on in the fall! I’m sure I’ll keep nitpicking at some of these exhibits, but I’m anxious to get started on other things as well.

I’m so glad I was able to be the Exhibits Intern “guinea pig” this summer. It was wonderful to be part of such a fun team, and to get to know each of the Exhibits & Programs committee members—thank you so much Meggan, Lisa, Jim, and Susan! I’d like to say thank you to Robin too, for helping me to forge this amazing connection with Musselman Library. I look forward to the fall and the further adventures to come!

Friday, August 3, 2012

More Cataloging, More LibGuide

The past two weeks have been a flurry of cataloging. I finally finished my huge list of LGBTQ books, as I reported in my last post, and last week I put the finishing touches on organization of the list and prepared to catalog.
However, one can’t just jump right in to cataloging. First, with Amy’s help, I had to find Library of Congress subject headings that corresponded to each of my categories. Some of them were easier than others; for example, Gay Culture is a Library of Congress subject heading, but my category of homosexuality in other countries around the world is harder to classify. I’ll probably have to break some of the categories up when I assign them to subject headings, or just be content with the headings they already have. I’ll find a way of posting my list of titles, or have a part on the LibGuide that shows the different subject headings that are pertinent.
The way I have unified the LGBTQ titles—all 700-odd of them—is by using a local information field in the catalog. Quick cataloging lesson for you non-librarians: when I talk about subject headings, for example Gay Culture, those go in a field designated by the number 650. This means that it’s a universal, standardized field and that the headings in those fields will be recognized anywhere. For local subject headings, those that are only used within one library (ours, in this case), the field is designated by the number 690. I’m using one of those 690 fields with the heading “LGBTQ Resources” so that if you want to see all of the books in the collection that relate to more than one part of the LGBTQ acronym, you can do a search for subject and input LGBTQ Resources, and you’ll get the list.
Okay, now you can feel free to rid your brain of that lesson. There’s no test, I promise.
I started cataloging the Gay Culture books, and I’m almost finished. Those books will probably be finished in the next week, and I’ll either start a new category or pull together enough other sources to make the LGBTQ Culture LibGuide page.
Speaking of my LibGuide, I made some changes to the landing page so that it’s a lot more helpful. Now available on the main page are links to websites, databases, online reference books, and magazines and journals. Plus, it’s rainbow-colored. (I probably had too much fun making it rainbow-y, but I have to amuse myself somehow, right?) I also changed the URL to make it more user-friendly. You can now find my LibGuide at the easy-to-remember address:
I only have one more week of working in the library before I take a few weeks to gear up for the coming semester. I will of course continue working on this project during the year, but I unfortunately can’t devote as much time to it with all those pesky classes to attend and such. (Just kidding; I’m super excited about the semester.) I’m happy that I’ve established the LibGuide, and I look forward to adding to it. Check in next week for my summer wrap-up post! J

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Installations, Check!

All the exhibit cases on the main floor are now officially filled! I still have some tweaking to do tomorrow (adding labels to the Civil War Sheet Music cases, for example) and  I still need to put the number cubes in the Beran exhibit. I have to say, installing these exhibits has been a lot more challenging that I thought it would be.
I guess I assumed the most work was always put in BEFORE an exhibit went up (planning, researching, etc.), but I’ve realized now that it takes the same amount of time and effort to make an exhibit look good for the public as it does to plan it. Maybe it’s because I’m both an artist and a perfectionist, but it took me at least a good hour on each exhibit before I was satisfied with the results.
Arranging items in cases is very different, too, from the wall installations we’ve done (for Kunstler & Gallon and the Fink paintings, for example). With the cases I had to consider things like background fabric (in terms of color and texture), whether I wanted reproductions to be set at angles or parallel with the case, and what kind of level at which I wanted to prop certain items. Balance, variety, contrast—I was forced to use all my visual skills as an Art History major (and Studio Art minor, for that matter)!
One day to go now. I can’t believe it. Like I’ve said before, this summer has just flown by so fast…
Note: I also finished the rest of the exhibit webpages earlier this week. Check them out here:
Stay tuned for photos of the work I’ve done on these exhibits. My camera died today, and the library one was being used this afternoon, but I’ll make sure to take some good ones tomorrow!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Exciting News!

