Practicum Day Four: Personal Research Help and Special Collections

After serving my reference desk hours which started off slow thanks to the dreary weather today, I was able to change up the normal schedule some. I sat in with my supervisor as she conducted a personal research session with an undergraduate student. The personal research sessions aren’t something unique to my site however it was still good to sit in on one as I’ve only been involved in one from the opposite side of the coin. It was fun because the topic dealt with history. The way they do their sessions is the student requests a session, using a form they can find on the library’s webpage, which is then automatically emailed out on a specific listserv. The whole department gets the listserv, which allows anyone who is interested in the topic, or maybe has some background with the student can then take the appointment. I know that in my school the student has to email the librarian that works as their department liaison. I’ve noticed that most students don’t know who that is, usually it’s those who has had a professor ask the librarian into the classroom. I think my site’s system works a bit better because even through it’ still on the student to initiate the help, it makes it easier for them to get help. They don’t have to search and then email a librarian who might not have the real time to devote solely to the student as much as the student need.

I then met up with Special Collections Librarian for a one or one tour and an introduction to Special Collections. Most of you know I have a thing for Archives and Special Collections. Although as I learn more I realize I have a thing for all departments. Which is why I know I’m in the right field since I’ll find joy in any part of the library world. Any way back to my point, meeting with the Special Collections Librarian was great, we talked about the job market particularly Special Collections and Archives. I was sharing how I wasn’t find many job postings for entry-level work in that part of the field. He agreed that it was a hard to break into. He gave me some tips on where to look and then offered a chance to come back for a project or two. I’m going to definitely take him up on that. If all learn is how to repair a book I’d be stoked.

I’m so glad that I listened to my advisor and made sure I did a practicum. Even though I’ve done the internship. This is proving to be more than about earning skills as it is dispel some of the misunderstandings and having awesome discussions about this field.

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