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

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