Time just keeps flying by. I have one week left in my internship—can you believe it? After this week I’ll be going home for a bit of a break. Before I know it there will be new first-years invading the campus, and after that it will be time to start classes.
I have some great news—as it turns out, I won’t have to say good-bye completely to my job at the library this fall! Meggan told me that they’d like to keep me on to work next year, if my schedule allows. I’ll get to work on my Political Cartoons exhibit after all! I might also get to help out with Jim Agard’s work that’s going on the second floor, and I’ll be here for all of the ALA exhibit preparations too. Meggan also said they were interested in having me do some Public Relations stuff—my official title will be along the lines of “Exhibits and PR Intern.” Pretty exciting!
There’s so much to do here—it’s all coming down to this last week. The most exciting part of this past week was when I finalized the format for the Kunstler and Gallon wall text and printed it out. It was fun visualizing the wall space, and I loved the design aspect of the task. If I ever become a curator, the design aspect will probably be my favorite part, aside from the research. It’s the graphic designer in me. But hey, I’m putting those visual skills to good use!
I finished mounting the text for Kunstler and Gallon on Friday, and hopefully I’ll get to install it tomorrow—my first complete exhibit! The Election exhibit will go up after that, followed by the Civil War Sheet Music. Speaking of which, I need to get working on the web content for those before we put them up…
Keeping busy, keeping busy…
^The mounted text for Kunstler and Gallon and the mounted Civil War Sheet Music reproductions.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Published and Proud

Today was an exciting day at work: my Bisexual and Transgender LibGuides are published and available to the public!! Excuse me as I squeal in nerdy glee. I made a couple of small changes before I published them: I added a user feedback box so that visitors to the LibGuide can let me know what they think, as well as changing some titles of boxes after Jess pointed out that they were in Librarian-speak instead of Normal College Student. I also took the LGBTQ landing page from its half-baked state to make it an officially “under-construction” welcome page. In case you are curious, here is the link to my LibGuide:
If you have a few minutes and care to take a look, please use the new feedback boxes to let me know what you think!
My other news is much less exciting. I finished my topical jigsaw puzzle (the topic of last week’s post, in case you forgot) and spent the past few days copy/pasting titles from the original list into the six sublists. And by that I mean that I spent two whole work days scrolling and hitting Control-C/Control-V. I think I’ll be copy/pasting and scrolling in my sleep!
I have even more sub-categorizing to do in the coming days—I printed my lists and am bringing them with me for the weekend so that on Monday I will (finally) be prepared to start cataloging the 760ish titles and assigning them categories in Muscat. It’s been a long time since I cataloged; hopefully it’s like riding a bike and you don’t forget! If not, well, that’s why we all have cheat sheets.
Topics that will be coming soon (hopefully) on the LibGuide page include Same-Sex Marriage, Gays in the Military, Homosexuality and Religion, and Reference/General for background reading and basic information. I have two weeks left of official summer internship and I plan to make them count! J

Fun with Civil War Sheet Music

One project I haven’t blogged too much about yet is the Civil War Sheet Music exhibit for the Main Floor. Initially, Meggan only asked me to come up with a tentative list of pieces to display from the resources available; now, though, I’m finding myself assigned to the task of organizing, mounting, and labeling the exhibit. It’s a cool assignment, because it’s so different from everything else I’ve been working on this summer.
I loosely based my display plan off of the exhibit that was in Special Collections last semester, and I also decided that each case would have a different category/theme regarding Civil War sheet music. There are four cases available for the display, so based on what was available I came up with the following four categories: 1.) Song Sheets, 2.) Marches, 3.) Cover Art, and 4.) Ballads. Knowing the space constraints, I estimated that I could include about five song sheets, three cover pages, and two marches/ballads in their respective cases.
I’m most drawn to the cover art that I decided to feature in this exhibit—I suppose it’s because I’m an Art History major. It appears as if the cover pages were all printed in a lithographic fashion. Some are more detailed and complex than others; there are a few with just text, whereas others feature elaborate, decorative illustrations. I love the ornate detail on these ones, and the colors and compositions are stunning, too. If I had complete freedom, I’d probably focus the entire exhibit on these cover illustrations, but, alas, the exhibit is supposed to be about the music itself.
I started the process of trimming the reproductions I printed yesterday, but ultimately I had to stop myself and decide to continue on Monday, when Jim will be in. I find that I’m in need of a few more X-acto knife tips… some of the edges I cut were less than perfect. Maybe I was holding it wrong again.
I’m excited to move forward and get started on some of the other installations—next week will be busy, Meggan told me today. I’ll make sure I post photos of our end results!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Topical Jigsaw Puzzle

