Student Snippets

A WINDOW INTO THE DAILY LIFE AND THOUGHTS OF SLIS STUDENTS

Schedule Update

My schedule changed this week and became much more busy thanks to two new jobs of sorts. The first is an internship at Emerson College, and the second is a volunteer position at Boston Arts Academy/Fenway High School.

The internship is required for my Archival Methods and Services (LIS 438) class. For eight hours a week (on Monday in my case) through the first or second week of December, students in this class must attend an internship at a local repository where they learn about the basics of archives. The internship lets me and my classmates see what archivists do on a daily basis by allowing us to both observe and complete nitty-gritty, time-consuming (and highly edifying) tasks that are perfect for students. Doing these jobs will provide us with skills to complete a final project at the internship, which will comprise a significant portion of our grade.

My internship, in Emerson's digital archives at the Iwasaki Library, has me processing a small digital collection of alumni weekend photographs and creating a finding aid for it. This finding aid will be my final project, along with other finding aids that I will help export into an archives management system.

I spent my first full day at Emerson on Monday. I was nervous because I didn't know what to expect, but I soon became engrossed in my work and forgot to be anxious. All that day I sat at my desk putting CDs with image files into the computer and then inventorying their contents. I accomplished this using a Google Fusion Table, where I filled in fields, listing things like file types, megabytes, quality, unique identification number, creator, etc. It was tedious in a way I almost found therapeutic. I couldn't let my mind wander at all. At all times I was fully present and wrapped up in the moment. After I inventoried the whole box, it was almost 5 p.m. (i.e. time to go home) and I felt proud of all of my rows in the table.

When I return to work this Monday, my supervisor and I will fill out a processing plan. Afterward, I'll learn more about their archival management software, AtoM, as well begin the job of processing.

IMG_0872.JPG

My desk at the Iwasaki Library. Notice the large cup of coffee.

The other new fixture of my schedule is volunteering in the archives of two high schools that share a building near Simmons--Boston Arts Academy and Fenway High School. I read on Simmons Jobline that the archives needed assistance, so I offered my services and the high schools accepted. Everyone who works, interns, or volunteers in the library or archives there is a Simmons faculty member, student, or graduate. It's nice to share that relationship with my co-workers and to have similar experiences. While I'm only there for four hours every Wednesday afternoon, I find I can still accomplish a lot.

For the most part I'm working with the high schools' archivist, Bonnie, to digitize photographs taken since the school was founded in 1998. My job there is going to involve doing the same things for a while. First, I label a series of 5x7 photographic prints, like those taken at the prom in 2005, assigning each a unique identification number.  I then scan them one at a time on a flatbed scanner and save those images as JPG files on an external hard drive using file names I take from the labels I put on the prints. There are boxes and boxes of photographs to scan, but it's nice to look at them and see the makings of happy memories and fun times at the school. It's also really gratifying to work with the students, who come into the library and sometimes need assistance.

IMG_0875.JPG

The BAA and Fenway High Library (http://baafhslib.org/)

Now that I have these two new commitments, I'm busier than ever. I can't wait to report back to you with my progress on my projects at the institutions, along with more about my time there.

Internships