Highlights of a highlight experience: a reflection on a few of many great experiences from the R&I internship

After having thought about my internship experience as a whole, I realized that everything I did was uniquely beneficial and exciting, and although it was difficult to select just a few, in this post, I will discuss three features of the internship that stick out in my memory. First, I found that working with libguides during the winter and spring terms was a valuable experience because not only did I learn how to create and organize the guides, but I also got a chance to think through why the guides might be structured in the way they are, why they include the information they do, and, ultimately, how structure and content contribute to the experience of someone using the guide. As another upshot of this, I realized that my own ability to find the information I was looking for improved significantly. Second, working at the virtual reference desk on Sunday afternoons was informative for a variety of reasons: we were able to talk through the reference questions we received, discuss common questions for the subject areas of the librarians that we worked with, and chat about interesting aspects of librarianship in general. Third, I enjoyed learning and asking questions about the different areas of the library in our weekly meetings. Each specialty in the library was fascinating to me, and perhaps what was most enlightening about these meetings was the information I received about each librarian’s path to the library profession because everything I learned built on the foundation, established by the career exploration project in the winter term, of my knowledge about ways to navigate life after college, which has been so helpful to me. Ultimately, I am looking forward to returning to the R&I Internship next year and getting a chance to do in-person reference work as well as working more closely with some of the library departments that we learned about this spring!

Owen Schuster