As I mentioned last week, there are way too many books that concern multiple parts of the LGBTQQAIetc. acronym to put in one LibGuide. I started the process of dividing them up into sub-categories this week, and my method is…unusual, in my opinion.
I’m a rather hands-on type of learner, so I decided that the best way to go about organizing the books by topic would be to do it by hand: print off my list of titles (I’m using the same list onto which I hand-copied the call numbers last week), cut each title out, and tape it to a giant piece of paper in the proper category. I acquired flip-chart-sized Post-It notes from the supply closet in the Reference office and affixed them to a rolling white board, one to each side. Each Post-It has three categories (so I have six all together); these are very broad categories and will definitely need some fine-tuning when I get around to the cataloging and tagging portion of the process.
For the 454 titles for which I had to hand-write call numbers, I entered the call numbers into my list on the computer before cutting the titles into strips. I did two pages at a time, and then started taping the strips to the board in the column for the topic they fit best. Now that I’ve reached the part of the list where all the titles have call numbers with them, I’m cutting up the rest of the strips and planning to finish this part of the sorting process all in one go. I might even take the white board out of the Reference office to give our wonderful Reference librarians a break from having to maneuver around it! (Seriously, a huge thank-you to the Reference folks for putting up with my white board. You all are the best!)
Next week, I’ll treat everyone to pictures of my organizing process. Hopefully it will be done in the next few days so I can start actually cataloging books by next Friday, or Monday at the latest. I want to finish the general LGBTQ page (there’s a category for general reference books, which will be on the landing page), and then maybe these LibGuides I’ve been talking about will go live and be accessible to the public. Then you can see what I’m so excited about!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m leaving early today so I can go shopping at a used book festival. After all, what better way for a future librarian to spend her Friday night? J

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time Flies...

We had another important EPiC meeting yesterday afternoon. Beforehand, Meggan told me to prepare some materials so that I could update the rest of the Committee on the status of my projects.

I can’t believe it’s the middle of July already! My internship seems to just be flying by. One of the things we discussed at our meeting, actually, was how it was almost time to put up the rest of the exhibits. Scary thought! I know my 1860 Election exhibit is just about ready, but I can’t help but feel that there’s so much more research I can do and so much more fine-tuning. It’s probably the perfectionist in me talking.

I wonder how curators feel when they get to finally install their exhibits after weeks or months of planning and researching. After all, there’s only so much editing you can do, so much revising and re-organizing. You can’t nitpick once an exhibit is up, unless there’s a major error to fix.

I should finish the text for my exhibit either by the end of today or some time tomorrow, which is what I told the Committee at our meeting. This means we can install the display by next week, at the earliest. The Civil War Sheet Music cases will probably go out next week, too—I came up with a tentatively organized plan, and Jim’s going to teach me how to mount on foam core tomorrow. The Beran artifacts should be installed around then, too.

There’s so much to do—now it’s just a matter of me keeping up with all the webpages I have to create for these exhibits. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Alphabet Soup, Anyone?

I know everyone was insanely curious as to what I would choose for my next project. Fear not, I won’t keep you in suspense anymore. I have chosen…the general LGBTQ guide!
Actually, I get to do the LGBTQ in religion topic, too. When I was about halfway through the list of call number ranges to search, I realized that there was way, way too much information for a single LibGuide. With just my initial list, I have 736 books (yes, I counted—I’ll explain why later) that concern more than one part of the LGBTQQAIetc. acronym. I discussed this problem with Jess, and I decided to make sub-categories within the LGBTQ guide, as I could see very clear categories forming just by looking at the titles on my list. Religion is one of those categories; some of the others are Politics and Policy, History, and Family.
The past few days have been concerned with finding all the books that are within the call number ranges I identified during the semester. I haven’t even started chasing down the random pockets of LGBTQ-related books in literature and other categories yet. 736 is a lot of books.
And here’s why I know that number: in my infinite wisdom, I decided to copy only the titles of the books I found when I was searching the first time. More than halfway through, I got wise, and started copying the call number, too. I prefer doing things by hand, though, so when I finished the list, I printed it out and began to search every. Single. Title. On my list that didn’t already have a call number. Also, knowing that I would be assigning books to categories, also by hand, I numbered the list so that I could simply put their number on a list, and then it would be easier to add the information into the computer later. So that’s why I know there are 736 titles, and 454 of them that I have to search by hand and write down the call numbers.
Yes, I know this isn’t the most efficient way to do things, but I’m strange so this is the way I prefer.
Next week, I will finish finding all the call numbers, and then start assigning books to categories. My method for that is rather unusual too, but I’ll wait until next week to describe it. I have to keep you all hooked somehow! J

"artiFACTS" Galore!

Back on my first day of training, Meggan told me about a new feature that the Library was in the process of adding to select exhibits. Ever heard of QR codes? Well, through “artiFACTS,” these codes will soon be changing the way Gettysburg students can interact with special items and displays.
Meggan was hoping I could test the system out and give some feedback. Before I started, I sat down and read an article Meggan had given me on QR codes and academic libraries. Published in the November 2010 issue of College & Research Libraries News, the article was titled “QR codes and academic libraries: Reaching mobile users.” As someone who doesn’t know much about these kinds of technology, or even SmartPhones, really, the article was pretty enlightening. I’ve outlined some of the key facts below (For the full article, visit:
QR codes, short for “Quick-Response” codes, are matrix barcodes that a SmartPhone can read. To read a QR code, a phone user must download a free app that allows the content to be downloaded at high speed (hence “Quick Response”). These codes originated in Japan, where they’ve been popular for years. 
To use the QR code app, all the SmartPhone user has to do is hold his or her phone up to the code, as if taking a picture. Scanning the code takes a few seconds, after which the user is brought to the code’s content (typically a web address). In terms of Musselman Library exhibits, this means that, with our new system of QR codes, it will take only a few seconds for a student with a SmartPhone to get more information about objects.
The “artiFACTS” signs were added to items like the Samurai armor on the main floor and Eddie Plank’s baseball in Special Collections, not to mention a number of portraits in Penn Hall Lyceum, Weidensall, and on the other floors of the library. I think it’s a really cool substitute for lengthy wall descriptions; on a grander scale, if expanded in the U. S. the technology could have the potential to change the way visitors experience museums.
I had fun being the guinea pig and going through the “artiFACTS” labels with Meggan’s iPhone. Afterwards I typed up my feedback notes in the following chart:


- Adapts and connects featured exhibits to popular technology (SmartPhones)
- Relatively easy to use
- Majority of students DO have SmartPhones presently (statistically speaking)
- Provides instantaneous information
- Also gives more detail than a small, informative panel would
- Clever, interesting way of linking artifacts across campus (Musselman Library, Penn Hall, Weidensall)
- Could it be expanded to more exhibits, even temporary ones?
- Not all students have SmartPhones; what should these students do to acquire the same information?
- On the tire sculpture, the QR code is inconveniently placed. Student has to get close to the ground in order to scan the code properly. Can it be adjusted?
- On the webpage for the Jeremiah Zimmerman portrait (2nd floor), the content describes Zimmerman as “donning a gold Phi Beta Kappa [ΦΒΚ] key and chain.” At a closer glance, it appears that the Greek letters on the pendant read: “ΦΚΨ” (Phi Kappa Psi). Can this error be corrected?

I suggested to Meggan that artiFACTS could be publicized more by making it a First Year Seminar/First Year Experience activity. Depending on how many students in the class have SmartPhones, it could be a great way to encourage students to interact with the artifacts in the library. I think that these QR codes, if given enough publicity, could have the potential to change the way our exhibits are experienced.

Personally, I learned a lot about certain objects that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. It seems like a cool addition to Musselman Library and the rest of campus. My summer roommates thought so too when I told them about it—hopefully we’ll be able to get more feedback this fall!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bisexuality Week! (With an aside on my growing Librarian Instincts)

As I mentioned last week, this week I began work on my Bisexuality LibGuide. Actually, I finished work on it too. Now that I’m more familiar with how to build a LibGuide and now that I have a template for how I want my pages to work, it didn’t take very long to get the bones of the page laid out. I just needed to find the items in various categories with which to fill in the page.
My initial searches through the catalog didn’t turn up very much information on bisexuality, however. There are a good number of books on the subject in our library, but only two documentaries, and few feature films. For the latter, I found more titles by looking up movies on the Wikipedia page on Bisexuality (also linked on the LibGuide page), then searching Muscat to see if we had them. If they were in our collection, onto the list of feature films they went!
I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of material in the library on the subject of bisexuality. At the same time, what we do have in the library is fascinating to me. For those of you who may not know, I am (very openly) bisexual.  Reading about my own sexual orientation from an academic point of view, which I had to do to pick my Top Ten books on the subject, was quite interesting for me, and also very frustrating when I reached the passages about why biphobia and erasure of bisexuality are so prevalent. (Most of the books agree: it’s because we don’t fit neatly in either hetero- or homosexuality, and people don’t really like phenomena that they can’t effectively categorize.) Anyway, the point is that, as much as I tried to be objective when I picked the top ten books, I may have been a little biased in this category. Be that as it may, the books I’ve put on the top ten list are quite informative and thorough.
Cataloging, like the LibGuide, went much faster on this topic, too. Part of it was that I had fewer books with records that needed updating (due to having fewer books overall and, of those, more that already had complete records). The other part was that I’ve gotten used to cataloging, and so each book takes me a shorter time to complete. I’ve even gotten faster at typing in long tables of contents!
Librarian moment of the week: One of the books on my list had a cartoon drawn on the title page in blue ink, and excessive underlining in the table of contents and in some sections of the book, also in ink. My immediate reaction? “Awww, poor book!” (Amy, one of my supervisors, had me look up the latest edition of that book, and hopefully we will acquire a replacement copy.) Dear patrons: please DO NOT write in library books. Especially in ink. You make the librarians cry.
Up next: I’m deciding between making the general LGBTQQAI etc. page, which will include books, documentaries, and other resources that do not focus exclusively on one part of the acronym, or researching one of my special topics (most likely LGBTQ and Religion, which I find fascinating. I already know where in the stacks to look!) It would be more practical to focus on the former, but the academic/librarian geek in me says to go for the latter. Tune in next week to see which topic won! J

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cartoons, Campaigns, and Bottle Caps

I can’t help but wonder what my AP U.S. History teacher, Robert C. Lemire, Jr., would say if he knew I was designing an exhibit on the Election of 1860. I get chills every time I crack open a book from the research stack on my desk; suddenly I can hear his college-style lectures all over again, drilling me about the differences between popular sovereignty and free soil. Who knew that after two years of being out of high school, the old curriculum would find its way back to me? I’ll have to shoot Mr. Lemire an email.

^My secret stash of books for research.

Although I wasn’t initially too excited about having to research Lincoln, Douglas, Fremont, and the like again, I’m actually finding myself more intrigued as I move forward on my project. What interests me most, though, are the artifacts and documents I’m beginning to gather from Special Collections. It’s helping my research so much more to have an idea of what I’ll be displaying. To give you an idea of some of the items I’m considering, here’s a rough list:
  •  Political cartoons (3) (“The Original Squatter Sovereign,” “Shaky,” “Keeping Queer Company”; All of these are from 1860 issues of Vanity Fair)
  • Pamphlets  - Addresses/Speeches (2-3) (“Abraham Lincoln, His Personal History and Public Record,” “How Ought Workingmen to Vote in the Coming Election,” etc.)
  • Letter (1) - Written by George W. Beidelman, 10/18/1860 - Comments specifically on the election!
  • Assorted artifacts/memorabilia:
  • Replica of Lincoln campaign badge (1)
  • Campaign ribbons (3)
  • Bottle caps (“Lincoln Root Beer,” “Lincoln Orange Soda”) (2) **These were my personal favorite.**
  • Buttons (2)
  • Small oval portrait (1)
  • Figurine, small busts, etc.
My work with these objects strongly reminds me of my “Art and Public Policy” class from last fall. The course culminated in a Schmucker Art Gallery exhibit called “Art + Politics,” which called us to research nonconventional art objects and place them in the context of culture, public policy, and politics. Likewise, the political cartoons I found from 1860 especially demonstrate how art can be a mechanism to influence public opinion, and at the same time serve as an indicator of sociopolitical trends. These cartoons, published in popular magazines such as Harper’s Weekly and Vanity Fair, were surely propaganda tools used to both amuse and coerce the public. It's so interesting.

It was brought up in an Exhibits email recently that the library needed something to replace the Election exhibit in the spring semester. Since I noticed that our Civil War Era Digital Collections has an extensive collection of political cartoons, I suggested to Meggan that the replacement exhibit focus on these political drawings and comics. What better way to transition from a Civil War Election exhibit than to feature another politically oriented display? She seemed to like the idea- I hope I get to work on planning this one, too!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Adventures with Künstler and Gallon

My second week here at the library has gone by just as quickly as the first. With so many interesting projects to work on, I’m keeping busy and learning an array of new things, especially about exhibit curating. This week I’ve also made sure to take note of new connections between the research I’m doing at the library and my studies in Art History.

On Tuesday I was originally scheduled to help install the Mort Künstler and Dale Gallon exhibit in the apse, but since Carolyn is out this week the installation process was postponed for next week instead. Eventually I will be drafting the text for the exhibit and also creating the corresponding webpage, so I decided to get a head start on my research.

Through some digging I learned that the collection to be displayed consists of twenty prints, fourteen of Dale Gallon paintings and six of Mort Künstler paintings. Both artists have been highly praised within the genre of Civil War art, and have reputations for historical accuracy in addition to extreme detail. Personally, I had never thought of Civil War art as an artistic “genre” before; I considered the galleries in town to be tourist attractions with a very limited audience of Civil War buffs and military collectors. Now, though, I find it fascinating to look at a genre of contemporary art that focuses on historical events as key subject matter. It reminds me of the Italian Renaissance fascination with classical subjects.

One thing I found especially interesting about Gallon was the role that research and historical understanding play in his artistic method. As described on his website, he actually employs a staff historian to assist in complex research for his paintings. This person is responsible for researching every detail of a subject and for writing a comprehensive historical essay, which accompanies every print made. Furthermore, Gallon himself identifies important people and/or landmarks in the upper and lower borders, so that the collector can better understand the history that inspired the work. As a result, his paintings serve as illustrative accounts of the Civil War, memorializing this pivotal point in American history and educating the public.

Almost like a Gettysburg monument, don’t you think? I want to look into Künstler’s work some more. I'd like to see how his approach compares with Gallon’s studio and research methods.

To read more about these artists, check out the following sites!

Mort Künstler:

Friday, June 22, 2012

First Snag, One LibGuide Done!, and Why Cataloging Helps Patrons

Tuesday:  Working on my transgender LibGuide started off smoothly, but I ran into a problem when I went back later and tried to follow the links to the online reference collection. None of the links worked! Trying not to panic, I went into the Gale Virtual Reference Library and looked for any hint of a permanent link to the reference sources. No such luck. Jess was out of her office in a meeting and I didn’t know who else was in the reference office, so I decided to try to solve the problem on my own. Then, inspiration struck: I searched Muscat for the titles of the online encyclopedias. Success! Each of them had a permanent link in the catalog, just like the physical books I’d linked to on a different part of the LibGuide page. Now I’m curious as to why Muscat can have a permanent link to the GVRL and I can’t, but I’ll try not to be bitter about it. Problem solved, and I can go back to playing with my LibGuide page!

Friday: I finished updating the records for all of the transgender-related books we have in our collection! There are about 65 titles on my list; I meant to incorporate all of the titles into the LibGuide page, but decided that it would be too clunky. Instead, I have the call number ranges, keywords, and subject headings that I used to find the books on the list. This way, my list will never be out of date; I just have the top ten books on the LibGuide, and the rest can be found by using one or more of my Muscat search tools.

I tried to make the process of finding these books even easier when I was updating their catalog records. First, I added a subject heading to all of the books included on my list: Transgender. Some of the books had variations on that word (Transgender youth, Transgenderism, etc.) or used a different word (Transsexualism, Transvestism, etc). With the addition of that one standardized tag, any material in the library that is on my list of transgender resources can be found by searching “Transgender” in the subject line. Additionally, I wrote a summary of the book and transcribed the table of contents into the catalog record. This gives more places for the system to find information when a patron does a keyword search, as well as giving more information when a patron is deciding whether or not the item would be useful. See, we’re all about helping the patrons here at Musselman Library!

My Transgender LibGuide is pretty much done. I need to put a few more pages together before anything can be published, though, so it isn’t yet available to the public. Hopefully, that will change soon.

Next up: Bisexuality LibGuide and cataloging!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hello! Or, How I Got Here

If you frequent the library, chances are you’ve seen me at the circulation desk. I’ve been a circulation desk assistant since my freshman orientation almost two years ago. I’ve loved libraries, books, and reading since before I started kindergarten, so the library seemed like a natural place for me to find my on-campus job. I soon fell in love with working at the desk; I particularly liked when I got to go into the stacks to look for an item that a patron couldn’t find or that had been requested for Inter-Library Loan.

Also during my freshman year, I became an active member of ALLies, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Intersex, Straight Ally, etc. group on campus. ALLies began looking to make reforms to campus policies to better protect the LGBTQ population, with the enthusiastic support of many members of the administration, including Dean Ramsey. To that end, I took an internship with Dean Ramsey last summer where my job was to look into the policies of Gettysburg’s peer institutions regarding their LGBTQ students.

During that internship, I found a website for another school’s ALLies club that included a link to a resource guide for the LGBTQ-related materials in the library. Unfortunately, the links were broken so I was unable to access the guide, but it got me thinking: maybe Gettysburg could have a similar resource guide. Upon my return to school, I made inquiries and ended up talking to Amy Ward, the head cataloging librarian, and Jessica Howard, the liaison librarian for the WGS department. They, and other members of the library’s administration, reacted positively and eagerly to my proposal.

Last spring, I started working in both the reference and technical services departments. In the reference department, I began surveying the collection to determine what books we already had on LGBTQ-related topics, and reading reviews of books so I could recommend titles we should purchase. In technical services, I learned the basics of cataloging and read articles on tagging and Library of Congress subject headings so that when it came time to organize the information I had amassed in reference, I would know how to organize it.

This summer, I have finished cataloging what we have in the collection and am preparing to organize it by topic. Last week, I began organizing information on my first topic: Transgender. I found titles in our collections of books, films, documentaries, and online resources. I started the process of updating the Muscat records for older books so that they will be easier to find in a keyword search. (The other reason is that I love working in the catalog and editing records. It’s just so much fun for a geek like me!) Later today, Jess will start teaching me how to use LibGuides, the program I will use to make my online resource guide. Hopefully, the Transgender LibGuide will soon be available on a computer screen near you!

Working in the various departments of the Musselman Library has taught me many things, but chief among them is this: I am 95% sure that I want to be a librarian for the rest of my life.